Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Some words in support of Bruce Rauner
Now, now, let's be fair to Bruce Rauner.
Given the consistent, utter indifference that the governor has shown to Illinois children, the disabled, the elderly, and anybody in the state who depends upon the government for any kind of assistance whatsoever, except of course for rich businessmen like himself, how much would we really expect him to show sympathy toward a bunch of refugees fleeing the slaughterhouse of Syria?
Not a lot, right?
So we can't be too shocked to see him demanding that Syrian refugees be turned away from Illinois.
Yes, he does not actually have that power—none of the Republican governors across the country trying to use the Paris attacks as a pretext to slam their doors to the refugees does, on the flimsy pretext that a Syrian passport used by a refugee was found near the attack site; nobody even knows if a terrorist used it to sneak in, or seized it later. Besides, French-born citizens were also involved, yet we don't seem to be barring the French.
A trifle, I'm sure, in Bruce Rauner's, I'm-the-boss-so-you-have-to-do-what I say world.
"Our nation and our state have a shared history of providing safe haven for those displaced by conflict, but the news surrounding the Paris terror attacks reminds us of the all-too-real security threats facing America," someone in Rauner's office speaking for the governor said, in a statement.
Yeah, a lousy history. American's have always heaped contempt upon immigrants in general and refugees in particular, and in this regard Rauner is only aping the public will. We hate refugees. Always have.
We should remember that no refugee group was enthusiastically welcomed in this country. From the Irish in the 1850s onward, they were all diseased sub-humans bringing crime and ways that could never fit into the American spirit. Ditto for the Chinese. And the Italians. And the Eastern Europeans. In the late 1930s, 83 percent of Americans -- almost as close to everybody as you could imagine -- were against changing America's draconian immigration laws to admit the Jews frantic to get out of Germany that was very public about its preparations to kill them. A bill that would have waved in 20,000 German children died in Congress.
Why? Well, c'mon, they were Jews. Nobody wanted Jews around, and for reasons just as specious as the reasons the governor wants to slam the door on Syrians. The Jews were also seen as dangerous, not to mention oily and crafty and unattractive, with big noses and long beards and a tendency to take jobs that belonged to Americans, scarce with the Depression still winding down. In 1939, the Illinois chapter of the American Medical Association, aided by the patriots at the American Legion, pushed a bill in Springfield that would have banned immigrant doctors from practicing here until they became naturalized citizens, a process that took seven years at the time.
We are a fearful, selfish, ungenerous people, flattering ourselves on a bigheartedness that was never true and is certainly not true now—ask the 11 million Hispanic immigrants living in permanent rightless limbo. Or the 100 or so Syrian refugees who have been settled in Chicago the past year, a laughably small number, as is the 10,000 refugees that the United States of Flippin' America is trying to take if they can find states whose governors aren't wetting themselves in fear, which is not a certain proposition.
And we elected Bruce Rauner, a plutocrat with nine homes and a heart the size of a gumball. Let's not get all weepy now that he acts completely true to form. Besides, one of those Syrians might end up living next to you. And you wouldn't like that. Would you?