Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Why these orders?
Let's step back and take in the big picture for a moment.
On Friday, Donald Trump signed his nonsensical Muslim ban, barring all refugees from Syrian and travelers from seven Muslim nations, none of which was involved in the 9/11 attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing or, indeed, any terror attack on American soil.
On Tuesday he'll name a Supreme Court nominee whose central purpose is to overturn Roe v. Wade. And very soon, maybe also Tuesday, he will sign an executive order permitting bigots to point to their supposed religious values when shunning and abusing gay people, plus permitting adopting agencies to deny gay couples the chance to have a family based on their own baseless prejudices, cloaked in a fig leaf of supposed faith.
Why these three groups, these three issues? Because empty security theater, abortions, and being forced to bake wedding cakes for gay people are the three most pressing problems facing our nation?
There is a commonality to all three. Trump is doing these because he can. If he, oh, allowed Jews to be banned from hotels, as was the practice in the 1950s, or blacks from public swimming pools, as was done in the 1960s, the outrage would even be greater than we're already seeing displayed by decent, patriotic Americans over the Muslim ban, Trump's disregard for women and—projecting into the future—his anti-gay orders.
And in a sense, he has to. He ran on a platform appealing to the fears and bigotries of his base, and now he has to deliver the goods. They expect it.
Keep this in mind. Haters are cowards, and rarely say--anymore--"I don't want to see brown-skinned people." "I despise Jews" or "Black people frighten me." So they offer up reasons: safety. Religious freedom. The rights of the unborn imagined into "babies."
And it works. We buy it. We fall to arguing their reasons, as if we didn't realize that these are just smokescreens. Security doesn't matter. Trump's anti-Muslim ban makes us less secure, not more. Babies don't matter -- they sure don't care about refugee babies. And religion doesn't matter. Christian faith could just as easily be cited as a reason to celebrate gay marriage as to ban it. They point to faith because we're accustomed to giving people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to faith. And we shouldn't, not when it's being used as a pretext to claim damage that is not in fact there.
So don't get sucked in. Trump was swept to power by haters who do not make distinctions. What they do is attack who they can, when they can, how they can. Now it is Muslims, women and gays, because they are vulnerable. Next it could be you.