A couple of weeks ago, this newspaper said, “A national disgrace — 16 states sue Trump over emergency wall declaration.” And indeed it is. Sixteen states refusing to accept the legitimate authority and insisting they have their own way.
Their arguments seem to ignore both facts and American civics. First, there certainly is an immigration crisis. There are as many as 22 million people in the United States illegally. They continue to enter at the rate of 1.1 million per year. Border patrol agents apprehended 600,000 just last year. We are being invaded, and some Mexican groups openly state that this is their goal. If that isn’t a crisis, what is?
Second, how can the president’s proclamation be considered illegal? It is illegal activity that he is trying to stop. Nancy Pelosi herself said, “No one is above the law,” so doesn’t that apply to the immigrants as well? The Constitution specifically requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” so enforcing the law can hardly be considered unconstitutional. President Obama, by comparison, simply created DACA by himself when Congress didn’t give him the immigration law he wanted. Where were the constitutional objections then?
Third, Trump has been accused of bypassing Congress. But have they forgotten it was Congress who gave him those powers? And the powers weren’t given to the governors of certain states, the House Oversight Committee, or even a federal judge. They were given to the president and he is using them. It’s like the travel ban two years ago — opponents claimed that was illegal too, but it wasn’t. As soon as the Supreme Court affirmed it, the president’s detractors simply found something else to object to. And it is this persistent use of obstructionist lawsuits that is a threat to democracy itself.
Obviously not everyone is going to agree on everything. There are always differences of viewpoint. But a house divided against itself cannot stand and we are in grave danger at this time. There is a time to make our points, but once votes are taken and decisions are made, we need to go along until the opportunity to debate them comes around again. The current political hatred is helping no one. It is tearing the country apart, and those who insist so vehemently that we must change the laws to adopt brazen new ways that have never been tried before are only sowing discord and destruction.
Right now the Democratic Party is being hijacked by extremists who are so caught up in their ideologies that I would shudder to see any of them in positions of more power. Ordinary people just want to live their lives, and the problem with extreme ideologies is that they eventually require force to make them work. More than one country has gone that route in the last 100 years. But that is not the way of humility or greatness. Nor will it create enduring success for our land.
The elections have been held; decisions have been made. And in less than two years elections will be held again. In the meantime we need to get along or we run the risk of destroying everything for everyone.
Chuck Jonas is a resident of Kailua-Kona.