Sooooooo much I keep wanting to write on here, and I always run out of time to give it the time it deserves, but I just have to get this off my chest.
And to go all Hank Kimball here, as I am so often wont to do, it's probably a good thing I didn't find the time to write this a few days ago, because it would have been a completely different post as I'll explain as long as I can kick my buddy Hank out of here, well, actually out of me, for now. I'm sure he'll be back, well, I'll be back, or maybe...(just watch the clip on the link above.)
Anyway, the big topic in the news since the Paris attacks last week has been the issue of whether we should allow or restrict Syrian refugees in coming to America. I was upset to see the Republicans quickly pass a bill seemingly restricting it (though arguably, the bill was pretty pointless from a policy or regulation standpoint).
And for a few days since it passed, I was pretty upset about it and feeling like more than ever, it was yet more proof that we have two Americas - dark red and bright blue. And if I had posted about this earlier than this morning, that would have been the gist of my post.
But as I thought about it more, I decided that this was such a missed opportunity for our legislators. When one looks past the sound bites, I really believe that we are actually all on the same side of this issue. Well, except for the racist fringe that was against the idea even before the Paris attacks.
We all want to feel compassion for those people fleeing the atrocities of an out-of-control civil war. People on the Right have only slightly less compassion on this issue than those of us on the Left. And we are concerned about the security issues as well, though not to the point of paranoia.
And this was a golden opportunity for the Republicans to pass that bill, emphasizing not the fist-pounding xenophobic fear mongering to keep people out, but how much they believe in the strength that immigration has brought to our country, not to mention how poorly we have handled it in the past, with Jews and the Irish as 20th century examples. And that this time, once certain security standards are met, we are going to do it right. We are going to throw open our doors to once again show the world that we take great pride in our Melting Pot society and show that we have no ill will toward Muslims or any peace-loving people.
And similarly, President Obama should have said the same thing, but emphasizing first that as President, it is his job to keep America safe, and that he will not allow one single (or married - yuk yuk!) person to come in to this country without 2 years of vetting by the greatest security system in the world.
And this afternoon, I had a perfect opportunity to tell my Congressman, Ryan Costello, exactly that point, particularly since he co-sponsored the House Bill I referred to above.
And he listened to everything I had to say and said "I agree completely. What should have happened was...well, exactly what you just said. The Republicans should have emphasized compassion and the Democrats should have emphasized security. Yeah...exactly what you just said."
OK, Hank and I are done...for now.