Does Keeping “Them” Out Make U.S Safer?

Well King…errr, ahhhh I mean President Trump continues to sign executive orders and the latest one has drawn huge protests around the country. The ban is titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry to the United States” and the verbatim text for the primary action of the executive order is:

“For the next 90 days, nearly all travelers, except U.S. citizens, traveling from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entry to the United States. The 90 day period will allow for proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals.”

The order went into effect immediately causing many people to be detained from entering the United States and separating loved ones. There has been and continues to be a lot of confusion about the status of those who have green cards and therefore are legal citizens of the United States. The Political Great Whine will briefly tackle some of the pros and cons of the president’s latest action.

Purpose of the Travel Ban
Trump was quick to state that the executive order was NOT a ban on Muslims; however, it has been noted that the countries listed all have majority Muslim populations.   The Pew Research Center conducted a demographic study of more than 200 countries and was able to map the number of Muslims and types (Shia and Sunni).  The reason, given by Trump, for this executive order is to protect the country by keeping terrorists from entering the country, but are we really safer?

Recent Terrorist Perpetrators were U.S Citizens
It has been confirmed that the Orlando killer, the San Bernardino killer (husband), and the Boston Marathon bombers were born in the United States and would not have been included in the ban. Also they did not even have ties to countries listed in the ban. For example, the San Bernardino shooter attended an Islamic Institute in Pakistan (Not on the list) and his radicalized wife was Pakistani.  The Orlando shooter was born in the United States but his parents are from Afghanistan (Not on the list).   Further, the Al Queda terrorists responsible for 911 were from countries not included in the ban. In light of those facts, the ban does not protect the United States from the perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks who were legal citizens. It is analogous to taking out a restraining order against someone you haven’t met instead the actual person who has harmed you.

Does the Ban Improve Safety for U.S Citizens?
As far as Americans living in the United States, the ban does nothing to improve safety since the people who have actually harmed us were U.S citizens who did not even have ties to countries listed in the ban. For those living abroad, especially within the vicinity of any country listed in the ban, their safety may actually be compromised. Can you imagine being an American working for a humanitarian aid organization in or near a country listed in the ban? In fact the president of a humanitarian aid group, David Miliband, explained that Trump’s ban actually feeds into ISIS propaganda that the United States is “anti-Muslim” which supports their recruitment efforts. Helping ISIS with recruitment cannot be a good thing for the safety of American living both here and abroad.  So despite the executive order’s goal to protect the United States, the exclusion of countries based on their high Muslim population actually puts us in a dangerous position.

Isolation leads to Desolation
Between building a wall between Mexico, scraping trade agreements, and banning travelers and immigrants from select countries, Trump is putting the United States on a path towards isolation. Loneliness in a global economy will not lead to prosperity. Importantly, isolation is not synonymous with security. It is important to note that the United States has already tried isolationism during the 1930s and guess what…it did not work! You can learn more about that here.

What next?
There are many people who may support the isolationist approach but according to the protests, there appears to be many more who do not. Those who do not want the United States to continue down the road towards isolation should continue to peacefully protest and please contact their Congress representative. Trump maybe using executive orders to bypass Congress now, but he cannot continue to usurp the legislative authority of Congress. During his inauguration, Trump stated that the people were now in control of the government, but until Americans are able to exercise their control via their Congressional representative, it is Donald Trump and his friends who are control…not the people.

Stay tuned for more from the PGW as Trump continues to rule via executive orders.

Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!

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