If Trump Is From Mars, His Enemies Are From Pluto
By Matt McDonald | January 30, 2017, 8:11 EST
If you want to get an idea of how loony-tunes some opponents of President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on visitors from several Muslim countries are, check out the exchange between two Trump critics on CNN on Sunday.
CNN, always fair and balanced, featured four guests during a segment Sunday afternoon, all of them against Trump’s ban.
One of them, Jonathan Turley, a law professor who frequently comments on TV, criticized Trump’s decision as unwise. But he pointed out what should be obvious to most people who follow these things: It’s legal for an American president to determine American policy on who gets into America and who doesn’t on a temporary basis.
That simple legal point troubled another Trump critic, Rula Jebreal, a Palestinian Arab who describes herself as a secular Muslim and has dual Israeli and Italian citizenship — i.e., she’s not an American. Jebreal, a former reporter who serves as a visiting professor at American University in Rome, was speaking from Italy — i.e., not America. She called Trump’s ban “religious persecution” and “an instrument of tyranny.”
“It’s not about national security. This is about white supremacists,” she said, adding that the ban was an extension of Trump’s “clash-of-civilization white supremacist agenda.”
Turley, who may be the most mild-mannered commentator in the history of political talk shows, gently suggested that perhaps American immigration policy is properly subject to how Americans feel and how Americans vote.
“But tyranny is when the democratic process does not have an effect,” Turley said, referring to the recent election that put Mr. Trump in the White House. “I don’t believe that 47 percent of the United States are white supremacists. I think if we’re going to reach any type of resolution we have got to stop calling each other names and to pretend that we are worse than we are. There are people that are on the other side that support this who are not white supremacists. In my view they’re wrong to support it. But the way to convince them is not to suggest that they’re all white supremacists, or that this is a Muslim ban. It is not.”
(Turley’s statement is at 5:56 in this video.)
That set Jebreal off.
“It is a Muslim ban!”” she shouted, and then started accusing Turley of justifying the ban, apparently oblivious to Turley’s opposition to it.
“You’re betraying American values!,” shouted Jebreal, the non-American. “This is outrageous!”
“Sorry, you’re making my point,” Turley softly interjected.
Then Jebreal went George H.W. Bush on him.
“I’m not making your point. Read my lips and try to hear what I’m saying. You are trying to justify something that not only courts in the past actually repealed, but they are not considered actually American,” the non-American said.
There’s more, too, but make sure the volume on your computer isn’t too high before you click the link.
Now, to get to the merits:
It seems that the implementation of the president’s executive order Friday was not completely thought through. The confusion about how to enforce it at various airports this weekend that led to apparently unnecessary detentions is unfortunate. The uncertainty about whether to allow into the country people who already have Green Cards who come from the countries on the list seems as if it could have been avoided.
Trump’s advisers have to take a hit on this one, and since they are Trump’s people, so does he.
But there’s a larger point here that’s more important: Trump is trying to protect the country, with an energy and commitment that recent American presidents have lacked.
And once again, we see how Trump’s enemies see racism in every molehill.
The executive order never mentions the word “Muslim.” It mentions Syria, but it doesn’t even directly mention the other six countries on the list (Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan), instead making an oblique reference to another federal document created by the previous administration. All the countries on the list are basket cases, with many people in them who hate America and wish us harm.
Some other items that seemed to have slipped through the sieve that anti-Trumpers use to gather evidence against him:
- The ban is temporary. It’s 90 days for the countries on the list, and 120 days for refugees.
- The point of the ban is to provide time for federal agencies to set up a system of so-called “extreme vetting” for people who want to come into this country so that federal officials are reasonably sure they’re not coming here to blow us up.
- The ban also makes reference to the need for other countries to cooperate with the United States when it comes to providing information about their nationals who want to come here. The ban is being used as a way to apply pressure on these countries to play ball. If they don’t, the executive order hints that they may end up on a presidential naughty list of countries whose nationals are not welcome here.
No country in the world declares a universal right to immigrate to it. Controlling borders and deciding who can come and who can’t are hallmarks of a sovereign nation.
President Trump is reasserting that the United States is a sovereign nation with a right to defend the security of its people.
There’s an old saying about criminal law that it’s better to let 10 guilty men go free than to convict one innocent man.
That saying doesn’t apply when it comes to immigration. In fact, it makes sense to flip it around: It’s better to deny 10 potentially worthy immigrants from coming to our country than to let one terrorist in.