My dad is the most honorable man that I know. An 87 year old retired Marine Corps Colonel, and enjoyed a second 30 year career as a business owner doing financial planning. His off time was/is dedicated toward service to others, just recently taking the helm of the local Kiwanis club…again, among other service-oriented activities and causes. He raised all of his children with the idea that honor, integrity, and honesty is of the utmost importance in life. He has struggled with the choice of voting for Trump and decided that he had to do it. I respect his decision, even though I concluded differently. To put it mildly, we’ve had some pretty intense discussions about it…one time having to apologize to a waitress and some people sitting around us at a restaurant. Never getting nasty or personal, but definitely passionate.
While speaking recently with my Dad on the immigration issue, we disagreed on what to do. He suggested that the wall was most needed and that we needed to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. I suggested that we need to eliminate the incentives that are attracting them in the first place and then the wall would not be needed. I added that as long as the incentives were there, they will find a way to get here, whether there is a wall or not.
But this editorial really isn’t about that debate as much as it is about a larger concept.
We talked about why the incentives are there to begin with. Incentives like jobs being provided for them, schooling, health care, birthright citizenship, and other various benefits.
My Dad agreed, but said Congress isn’t doing anything about those issues, so we need the wall. Again, I pointed out that the wall would be a waste of money, because they WILL find a way to get here if those incentives are still offered.
I then asked him why would Congress not do anything about these issues. He mentioned the special interests and the lobbyists and so forth, and that most definitely does have an effect. However, the biggest reason that Congress is so divided on what to do about these things is because the people are so divided about it. Roughly half the people in the country do not see these issues as problems. They are providing the incentives. They are welcoming in the illegal immigrants, and they are protecting them.
That, in a nut shell, is the problem. Half the people in the country are inviting them in, while the other half is demanding we kick them out. The House, being the voice of the people, is understandably going to reflect that and we end up with no progress on the issue.
So what do we do when we have a stalemate of sorts in this self-governing Republic?
Do we just allow the Party in charge to force it’s beliefs on the other side? How’s that working out for us, for example, with Obamacare? If we build a beautiful big wall today, against the objections of half the country, is there little doubt that the other side will be campaigning on tearing down the wall? And then do so in grand fashion and ceremony once they regain power?
So what’s the answer, my Dad asked? I suggested that it was up to us to convince those on the other side of the need to control immigration and enforce reasonable laws.
“You mean it’s my responsibility to solve this??” he protested.
“Yes, Dad, it is our responsibility. We work these issues out through civil discourse. That’s what it means to be a self-governing people.”
We need to change the way we look at these things.