Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Home-made Crisis

How can it be that the commander-in-chief of the US armed forces and chief executive officer of the United States government - the one who holds primary responsibility for the security of the nation's borders at home and the national security interests of the United States worldwide and is also constitutionally charged with enforcing (not adjusting) the nation's existing laws - would turn to the Republicans in Congress and blame them for the fiasco currently taking place on our southern border?

The president has requested an additional $3.7 billion in funding to address the "humanitarian crisis" he believes we are faced with, but how will these additional funds be spent?  And how is it that border security is not already adequately funded?  Immigrants have been crossing into the United States via the southern border for more years than the current president has been in office, so how can it be that now it has become a "humanitarian crisis"?  Prior to this, in my humble opinion, it has been a continuing national security crisis.  Indeed how can we pretend to have federal agencies charged with national security and not realize that such porous borders constitute a genuine national security threat?

I believe rank-and-file Americans are not entirely unsympathetic to the plight of so many who "yearn to breathe free" and will risk everything for a chance to come into the United States.  I also believe the vast majority of those crossing our borders illegally only want a chance for a better life for themselves and their families in peace and relative safety. 

However, if there are truly an estimated 12-14 million "undocumented" immigrants in the US (how can one count "undocumented" persons, by the way?), this means there are 12-14 million persons we know nothing about unless or until they run afoul of the law.  This is a national security problem of the highest order because if we only catch them after they have violated laws, it is already too late.  By then we can only hope it is a minor infraction.

The people of the United States respond to and deal with humanitarian crises almost daily, and they do so generously and expeditiously.  This is the heart of the American ideal and the soul of the American people.  We get it.  We get it that this is part of the responsibility of a freed people.  We understand that the well being of our neighbor is our own well being. 

What we do not get is a crisis borne of an irresponsible and unresponsive government that demands more money to deal with a long existing problem.  We do not get a president who will visit a storm-damaged area to remind those people that the nation stands with them but will not go directly to the US border in crisis mode to remind those people (citizens and overwhelmed agents alike) that the nation stands with them as well, choosing instead to drink beer and shoot pool in relative air-conditioned comfort far and away from the point of crisis while claiming to be "intimately" involved.

The one thing we voting Americans must be aware of (yes, if you do not or did not vote, you have no say) is that we are the American people which makes us the American government.  An election is coming up with many "experienced" legislators standing for reelection.  This crisis, whether humanitarian or national security, belongs to them; each and every one who is up for RE-election.  If we RE-elect any one of them, we are asking for more of the same; and our nation will remain in crisis mode for at least the foreseeable future.

It is not necessary or even desirable to "overthrow" this system of government, but it has become necessary to cast out those who have helped our government reach its current state.  We have a lot of service men and women and federal agents who are doing their level best to deal with what is at hand, but they must have our full support which goes far beyond a flag on the porch and cheesy bumper stickers.  As it stands now, it appears our fellow citizens in government service are useful to this current government only for their value as tools to be RE-elected.  And that is not enough.

The government can do nothing apart from the consent of the governed (that's you and me). This is all the power we need to do what must be done, and it begins with the Congress in November.

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