By John Kanelis / firstname.lastname@example.org
The most infuriating clause in the proposed America First caucus platform is the one that talks about what its adherents call “mass immigration.”
The so-called congressional caucus — pitched by far right wing conspiracy theorists and assorted loons in Congress — seeks to promote what they refer to as an “Anglo-Saxon culture.” Included in that is this despicable clause denigrating “mass immigration” from places I presume they mean do not fit the Anglo-Saxon stereotype.
I am a product of immigrants from southern Europe. All four of my grandparents chose to spend their lives in United States after moving here from Greece and Turkey. They were patriots. They worked hard. They played by the rules. They brought 10 children into this world among them. One of those children — my father — enlisted in the U.S. Navy on the very day that Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor and dragged this country into World War II.
The America First caucus does not understand or appreciate the tenet to which all patriotic Americans should subscribe, that the very essence of American greatness and its “unique” culture rests in the hearts of those who choose to come here. I mean no disrespect for native-born Americans; hell, I was born here, too.
I just take profound offense at those in Congress who suggest that immigration — and immigrants — are somehow bad for the country. They all seek to “make America great again” by closing our doors, erecting walls across our southern border and issuing some sort of merit-based standard for those seeking to build new lives in the Land of Opportunity.
Had there been such a standard in force at the turn of the 20th century, I doubt any of my grandparents would have been allowed to come here, allowed to marry and allowed to build their own families.
Am I offended by this America First caucus? You’re damn right I am.
By John Kanelis / email@example.com
In the stunning but not surprising category of news items comes this report out of Washington, D.C.
A group of far right Republican members of the House wants to form a cabal, er, caucus comprising those who want to push forward a political agenda that calls attention to the Anglo-Saxon tradition of some of those who preceded us to these shores.
This group includes some real doozies: QAnon believer Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, accused sex trafficker Matt Gaetz of Florida and the lunatic birther from East Texas, Louie Gohmert.
Why is this so pernicious? As the grandson of immigrants who came to this country in the early 20th century from Greece and Turkey, I am appalled and aghast at a provision in the draft policy statement that declares that “mass immigration” would spoil the “unique culture” built in the United States.
Now, give that a moment’s thought. This nation’s uniqueness, the way I see it, is the built on its welcoming of immigrants from around the world. The Statue of Liberty’s inscription tells immigrants that this nation embraces their arrival.
What in the name of all that is decent are the far right wingers trying to do? I think I know. They are trying to slam the door shut on people of color, on the oppressed and fearful. They want our culture to remain true to some myth that we are an Anglo-Saxon nation first and foremost.
Nothing, not a damn thing, could be farther from that version of the truth about the founding and settlement of this country.
I am heartened to see some push back from GOP congressional leaders on this frightening notion. Can they deliver a kill shot to this right wing idiocy being pushed by the Donald Trump/America First wing of the Republican Party? I am going to hope so.
This decision makes about as little sense as Donald Trump declaring that the coronavirus pandemic is “under control.”
Trump has terminated this nation’s relationship with the World Health Organization. Think of this for a moment.
The planet is locked in a struggle against a killer viral infection. WHO stands as a worldwide clearinghouse for valuable medical information and assistance to nations seeking help in fighting diseases just like COVID-19.
What does Trump do? He cuts off WHO. He said this week he intends to spend the estimated $450 million annually we spend on WHO on other health-related organizations. Which ones? Which of them will get the money? What will they do with it?
Trump is angry with WHO because the United Nations-sponsored agency covered up — he says — for China when the pandemic first broke. He’s angry with China … after giving China credit for its alleged “transparency” in fighting the disease. He’s always been angry with the U.N., preferring to rely on that idiotic “America first” pledge he made while running for president in 2016.
I need to point out how Trump has farmed out so much of his private business employment to non-Americans, but I digress.
Now the WHO is seeking to fight the pandemic without the financial support of the nation that (a) provides more money by far than any other nation to the agency and (b) has recorded more infections and death — also by far — than any other nation on Earth.
Does that make sense? I didn’t think so.
I cannot take credit for this observation but I’ll share it anyway.
It comes to me via social media and the individual who sent it poses a fascinating notion.
He said that it took Donald J. Trump three days to say something about the white supremacist who is accused of stabbing two people to death in Portland, Ore., after they sought to break up a verbal argument between the suspect and two others — one of whom is a Muslim.
Then … some Muslims kill several people in London before being killed by police. Trump fired off a response in an hour!
Is this how the president plans to put “America first”?