Tag Archives: open borders

Demagogues are winning the argument

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

One word came to mind when I read this post that showed up on my Facebook news feed today.

Demagogue.

Yes, the demagogues among us are winning the argument over these matters. They have persuaded others that to be pro-choice on abortion means you favor abortion; that you favor “open borders” if you’re horrified at the treatment of refugees; that you want to dismantle the Second Amendment if you think legislative solutions to gun violence are an option.

The demagogues are winning this argument because they appeal to people’s lesser instincts, which are easier to bring to the surface than their better instincts.

You know how it goes. Someone who agrees with something you say cannot tell you precisely why they agree with you, or even exactly what it is that earns the high praise. If that someone disagrees with you, why they can recite to you every point you make word by word.

Thus, the demagogues among us are winning the argument.

Man, we gotta find a more effective way to respond to these simpletons.

Entering a dark era

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It pains me to think this, let alone say it out loud.

We have entered a dark, foreboding era where demagoguery and cultism are replacing serious policy discussion.

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has replaced the most corrupt, inept, unfit, unqualified individual ever to hold the office of U.S. president. And yet the men and women who would follow Donald J. Trump to the gates of hell have, seemingly, done that very thing.

They are standing as obstructionists to a constructive agenda that President Biden seeks to craft for the nation. What’s even more frightening is that many of the Trumpsters are hiding behind the Big Lie that says the November 2020 election was pilfered from their guy. Thus, they demagogue themselves breathless, implying that Joe Biden isn’t a legitimate president.

Biden says he is willing to compromise with Republicans on the grand infrastructure package he has laid out there. It’s big, man. The GOP leadership in Congress has countered with a significantly smaller package. To be fair, it also represent a significant investment. Biden’s plan starts at $2.2 trillion; the GOP plan starts at $568 billion. President Biden says he is willing and ready to talk to Republicans about finding common ground.

Is the Republican congressional leadership listening to him? Not outwardly. They contend that Biden’s plan is a non-starter. They won’t raise taxes on rich people who saw their tax burden lightened in the 2017 GOP-led tax bill that Trump signed into law.

You want demagoguery? How about the nonsense the GOP keeps spouting about Biden’s “open border policy”? The border isn’t open. We are rounding up undocumented immigrants every hour of every day. Our immigration cops are holding them, trying to process them through a broken immigration system … that Joe Biden inherited.

From my perch out here the loyal opposition doesn’t look all that loyal in that it seems reluctant to negotiate in good faith with a president who seeks to employ those legendary legislative skills built over a professional lifetime in public service.

This is a dark time, folks. So help me I thought I saw flashes of light the day the nation turned Donald Trump out of office.

It must have been an oncoming freight train.

Am I giving up on the new president? Nope. Won’t happen. I intend to keep pushing, pitching and promoting a constructive agenda whenever the moment suits me.

At this moment, it suits me just fine.

This House seat has been hijacked

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Admittedly, my view of my former haunts up yonder on the West Texas Caprock is a bit jaded.

I arrived in Amarillo in January 1995 to begin a stint as editorial page editor of the Globe-News. The congressman for the region was taking his oath of office that same week. Mac Thornberry rode the Republican wave in the Contract With America election in 1994. He settled in quickly and became a quiet back-bench member of the new congressional majority comprising Republicans.

Thornberry is out of office now. He called it quits at the end of 2020 after a quarter century in Congress. His successor, Ronny Jackson, has assumed quite a different posture than the man he succeeded; I won’t say “replaced” because Jackson’s behavior so far doesn’t warrant that kind of accolade.

What I think we are witnessing in the 13th Congressional District of Texas is a boiled-down version of what has happened to the Republican Party. It has become the Party of Donald Trump. Jackson’s behavior, which includes multiple Twitter sniper shots daily, is indicative of that change.

Whereas the former congressman, Thornberry, would exercise some discretion, would be circumspect, wouldn’t seek to bloody the water, Jackson is an entirely different swamp creature.

It’s kinda like the way Trump acted during the time he served as president. You know?

Jackson has been ranting and railing against the border crisis, which he blames on President Biden’s alleged “open border” policy. He also has been bloviating and blustering about the Second Amendment to the Constitution, blaming Democrats of trying to “take your guns away” while they seek a legislative remedy to the spasm of gun violence that Biden has called — correctly! — an “international embarrassment.”

I sought out one of Thornberry’s closest aides this week, asking this staffer what Thornberry thinks of Jackson’s behavior. This aide responded, “Honestly, he doesn’t betray how he feels,” adding in a personal aside to me that “you know him” Well, I was not surprised to get the answer to that question. Still, I thought it was worth asking.

I am troubled by the representation my former neighbors in the Panhandle are getting from their member of Congress. I wonder if Rep. Jackson is going to settle down long enough to actually craft legislation that deals specifically with issues important to the constituents he now represents.

Oh, let me add that Rep. Jackson only moved into the district in time to run for the seat that Thornberry vacated. The congressman needs to bone up on the issues that matter.

He ought to take a break from his bluster to give thought to how he intends to represent the sprawling Texas congressional district.

Texas AG just can’t stop demagoguing border issue

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas’s twice-indicted attorney general has become a major-league demagogue regarding what is happening along our state’s border with Mexico.

Ken Paxton told Fox News today that “open borders” are costing the state billions of bucks each year.

There. It’s plain and simple, according to Paxton.

Ken Paxton: Open borders costing Texas billions of dollars (msn.com)

Except that the Texas AG is lying.

The border is not “open,” as he keeps suggesting to friendly media questioners who don’t have the nerve to question him.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has declared that our southern border is closed. I acknowledge that such a declaration hasn’t stopped the flood of immigrants coming into the country. The difference between the Biden administration and the Trump administration is that President Biden isn’t ordering the youngsters among the migrants to be turned back without their parents.

Many of them are being housed as we sit here in North Texas. Many more are expected.

I also will acknowledge that President Biden has a “crisis” on his hands, even though he refuses to call it such.

But … are the borders “open” in the manner that Ken Paxton and others on the right are suggesting? No. They are not!

As for Paxton, he is still awaiting trial on securities fraud allegations and he still is awaiting the outcome of a federal investigation into whether he took bribes while doing his duty as the state’s top law enforcement official. 

For the Texas AG to deflect attention from his own trouble is, shall we say, yet another disgrace.

Open borders? Bullsh**!

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By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Demagogues make a handsome political killing by throwing out key words and phrases that have little to do with any sort of reality.

Let’s look at the term “open borders.”

Right-wing demagogues are fond of accusing those who oppose their policies of favoring “open borders.” They suggest that any view that opposes construction of walls means by definition that one favors just throwing the borders of this nation open to anyone who wants to enter the United States of America.

These demagogues should be ashamed of themselves.

I dislike building a wall along our border, namely our southern border, which has gotten all the attention during the past four years. I also dislike the notion of throwing our borders open to everyone. I happen to believe in border enforcement. I believe we must insist on legal entry for those who want to live in the United States.

What’s more, I am not going to tolerate any notion that those of us who oppose the build-the-wall fanatics favor “open borders.”

The term is a canard. It seeks to drive wedges between Americans. “Open borders” implies favoring lawlessness. My goodness, let’s not go there.

The demagogues among us are going to keep throwing that inflammatory term out there just to gin up support for a policy that seeks to wall this country off from the rest of the world comprising individuals who believe the United States should stand for opportunity.

Do we need comprehensive and total immigration reform? Absolutely. President Biden has brought back the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program enacted by President Obama but rescinded by Donald Trump. Biden wants to streamline the legalization process for undocumented immigrants to obtain citizenship or permanent resident status.

I do not hear Joe Biden espousing an open-border policy that allows anyone into this country. Demagogues need to be called out when they suggest their foes favor a lawless border policy.

Biden a ‘far lefty’? Huh?

Stop it, Mr. President. You’re killin’ me!

You’re now trying to paint Joe Biden as some sort of squishy far-left, socialist-leaning, open-borders guy who will take our guns from us and appoint wacky loons to the federal judiciary.

Forgive the candor, Mr. President … but I think you’re off your rocker.

The first signs of the kind of campaign you are going to wage against the former vice president are coming into sharper focus now that the Republican National Convention has commenced.

I don’t listen to you when you speak on my TV. If I don’t turn the TV off I’ll mute the volume, given that you have nothing — not a single damn thing — to say that I want to hear.

However, the media report what you say and I do read media reports. They say you’re accusing Biden — an establishment Democrat if there ever was one — of adhering to some far-left idiocy.

I think of all the things you have accused Biden of supporting, I laugh the hardest at the open-borders assertion. Jumpin’ jiminy, Mr. POTUS, no reasonable American wants to throw open our borders. Indeed, the term “open borders” implies no enforcement of immigration laws, no intercepting of undocumented immigrants. Has the former VP ever said anything that suggests such nonsense? Umm. Let me think. No. He hasn’t.

Yet you keep yapping that he wants open borders. That he’s now a tool of the far left.

You seek to denigrate Biden the way you did to Hillary Clinton. The former vice president is trading on his decency, on his compassion, on the very virtues that you lack. That will be his staunchest defense against the scurrilous attacks you are going to launch against him.

So, I cannot wish you “luck” in your effort to defame a decent — and knowledgeable — political foe. I will turn away from you whenever you spout that nonsense and I intend fully to call attention to the lies you spew whenever they fly out of your mouth.

See you in the funny papers, Mr. President.

Hello, demagogues? Stop yapping about ‘open borders’

I want to call out the right-wing demagogues who appear to be winning the argument about what those who oppose their immigration “policy” believe should be done.

The righties — led by Donald J. Trump — keep yammering and yapping about how Democrats favor “open borders” in lieu of the tragedy that is unfolding along our nation’s southern border.

Oh, sure. There might be a few on the far, far left who talk about “open borders,” preferring to let migrants into the country with no penalty. The rest of the Trump administration’s critics, though, are talking instead about “de-criminalizing” illegal immigration and making the act a “civil” matter.

Does that constitute an “open border” policy? No. It does not!

I am one of those Trump critics who has been saying all along that increased border security can be done without building a massive, expensive and impractical wall along our nation’s southern border. Of course, the president’s pledge to make Mexico pay for the wall is fading rapidly onto the trash heap full of unkept campaign promises.

My point is that the demagogues must be called out for lying about what the vast majority of their opponents want regarding immigration policy.

I among those who favor increased technological enforcement. I also favor more Border Patrol officers deployed along our border. State and local law enforcement could use increased federal support as well.

I do not favor “open borders.” Nor do the majority of those who argue against the detention centers along our border. Those who are calling attention to the horrific conditions being foisted on migrant families — especially the children — are not arguing to throw the borders wide open.

The demagoguery and fearmongering must end.

Immediately!

Declaring rhetorical ‘war’ on border-security demagogues

I am on the verge — or perhaps I’ve already taken the step — of declaring rhetorical “war” on those who insist that that those who oppose The Trump Wall are in favor of “open borders,” or are soft on crime, or who don’t want to protect the nation.

I am one of those who opposes the barrier that Donald Trump keeps insisting we build along our southern border.

Do I favor open borders? No. Am I soft on crime? No. Do I want to protect the nation against those who would do us harm? Yes.

Why is this so troublesome? It bothers me in the extreme to hear otherwise normally reasonable people say the things they do out loud, in public, about those of us who believe the president is wrong to declare a national emergency just to build The Trump Wall.

The president promised to make Mexico pay for its construction. It didn’t happen; it won’t happen. Now he is trying to foist The Wall on taxpayers. Congressional Democrats are digging in against that idea, too. So, to circumvent Congress, the president has declared a national emergency where none exists. Democrats are fighting back and, lo and behold, they’re getting some Republican support against the emergency declaration idea.

The day after making the declaration, he flew to Florida to play a few rounds of golf. National emergency? Hmm?

Trump has led the demagogic drumbeat against those who oppose The Wall. He yaps and yammers about open borders, national security and contends that his foes favor the former and oppose the latter.

I simply cannot take any more of that blind demagoguery coming from the president and his political base of supporters.

No one will get hurt in this “war” I intend to declare. Unless, of course, I inflict damage on some feelings along the way.

If so . . . that is just too bad.

‘Open borders’ becomes latest straw man

I have grown so-o-o-o weary of hearing Donald Trump and his political brethren continue to harp on those who allegedly favor “open borders” and allowing anyone to enter the country anywhere at any time.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has joined that amen chorus by declaring that those who favor “open borders” are chiefly responsible for the deaths of two children who were taken into custody after entering the country illegally with their parents.

Spare me. Please!

The “open borders” argument has become the president’s latest straw man. He holds it up and then knocks the stuffing out of it by insisting that his foes don’t favor border security of any kind.

Gad, man!

I can speak only for myself. I oppose The Wall. I do not favor “open borders.” I want border security as much as the president of the United States. I favor U.S. Border Patrol agents using whatever means they have available to them to arrest those coming in illegally.

I also want U.S. immigration policy to reflect a nation that wants to work with these folks if they are seeking asylum. If they are fleeing repression and hardship in their home country, then we should protect them. Deporting them to the place they are fleeing simply isn’t part of the American spirit.

Open borders? That is a red herring. It fuels a demagogue’s arsenal of fiery rhetoric.

Open borders? Really?

When I hear and read the term “open borders,” I conjure up a definition of, well, totally open borders.

They are borders without guards carrying weapons, without any surveillance, without any restrictions for those seeking to cross them.

Yet the political climate has been poisoned by rhetoric that alleges Democrats across our country favor “open borders.” The Republican demagogue in chief, Donald Trump, is leading the chants against Democratic Party loyalists, contending they favor no restrictions on immigration.

So help me, I haven’t heard a serious politician say anything approaching what Trump and other demagogues are suggesting. They aren’t saying that we take down the Border Patrol stations, letting anyone walk into this country unrestricted.

What these so-called “open border” proponents are saying is they don’t want to build a wall along our nation’s 2,000-mile southern border. They contend it is too expensive, too unwieldy, too fraught with legal difficulty as the government seeks to condemn private land.

They aren’t favoring “open borders.” I am one who opposes the wall but supports strengthening border security using lots measures available to us: more Border Patrol personnel, more drone aircraft, greater surveillance technology, more support for state and local law enforcement agencies, rapid deportation policies.

Open borders? That’s the stuff of demagogues.