I have a confession to make. The daily dose of the new President Trump reality show has transfixed me. I have not watched this much cable news television in years upon years. But, since the inauguration, the high-octane Trump show and the reaction to it in political and academic circles and among the populace has been riveting.
Every day, another crisis. Some are partially deserved, like the amateur-hour rollout of Trump’s executive order on delaying immigration from Muslim countries that are currently failed states, until a more thorough vetting system is in place. I don’t disagree with the principle there, but the implementation to include green card holders and long term residents (now corrected) was terribly sloppy and triggered a world of unnecessary protests. Worse, it looked bad because it was so easy to distort what Trump was doing to fit the Democrat narrative of a complete Muslim ban. Other actions Trump has taken do not deserve the opprobrium they have received, but are simply commonplace measures, performed routinely by all presidents, like appointing cabinet ministers. But the Democrats are reacting to these common actions in a uniform state of high dudgeon and with complete contempt, creating an air of ongoing crisis that is adding further stress to a political atmosphere that is already stressed beyond measure.
Apparently, the Democrat leadership has decided that their best strategic move is to act disgusted and resistant, while using disparaging language to ridicule everything that Trump does, including nominating eminently qualified Supreme Court justices. This is the same kind of treatment, by the way, that Hillary Clinton unfurled as a “winning strategy” at the debates, to treat Trump and many of his supporters like the dirt beneath her shoe, calling them deplorables. While the Democrat leadership has not extended this language explicitly to the majority of Trump’s followers, yet their full throttled contempt for President Trump is so totalizing, that voters who identify with Trump’s agenda read these actions as elitist derision that extends to themselves as well.
Meanwhile, I hasten to remind the Democrat leadership, Hillary’s strategy of treating Trump, the nominated head of the Republican party, with such palpable repugnance turned out to be a decisive moment for many voters, still undecided about Trump; they understood her antipathy to include themselves as well. The result of that tactic, as everyone knows, is that he is now President and she is writing a new memoir.
But let me return to the President’s recent executive order about a temporary suspension on refugees. On Feb. 2, Cruxnow.com, a Catholic online journal, published an interview with Archbishop Barsha Warda of the Chaldean Archeparchy of Erbil, Iraq. He makes some salient points in response to Trump’s executive order. “[I]t is terrible to live with terrorism. And if the United States wants to have a strong vetting process, I can understand and appreciate that… Obviously, in the era of terrorism, people are concerned about who is entering their country and that is understandable.”
The Archbishop is not alone in expressing such a viewpoint. Egyptian-American Nonie Darwish grew up in Gaza in the 1950s, where her father, Col. Mustafa Hafez, organized terrorist resistance against Israel for Egypt. She has since renounced Islam, becoming an outspoken critic against it. She, too, spoke up about Trump’s executive order to an Arab radio station in the Middle East: “The radio host… was surprised to hear that I supported the ban and think that it should have taken place the day after 9/11…The lesson here is that Arabs are hungry to hear the truth…The lesson America needs to learn is that the West is not doing Muslims (especially the reformists) a favor by constantly treating them as children who should be shielded from reality.”
Ms. Darwish is exactly right here. I have long believed that the failure to treat this intra-Muslim tolerance for exporting jihad to the West in a similar manner to the way it would treat other threats is a kind of social and political infantilization for Muslims. As in anything else, the problem cannot be stopped until it is looked at head on, called for what it is and there are repercussions for it, in this case, political ones.
Archbishop Warda had more to say: “I wonder why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups. They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N.”
And this, too, I agree with fully. I was heartbroken by American inaction in face of ISIS’s assault on the Yezidi, as we watched a partial genocide take place, the attempt to destroy a unique Iraqi minority population by slaughtering its men and taking its women prisoner and turning them into sex slaves, sold in the crudest slave markets. It was a horror unraveling before our eyes and to my mind, the absolute low point of the last two presidencies.
This is the real war against women. Where were the protesters then?