Now that Donald Trump has Won


#1286

So with all the stuff going on about immigration and the horrible stuff with families at the border, here are some of my thoughts on it, given that my parents and most of the rest of my family here in the US were immigrants (who happened to do all the appropriate legal paperwork to immigrate here, but that’s besides the point). First, I’m going to make these two assumptions:

  1. Proper border security is good and necessary for preventing the smuggling of contraband as well as keeping legitimate criminals (the aforementioned smugglers, known/confirmed gang/cartel members, war criminals, etc.) out of the country, or at least apprehending them so they can be subject to appropriate due process when they do try to enter the country.
  2. Reasonable, but fair, immigration limits are an unfortunate necessity as, lacking a post-scarcity economy, unlimited immigration is probably not economically viable. I’m not going to discuss what constitutes “reasonable” as there are all sorts of subtleties involved there, but fair at the very least means no restrictions or preferences based on religion, national origin, etc.

Now, my own family was only able to immigrate here due to changes in the law during the Kennedy administration that removed the per-nation immigration cap in favor of more of a “first come, first serve” yearly cap without preference for national origin. This, combined with so-called “chain migration” is why my family, and now me, is here in the US today. Of course, some of the paperwork and other processes were a pain for them (my mom, who came here before my dad, had to basically get married twice to sponsor my dad to come over – once by a justice of the peace in Portugal before having her “proper” church wedding here in the States) and definitely could use reform, but overall they seem to feel that the system as it was for them wasn’t too ridiculous.

That said, they are fully in favor of making the system easier, and I can’t disagree with them. Essentially, the only discriminatory restriction my mom (sadly my dad is no longer with us) thinks is reasonable is a criminal background check of some sort. As far as those already here illegally, my mom is fully in favor of legalizing their status provided that they’ve been here long enough to establish a life (i.e. if you were caught 24 hours after illegally crossing the border, you can be deported, but if you’ve been here for several years, started a family, etc., you should have a chance to stay), haven’t committed any felonies (illegal border jumping is merely a misdemeanor), and pay any back taxes plus perhaps some sort of not ridiculously huge penalty fine as you did break the law. All reasonable given my previous assumptions.

Going back to what’s going on at the border, both of us are dead-set against it. I haven’t talked to her about what should be done with the families, but I’m thinking something along the lines of halfway houses or something else humane to keep the families together in a non-prison environment and just long enough to either validate their asylum claims (which, if legitimate, should be accepted no matter the reason for them) or send them back over the border together if something doesn’t check out and assuming the families aren’t doing anything shady like smuggling. Again, ideally I’d like for even those not seeking asylum but who otherwise have clean histories to stay legally, but assumption #2 above states that they can’t, so we can at least send them back as humanely as possible.

Of course, if someone with more economic knowledge than me can give a reason why assumption #2 is invalid, I’d love to hear it. Also, while I feel a limit is a necessary evil, it’s also entirely possible that the current limit can be greatly increased without damaging the economy.


#1287

#1288

“Everyone/thing is the same level of bad” is the lazy way to shut down a political conversation. It’s effective because it’s complete nonsense but it’s also more than a little pathetic.


#1289

That is a lazy way to misinterpret the point of the post


#1290

That is a lazy way to explain how someone missed your point.


#1291

Am I supposed to bend over backwards when someone makes a racist bad faith post that misinterprets my original?


#1292

Not backwards, no. But I suppose if you do have a point, you are supposed to actually make it.


#1293

I think the original makes the point just fine, thank you very much. What are you having a hard time understanding?


#1294

I’m confused as to whether you’re claiming that the Trump era actually isn’t bad, or that the Obama era was somehow worse (and if so how).


#1295

Whataboutism can kindly screw off.


#1296

The Obama Era is not worse by most metrics. It did however pave the way to the Trump era. Obama was the deporter in chief. Obama helped destabilize and project American imperial power across the world and normalized the Bush Era violations of civil liberties. I have lost count of how many other monstrous policies that were instantiated in the Obama era that we are living with the legacy of today. There are many people pining for the good old days of the Obama administration as some antidote to the Trump administration that clearly do not understand how we got here in the first place and we will continue to lose as long as many people in power continue to proffer it as a solution in place of a way forward. If you are not one of those people then this post is not aimed at you.


#1297

What about your hurt white feelings am I supposed to care about?


#1298

I would enthusiastically go back to Obama era policy across the board if possible. But I would do so while retaining a newly energized sense of political consciousness, an expanded personal network of friends, acquaintances, and organizations to help me stay connected and informed and active on a variety of issues that I was more ignorant of before, and with great regret that we had to come this far in order for me to start looking past the old pleasant delusion that things are generally going to be okay. And next time someone tells me that for them things are not generally okay, I hope I will listen better the first time.


#1299

The “enthusiastically” part is where all the white liberals, your “we”, lose me on this one. I get having a grudging preference for the Obama administration but enthusiasm just means you did not care about the black people shot by police, the brown people deported and abused, the shambles of domestic policy and the imperial overreach across the world. You would just end up in the same place as before, you would just pay for it in more innocent blood the second time around.


#1300

Well you’re right in that I did not care enough before. My home town is 98% white, and in school growing up, politics was always presented as an arena for abstract philosophical debate (which was wrong and unhelpful). History classes, while openly acknowledging the problematic nature of “manifest destiny”, glossed over how that same horrific legacy directly informs virtually every major campaign issue to this day. These aren’t excuses, and I admit that the onus of having not cared enough is still ultimately on me.

But I maintain “enthusiastically” not because I think the Obama era was a utopic time, but because even a reality that edges hard into capitalist dystopia on many levels is still vastly preferable to the current hellscape.

I also think it’s way easier to find and point out problems than it is to suggest solutions. Imagine you’re discussing a problem, and there’s a participant whose contribution to a conversation consists entirely of interjecting occasionally with “nope, everything is still fucked” and “sorry, your idea is not going to work” without offering anything constructive. How invested do you estimate that person is in actually solving the problem at hand? What value is there in being able to say “I told you so” when the world ends if…the world still ends?


#1301

Despite whataboutism definitely being thrown about in bad faith by the right, I think it is important to recognize that many liberals look at the Obama administration with rose-tinted (opaqued, even) glasses. And to truly fix the problems of the present, going to have to be brutally honest (and open to that brutal honesty) about that, at the minimum within the liberal community.

I was with you until here. This analogy breaks down in context and the overall point reads as tone-policey. Or, in other words, if you’re being fucked over, you should not be expected to mince words about said fucking.


#1302

That’s fair. Upon further consideration I agree that last paragraph was off-base.


#1303

Y’all are fun, this is a good forum.


#1304

I think the Obama administration was severely handicapped in what it could have done once the Congress flipped. You saw what happened with Henry Gates the one time that Obama had an opinion about racist police treatment. “Stay out of this, or we turn your second term into Impeachment hearings.” Notice Obama had a lot less to say about the police after that, and I don’t think it was that he didn’t care.

It would take 20+ years of a government control by not fascist sociopaths to begin to really fix things. I’m not saying this from a “wait your turn” standpoint, I’m saying this a from a “how the system is supposed to work.” Right now shit is going completely off the rails, and we’re maybe 1 or 2 elections from a Autocracy.

Was he perfect, no, but I think he tried to slow down the momentum that is the government machine. Of course the curren’t shitgibbon-in-chief has decided crank things into overdrive.


#1305

Well, Obama may have tried to reign in police brutality and racism, but he was all for surveillance overreach. I lost a ton of respect for him right there. He’s still miles better than the con-man-in-chief we have now, but that’s not a very high bar.