Encouraging Fear

Immigrants have made the United States what it is today

By Ina Albert

Taking a deeper, more penetrating look at the presidential campaign is difficult. I can’t seem to get away from the emotion of it to get beneath the surface to the meaty issues we need to consider. I keep asking myself how and why Donald Trump supporters are so angry and fearful that they don’t recognize that he is a threat to the democratic process and all it stands for – the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, treaties and international alliances, the Supreme Court and the tradition of immigration that made this nation possible in the first place. Why not feel gratitude for what we have and compassion for those struggling to survive?

The original settlers of our country fled tyranny. How can closing our borders to legitimate Mexicans and Muslims, sending 11 million back to their country of origin without evidence that they are a threat, be any different than what England did under King George in Colonial times? How are bombing, murdering and water boarding any less cruel than the treatment immigrants have endured at the hands of tyrants? We are blessed with the people who come here to escape that treatment and seek freedom to build a meaningful life. America has profited from immigration throughout its history. Their/our talents, inventions, hard labor and entrepreneurism built this country. It is our differences that created our success, not our similarities.

This is a deeply personal issue for most Americans who came here seeking freedom. Had America not welcomed refugees from Russia and Eastern Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s, my husband and I would have been murdered in the Holocaust. If the Irish immigration never happened, thousands would have perished because of the potato famine. Italians came here after the Civil War fleeing poverty and government repression. They helped rebuild this country by replacing the labor force of a half million Americans who died in the war. Chinese immigrants helped build our railroads. The list is endless.

Yes, some earlier settlers felt threatened by each of these migrations. But we came together to build a stronger nation that offered, and still offers, the best living standards in the world.

Are Trump’s supporters reflecting the same anger that some of our forefathers displayed at each new wave of settlers in America? Or is this just another passing phase of rebellion that will disappear as they assimilate?

No! Because Trump can’t afford an expanding flow of newcomers to America. More immigrants mean more people to control.

No! Because he wants to be the sole authority.

“I am your voice.”

“I am the only one who can fix our problems.”

If his is the only voice that matters, we are left voiceless and powerless.

No! Because he is supported by White Nationalists who are

intolerant of anyone who isn’t a White Christian of Western European descent. Immigrants are the last thing these people want.

No! Because people are fooled into thinking that he really means what he promises. Economically disenfranchised men and women believe he will solve their problems, make the world a safer place, and create the jobs and opportunities that they long for.

They say:

“He speaks my language.”

“He tells it like it is.”

“He’s not politically correct.”

“He’s just like me.”

No! Because he’s not just like you! He’s a huckster who will promise you the moon and leave you cold and hungry on a dark night. You will be suckered just like the business people in Atlantic City and the students of Trump University. And there is no worse feeling than being had.

No! Because this is the first time a presidential candidate is running for dictatorship, not to represent the people.

No! Because Trump encourages us to fear our neighbors, destroy relationships with allies and suggests nuclear solutions rather than negotiations with foreign governments.

Trump is a danger to us all. His encouragement of anger will not solve our problems. It will only increase them. And the fear he inspires is paralyzing. It makes cowards of us all and produces isolation, anger, separation and resentment. Rather than being pulled apart, let’s come together to make America an open and compassionate haven in which we all can thrive together.

No! Because Trump is not the stuff of America.

America is and has always been so much more!

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