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America’s Lost Soul

‘The land of the free and the home of the brave.’
That is the America we all, Americans and foreigners alike, once admired.
It is the America that once welcomed the ‘huddled masses, yearning to be free’.
But it is not Donald Trump’s America.
Donald Trump’s America locks immigrant children in cages while their parents are being ‘processed’, supervised – and sometimes, apparently, ridiculed – by uniformed guards with guns.
Donald Trump’s America is an America that is in danger of losing its soul.
I see that one commentator has already recalled Judge Joseph N. Welch’s famous comment during the Army-McCarthy hearings, but I make no apology by following suit. Welch, it may be recalled, effectively ended the career and reputation of Senator Joseph McCarthy, chairman of the Senate Sub-Committee on Investigations – and America’s last prominent political bully – with a single devastating line: “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
In ending McCarthy’s career, Welch earned immortality of a kind by entering every anthology of quotations. Half a century later it bears repeating.
It is unlikely to be invoked by a Republican. Welch’s sense of decency and the Grand Old Party have parted company. Leading party figures are supine in their tolerance for, and in some cases admiration of, an administration that has brought not only the party but the country into disrepute. The Republican Party, especially its congressional components, has relinquished all claims of moral credibility.
The good judge will not be quoted by Trump’s creepy lap-dog of a vice president. The perpetually smiling and unfailingly worshipful Mike Pence is as usual bent on sucking up to his boss come what may. On this occasion he has the gall to justify his master’s actions by referring to what he regards as Christian values. Some values. It hardly needs saying that the founder of his faith would emphatically not have gone along with him on this issue – or for that matter on many other aspects of Trump’s obsession with immigration.
Either Pence doesn’t know this or doesn’t care. The latter would be my confident guess. Pence may claim to venerate Jesus of Nazareth, but his real Lord and Saviour is the man who currently sits in the White House.
There are limits to what even Pence should tolerate from Trump, let alone the rest of us. It is one thing when Trump violates the established protocols of diplomacy. His ridicule of foreign leaders arguably may be deserved. His treatment of long-standing allies as potential rivals may have some merit. And he is entitled to tweet any amount of puerile nonsense while sitting in bed munching on hamburgers, since he is the one who is ultimately embarrassed. These actions and words, however misguided we may view them, are part of his overarching presidential prerogative.
Some among us may even be forgiven for seeing some merit in them. Trump promised to shake things up a little in Washington, or as he put it, ‘drain the swamp’, and that is in itself no bad thing. Some of us may even secretly chuckle at his curious methods, and concede that they might, just might, against all expectations, actually produce the occasional positive result, however deplorable the means of achieving it.
But separating children from their parents and putting them, screaming and wailing, in compounds, as if they were prisoners-of-war is a different order of magnitude. Tolerating this state of affairs has no part to play in the endless debate about immigration. There are two sides to the argument, and they should be heard. But there can be no debate about using children as political pawns, which is what they are, not even if Mr Pence wants to believe that his supreme maker would approve.
If you can’t adhere to the rules of diplomacy, Mr Trump, then at least observe the rules of civilised society.
Have you left no sense of decency?

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One Comment

  1. Robert Myers Robert Myers

    Sense of decency? It would require a heart, a soul, and a compassionate mind, none of which are possessed by the Napalm headed idiot president.
    He is a toxic danger to the entire world. A fascist in disguise as a fascist. A hate monger without a shred of decency nor sense of shame. Notice that no one is ever able to shame him. He lacks the requisite humanity. Even atheists are praying for his demise. May the day come when he’s carted off in cuffs to a nice cold cell. So we of the resistance are begging the British government to grant all of us asylum and protect us from the harm this pathological liar dishes out by following Putin’s lead and annex us. Get us the hell out of here!

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