No more sympathy for the devil
“Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name
What’s confusing you is the nature of my game” — Jagger and Richards
Toward the climax of Steven King’s underrated modern morality tale, “The Stand,” one of the protagonists says to minions of the literary demon incarnate, “Just so we understand each other: Randall Flagg is an apostate of hell, and you guys kiss his a- -.”
For some time now, I have been trying to find a way to say what the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil apologists for Donald Trump need to hear, and I think I just did.
Regrettably, if what has unfolded and despite protestations to the contrary, continues to unfold on this country’s southern border has not been sufficient to penetrate their reality resistant denial, I am pretty sure that nothing an old country newspaperman can say is apt to do the trick. But I am obligated to try.
I told a lecturing professor and American historian of some renown in New Orleans recently, “I’m damn near 70 years old, and for the first time in my life, I am genuinely afraid for this country.” His response? Not the balm of reassurance I suppose I’d sought, but rather, “I am, too.”
The very essence of the United States of America, that which prompted de Tocqueville to conclude so long ago that “America is great because America is good,” is ebbing before our eyes. And while not a majority, a lot of us, far too many of us, are unwillingly to open them, unwilling to view the ugliness that those they blindly adore are vesting upon what for so long truly was, “the last best hope of earth.”
There is, today, a stain upon the American soul that neither the bleach of sophistry and diversion nor the lye of equally caustic lies has been or will be able to remove. That which we were, that which we have always been in the eyes of the world, all of that which has combined to make up the ill-defined, but still readily recognizable concept of American exceptionalism is today diminished.
As if it were needed, we have been reminded yet again that all that’s required for evil to flourish is for good men do nothing. The American people are better than the man they elected to lead them and the sycophants with whom he has surrounded himself.
It is high time we tell him so.
It is high time for the truth. And here it is:
Photos and recordings of crying babies became too politically toxic for Trump and Associates to continue their indefensible policy (not a law, a policy, Trump’s own policy) of separating adult immigrant and asylum seekers from their children, so he is now claiming credit for stopping a disaster he created in the first place.
That disaster has not stopped. Asylum seekers are being turned away at legal points of entry and when they attempt to cross the border elsewhere, they are being arrested — and charged with a misdemeanor that is being prosecuted more relentlessly than many felonies.
They are being locked up — now with their kids, pending a judge’s ruling in the extant lawsuit governing such things — and housed in “detention centers,” some still being created on federal properties, including military bases and which look, feel and ring all too much like places Japanese Americans were heinously confined in the wake of Pearl Harbor.
There are, at very least, some 2,300 kids, from teens to babies, who have been scattered all over the country, and apparently nobody, the kids, their parents (many of whom have been deported) or the government, has the first clue about how to reunite them.
And all of this has been and continues to be done not for “national security,” nor for “maintaining the integrity of the border,” nor to “enforce the law,” but for politics. Electoral politics.
We must, indeed, make our “Stand” against a far more clear and present danger than the one of King’s imaginings. We must stand and collectively say: Basta. Enough. No mas. No more.
This, we must do to continue to call ourselves Americans. This we must do to continue asking God to bless America and croon that it is the land that we love.
Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of The Deer Creek Pilot.