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Americans need empathy, more than empty-headed "solutions"

Reader comment on item: What's Trump's Policy on Visas for Muslims?
in response to reader comment: I AGREE to a degree

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 31, 2016 at 07:38

Hi, Oliver

I agree with your opinion about immigration and vetting. It's hard or impossible to know, just what exactly The Donald will DO about immigration once he gets in office (if this happens). His priority in all things, in this campaign, has been to feel and express empathy with the American people. Based on what he's seen, which is probably similar to what I've seen, I think these feelings resonate among us:

Our social fabric is unravelling: Families are breaking up more and more, if they've ever been together; parents have trouble relating to their children, and there seems to be no reliable, visible model for parents to build on or for children to relate to. Much of this is caused by an unstable, continually changing economy (caused, some think, by jobs going overseas and overseas workers coming here and taking our jobs). This is also because of a government that has values foreign to the values we grew up with, and which dictates to us an alien lifestyle. What's more, the world situation, which the US used to be in control of, is spinning out of control and we seem to be too confused and/or weak to deal with it as a country.

If I've left anything out, it's because I do not have a detail picture, and indeed, Mr. Trump does not have a detailed picture. What we all have is a gut feeling that things are wrong, and that the above is a big part of it. In the face of this, our leaders for years have been confidently proposing "solutions" to problems that they didn't seem to understand in the first place. What they seem to be looking for now, is not an "Answer Man", as much as someone who has a feeling for what they're going through. Donald Trump seems to be good at communicating, that he is that man.

As for "Who is an American??", that's a subject all to itself. We are not just a bunch of ingredients, jammed into a Veg-e-matic and stirred together, or the "Melting Pot" myth that our parents may have believed. The US is a society of people interacting with one another; and the rules of that society have been handed down to us over some ten generations, primarily from England. South of the Rio Grande, a different set of values have been handed down, largely from Spain and Portugal. In both North and South America, we have a common heritage in the language, history, mythology, religion and legal system of the Roman Empire -- especially including the Middle East; and there, the Jewish people.

People who do not share this heritage are certainly welcome; but they must, and are expected to, mesh in with the rest of us. As I said, people like the Mexicans and other Latinos, come from a background that is not that different from our own; and I don't believe they pose any great risk to us as a people. Neither do Chinese, Koreans and Japanese who settle here seem to have a hard time "getting it". With the Muslims, there seems to be much more of a problem: Americans do not worship Allah, nor look to Muhammed as a guiding light. In fact, to millions of Americans, it is the vilest sin to abandon the God of the Bible to worship another; and to many of these Muslims, it is equally reprehensible to accept the God of Israel, let alone the atheist and hedonist lifestyle that most Americans seem to practice. That is not simply a cultural issue: It can be a dangerous security issue. Many Americans sense this, and so does Mr. Trump. The other candidates seem to be unable to recognize this problem, let alone deal with it.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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