As time progresses, I am getting more and more of those “senior moments”. I am forgetting the names of people whom I have recently seen, the names of people I grew up with, the names of books and authors that I have long admired, the names of movies that had a great impact on my thinking. I forget where I left my car keys (damn it I had them in my hand 10 minutes ago!). I forget that I left my sunglasses on the roof of the car before I drove off. I forget, well, you get the picture.
So maybe you can help me out here. Tell me if I am wrong. Tell me if my memory is failing. I seem to recall that a couple of years ago, when three Western African nations were threatened by a frightening outbreak of the Ebola virus, nations like Australia, Jamaica and the United States placed an immediate ban on travellers from those nations. The decision was founded on the common sense belief that while the overwhelming majority of citizens living in Sierra Leone and Liberia were not carrying the Ebola virus, some were, and that at that point no one knew who they were. Therefore the safe play was to place an embargo on all of them, all of them who wanted to leave their countries and find safety here. It would have been phenomenally and criminally stupid to risk the welfare of our own citizens in order to genuflect to “migrant rights”, would it not?
What I don’t recall, however, is hearing any outraged liberal or Social Justice Warrior denounce this temporary measure as bigoted and ignorant. I don’t remember any of them calling public health officials “racist”, or lashing out a politician who backed the decision of the Center for Disease Control to act swiftly to protect Americans. After all, the first responsibility of elected leaders is to ensure public safety.
Yet, just over a year later, after the San Bernadino murders and the terrorist attacks in Brussels, politicians and commentators of every stripe denounced Donald Trump’s call for a ban on all Muslim immigration as outrageous and appalling. Banning all Muslims from entering this country, Mr. Trump? All Muslims? Really? Why that runs counter to everything this country stands for!
Yet, the rationale for Trump’s proposal was founded on the very same considerations that led to the blanket ban on the entry of people from regions afflicted by Ebola to the United States. Trump argued that Muslim applicants had not been vetted. True. He argued that even if 99.9% of Muslim applicants were OK, but 00.1% were not OK, we couldn’t take the chance that a hundred terrorists, or even one terrorist was among them. After all, it took what, just 19 Muslim conspirators to bring down the Twin Towers? Moreover, he emphasized that the ban he proposed would be temprorary. A fact that the liberal media seemed to have missed Once the dust had settled, and potential threats clearly identified, the ban would be lifted. Sounds reasonable to me.
Think about it this way. The ideology that inspires ISIL is communicable. It is a virus that afflicts a relatively tiny portion of the total Muslim population abroad, but nevertheless has spread with enormous speed and scope. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have not been able to keep on top of it. Who many ISIL operatives are out there? Who are they? Where are they? We don’t know.
Health officials in Liberia and Sierra Leone were possessed of the same kind of questions. And they didn’t have the answers. All that they knew, all that we knew, was that the virus had to be contained. But how do you contain a virulent and seemingly unstoppable virus like that? Well, there is one thing you don’t do. You don’t throw the borders wide open. You don’t wave everyone through the gate because to do otherwise would be a violation of their “rights”. You don’t forget that the primary obligation of any government, any President is, to repeat, protect public safety, not the people who seem to think that they have a divine entitlement to emigrate to your country. These are all things you don’t do. But then what do you do in the face of a threat like this?
You lock that damn gate and slam your front and back doors tight, that’s what.