The first 100 days of any presidential administration are always filled with lawsuits, controversy, and overall disdain for the winning party. But as of January 20, a whole new wave of controversy and disagreement washed over the political landscape. Naturally, everyone is cursing conservatives, liberals and anyone with a differing political opinion. With the new “Trump Administration” in office I’ve decided to interview students and staff around the school to see what everyone thinks.
Of all the controversial topics concerning this election, refugees are certainly one of the biggest on Capitol Hill. Strangely, almost every staff member interviewed has agreed that refugees are a vital part of our country regardless of their political stance.
English and radio teacher Bob Long said, “We need them; they’re the basis of our country.” While Long may be right as far as refugees being an integral part of making our country what it is today, government teacher Kristopher Gaug tends to focus on more current matters.
“We have a responsibility to help anyone who is in need,” Gaug said, “but we also have to help the people in our country who are in need.”
With this being said, we have two choices: stick to “true American values” or focus on current matters. We may say a current threat is more important than the latter, but this isn’t the first time a specific group was barred from entering the United States. In fact, in 1917, Woodrow Wilson believed more in upholding those “true American values” than protecting citizens from an apparent “threat.” Sadly, a ban on immigration was passed, blocking “undesirables,” despite Woodrow’s best efforts. With this in mind, we are left to wonder if immigration bans will continue to pass regardless of our country’s basic values.
Populism, Nationalism and Xenophobia
Many are confused as to why people are supporting anti-immigration acts and policies; there a simple answer: populism.
Populism is essentially appealing to the wants and needs of ordinary people, instead of having a rational discussion/debate. A few politicians who love this political strategy include: Marine Le Pen, Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. I’m not comparing or saying these politicians are the same, they just use similar political strategies.
Nationalism, nativism, and populism go hand in hand. With this in mind, it makes sense for Trump to want a wall. Building a wall and blocking some immigration equals more resources for the native-born Americans. This would make sense if we were a resource-stripped country requiring every resource available. Yet immigration and travel are unalienable rights, according to those “true American values” mentioned earlier, so a wall seems pretty unnecessary.
With these new policies being put into place, we’re left with little to do other than: sit, wait, and hope America doesn’t go down the toilet.
“The truth is, immigrants tend to be more American than the people born here.”