Having posted a lot on political events recently, and throughout the years, I’m sure everybody has an opinion of where I stand on the political spectrum. I’ve said it before that I’m a moderate, although I’ve been labeled a liberal, presumably because my beliefs aren’t at the far right extreme, so by definition, of course I’m a liberal. Regardless, I’m in the middle. For example, I support concealed carry when it comes to guns. That’s not a very liberal position, is it? I’m not even against it in public and private venues, although those venues should have the right to institute a “no guns allowed” policy. So I’m not sure as to where that places me in the eyes of the Right.
Having said that, my defense of muslims in general might lead people to assume that means that I blindly support accepting those 10,000 Syrian refugees into our country. I actually haven’t made a decision of where I stand on that. I understand the legitimate concerns that terrorists can sneak in. But I don’t like the creeping xenophobia that’s taking over a large part of our political discourse. If you’re not familiar with the term, “xenophobia” is very similar to racism, only instead targeting specific races, xenophobia targets pretty much any outsider who’s not “like us”. And it’s something that I think is going to dominate our society in the years ahead, and it’s already getting ugly.
But back to the refugees. It seems to me that a way can be found that can alleviate the concerns of people. First of all, I think it’s vital that we prioritize women, children, and the elderly. There are, indeed, many draft-age men among the refugees, but that’s because they are fleeing being conscripted into Assad’s army. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any women and children at all. Or have you ignored the photo of the three year old boy who drowned offshore near Turkey?
Secondly, I want to know exactly what taking them in entails: I certainly wouldn’t support just docking a boat off shore and letting them all flood into the hinterlands unmonitored. Where, exactly, are they going to be placed? When they talk about vetting, where does this vetting happen? I’ve heard it takes upwards of two years for the refugee screening process to be complete; where will they all be in the mean time? Can we/should we set up some kind of refugee camp somewhere to house them? We’re somewhat fortunate in that 10,000 seems like a number we can cope with, not like the literally millions that Europe is straining under right now. We need to help these people, but that also should ultimately mean defeating Daesh (remember that term: it’s another name for ISIS that seems to finally be taking root in the media, and it’s a preferred term for various reasons) and stabilizing Syria so they can go home. Is that even possible? It’s such a bleak situation that it seems futile, but we need to find a way.
Now, I’m sure there are people there ready to post links in comments to some right-wing websites “proving” this or that, blah blah blah…save it. I simply don’t trust those sites’ honesty. And I don’t believe Obama is purposefully letting in terrorists because he’s out to destroy this country. So don’t bother. I’m just saying that we can at least let the women, children and elderly in.