There has been a lot of discussion in the news lately about the decision to allow Syrian refugees to enter the United States. Historically speaking, the U.S. has maintained an open door policy to people in need, which is, fundamentally speaking, a noble and humane policy. However, in this politically complex day and age, one can also see the validity in questioning such a policy. At this point in time, that question is more valid than ever, particularly with regard to refugees from Syria.
It is important to understand that the position of the U.S. on the matter is not to deny entry to the Syrian refugees, but to add an extra layer of security and scrutiny to the process in an effort to screen out potential terrorists posing as refugees from Syria. This is the same scenario that made the recent attack possible in Paris. It seems simple and logical enough, and at least worth looking at – or so one would assume.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Once again, the media machine has reduced it to a polarized issue of liberal vs. conservative, of right vs. left, and of good vs. evil. The American public is lining up right behind them. The concern is that the U.S. is losing the ability, as a nation, to evaluate issues with compassion, balance, and objectivity. Americans have become so obsessed with defending their positions and keeping within their party lines that they may have become incapable of seeking compromise.
In that vein, either the U.S. as a whole is for or against the security of the Syrian refugees. Citizens are for or against police officers who kill unarmed civilians. The nation is for or against Obamacare, and the list goes on endlessly.
Donald Trump is an excellent example of a “politician” who spouts right-wing dogma perfectly tailored for today’s overfed and overpaid Americans. He seems to speak directly to the “one percent,” justifying and validating their own insensitive and one-dimensional view of humankind.
There is a school of thought that one should not buy any food products advertised on TV because they are all manufactured products rife with chemicals and devoid of nutritional value. Need a snack? Eating an apple is not advertised. Need vitamin D? Get out into the sun because it is free.
People are starting to feel the same about the news. A viewpoint is necessary today. Americans need to get their own.
Opinion by Patrick Ambrosio
Image Courtesy of IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation’s Photostream’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License