I'm not going to bother with an in depth breakdown of Trump's Executive Order on immigration. Plenty of those have already been written, and a few of them are even accurate (examples: here and here). I have only a few random points that need to be emphasized:
1. EVERYONE CALM DOWN.
I wasn't able to pay very close attention to the news this weekend, so I witnessed the hysterical meltdown over the Executive Order before I'd had a chance to read the actual text (a step that 98 percent of the protesters have clearly not taken). From the way the Left went into full meltdown mode, you'd think that Trump took some kind of extreme, incredible, unthinkable step. That is, you might come to that conclusion if you hadn't noticed that the Left is now in a state of perpetual nuclear meltdown. The Fukushima meltdown went on for three days; the Left's own nuclear meltdown is sure to outlast that by a factor of a thousand.
Trump's action here is certainly more than Obama ever did or ever would do, but it's not entirely unprecedented even by Obama's standards. As has been pointed out many times since Friday, Obama put a temporary hold on the Iraqi refugee program for 6 months back in 2011. If you happened to be in an airport after Obama signed that order, you may have noticed the complete lack of protesting going on. On second thought, you probably would not have noticed because, back in those ancient times, you never would have expected to see a national panic over a reasonable measure meant to ensure that terrorists aren't entering the country. But those were also the days when Obama could assassinate US citizens without the Left uttering a word or protest. They were more easy going back then, it seems. I wonder why?
Anyway, yes, Trump's order goes beyond Obama's. Trump is putting a hold on the Syrian refugee program until the process can be revamped and security measures are put in place. He's also suspending all refugee admissions for just 4 months. And he is temporarily preventing the citizens of 7 terrorists hot spots from entering the United States. Those hot spots are: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. It should be noted that Trump did not single out those countries by name in his Executive Order. He simply adopted the Obama Administration's list of "countries of concern." It was Obama who highlighted them initially. Trump just took the next logical step.
If these measures seem radical, they only seem radical to us because we'd grown accustomed to a president who did very little to protect national security and sovereignty. Indeed, we'd grown accustomed to a president who, infamously, couldn't even bring himself to verbally acknowledge Islamic terrorism. Compared to that, yes, what Trump has done here is absolutely shocking. Looked at objectively, however, it's honestly not that radical. It's not a big deal at all, really. It's a sensible first step towards ensuring that American citizens are better protected from the violence and chaos overseas.
What would these protesters have us do, anyway? Somalia, Syria, Libya -- these are failed states. They're literal breeding grounds for terrorism. They're like an assembly line for mass murdering zealots. These are some of the most dangerous places on Earth. Nobody is saying that we should never again admit anyone from this region of the world, but it seems enormously sensible to take a brief and temporary pause to assess how we admit them.
Should we not even do that much? Really?
You have to be suicidal, an idiot, or a liar to act like Trump has committed some kind of atrocity simply because he wants to ensure that we're being extremely careful when we open our doors to people from nests of global jihadism. Speaking of which:
2. If you call this a "Muslim ban", you are a godforsaken liar.
Let's cut to the chase. There's no other way of putting it. When you refer to Trump's "Muslim ban," you're lying. If you aren't directly lying, then you're blindly lobbing accusations without stopping to confirm whether the accusations are true. And that's the same thing as lying. So, you're a liar. Stop it. Stop lying so much.
A "Muslim ban" would be a ban on Muslims. A ban on Muslims would be a law that prevents Muslims from entering the United States based solely on the fact that they are Muslim. No such law exists. No such Executive Order was issued. Trump's policy temporarily prevents citizens from only 7 Muslims majority countries from coming to the country, which leaves about 43 Muslim majority countries unaffected. The only problem a rational person could have with this decision is that more Muslim nations -- Saudi Arabia, especially -- should have been included. Perhaps they will be in the future. But you're a fool if you argue that fewer countries should have been targeted. And you're a liar if you claim that the targeting of these terrorism factories is tantamount to a "Muslim ban."
It's not Donald Trump's fault that all of the countries that churn out terrorists also happen to be Muslim. The reason that Christian majority countries aren't being subjected to a ban is that Christian majority countries aren't exporting jihadists left and right. Now, it goes without saying that if Christian terrorism was even a thing, and if there were Christian nations that had collapsed into anarchy and were now producing scores of Christian militants bent on violently enslaving the planet in the name of Christ, then these very same Leftists would be the first to shout for a ban, at a minimum. I wouldn't be surprised to hear them clamoring for a series of nuclear strikes to finally eradicate the Christian scourge once and for all.
But that's not the situation we face. The situation is that certain Muslim majority countries -- and only Muslim majority countries -- have become hatcheries for global terrorism. If there's a link between the fact that these countries produce terrorists and the fact that these countries are majority Muslim, that's something the Islamic community should take up with itself. In the meantime, all we can do is respond to the reality as it presents itself.
3. The Trump Administration needs to stop undermining its own agenda.
There's no use harping on the chaotic scene that unfolded on Friday and Saturday, after the Executive Order was unveiled but nobody on the ground knew exactly how to execute it. There was some confusion in the early going about whether legal residents from these countries are now unceremoniously barred from returning to the country in which they lawfully reside. Some Green Card holders who were currently in transit to the US when the order was issued found themselves in a precarious spot upon landing on American soil. The confusion was unnecessary.
Certainly, the Left would have gone into hysterics regardless. But there's no reason to supply them with ammunition. It seems clear now, after DHS has had time to sort out the particulars, that those with Green Cards or dual citizenship can come back to the United States; they'll simply have to undergo some additional screening when they get here. That makes sense. The original approach to this issue made no sense, mainly because nobody seemed to know what the approach was supposed to be.
These are things that should have been sorted out ahead of time. It's completely inexcusable to move forward with an Executive Order as crucial as this without knowing exactly how it's going to be carried out. The fact that the Department of Homeland Security was left to interpret the order on the fly, after it had already been issued, is lunacy. Donald Trump is not a legal expert, nor is he an expert on terrorism or immigration. He doesn't need to be, but he does need to have a team of experts around him, and he does need to consult with them before making this kind of move. If he had, the Left still would have protested, but they wouldn't have had as fodder the image of a five year old boy being detained for hours at the airport, only to be tearfully reunited with his understandably devastated mother in full view of news cameras.
These kinds of things are avoidable. Trump needs to do the work to avoid them. There are no excuses for the clumsy, ham-fisted way in which this was executed.
4. If Islam isn't to blame for terrorism, why are you so worried about turning Muslims into terrorists?
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one whose had this thought.
It seems odd to hear so many Leftists declaring that Trump's immigration policy will inspire more terrorism against the United States. If Muslims aren't prone to violence, as the Left insists, why would an Executive Order provoke these non-violent folks to violence? Iran has announced that it will ban US citizens in retaliation to Trump's move. Well, we don't want to go there anyway, so no big deal. But even so, you'll notice how nobody is worried that Americans will be inspired to commit terrorist attacks against Iran because of Iran's immigration policy. Indeed, nobody ever worries that citizens of any western nation will be turned into terrorists because of the bigotries and prejudices harbored against us by non-western nations. We only ever worry about "turning" Muslims into terrorists. Might this indicate that Muslims are more easily turned into terrorists? And if so, might we wonder why that's the case?
You can't have it both ways here. Either Muslims are peaceful and can be expected to respond to Trump the same way peaceful westerners respond to foreign leaders they don't like, or Muslims are often violent and can be expected to respond to Trump the way irrational, violent people respond to anything they don't like. You can't start with the premise of the former scenario and then leap to the conclusion of the latter. If Muslims are peaceful, we need not worry about provoking them with our immigration laws. If they're not peaceful, then that's all the more reason for Trump's Executive Order. In either case, the Leftist narrative doesn't hold up.
But I suppose it rarely does anyway.
To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.