If the dominant chord in our nation’s political rhetoric remains unchanged terrorism will have won out against freedom.
In a calculated move to score cheap political points in the wake of the brutal attacks in Paris, France over the weekend at least 27 of the governors in the United States have made statements or policy changes in an effort to slow or stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
One of those governors is Iowa’s Terry Branstad. I am often embarrassed by the governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad. In election after election the voters in the state of Iowa reelect the governor for life regardless of the imperial actions he takes and the imperious attitude he has for anyone who stands in the way of his desires.
Now I am ashamed to say that I come from the state of Iowa. Branstad himself acknowledges that the rhetoric is little more than hot air and political posturing. Given an opportunity to score cheap political points over half of the nation’s governors took the money and ran.
This is the time when the United States should open its arms to the very people who are fleeing terror. Even though the nation’s governors, self-admittedly, do not have power over immigration, a power which rests solely in the hands of the federal government, the rhetoric has a chilling effect on the ability of refugees to successfully integrate into American society.
Families do not risk their lives to climb aboard flimsy inflatable boats in the vague hope of a better life unless that which they are fleeing is so terrible as to be unimaginable. If we continue down this xenophobic path the terrorists will have won the day and, perhaps, the war.
Our values are stronger than what is on display with our elected officials. Our culture is stronger than the threat of terrorism. Our country is better than this.