A Little Xenophobia Doesn’t Hurt Now and Then

Ever since the attacks on Paris took place the issue of refugees seeking asylum in the United States has taken center stage. More to the point, Syrian refugees. Once again, the majority of the posts on social media have been of the snarky variety. The rest of the pro-refugee agenda has been pushed by what the left and their figurehead seem to gravitate towards the strongest; appealing to emotion and letting reason take a backseat.

President Obama yesterday:  “It’s very important that…we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.” This argument only works if Paris had never happened and if the Tsarnaev brothers had never existed. There are times when a certain level of xenophobia is not only warranted but necessary in order to keep a populace safe. The term, “xenophobia” itself is being thrown around like a dirty word among the pundits, bloggers and talking heads of the American left at the moment in order to cover that fact. It is prudent to have a bit of arachnophobia when faced with a large spider that has crawled onto your bed. It’s prudent to be acrophobic when working on the roof of a house. It’s prudent to be aquaphobic when someone asks you if you’d like to go sailing during a hurricane. These phobias when confined to a certain amount of time are life-saving. Their brief existence when needed does not mean that people who experience them are going to go on a spider killing rampage, insist that houses be no more than 10 feet tall anymore and that sailing be banned and boats impounded.

The fear, or at least the argument of fear proposed by the left is; xenophobia can’t simply be, “turned off” and if we close our borders to refugees we are going against our core values, which have sustained the United States since it’s inception. It is interesting to note that when it comes to the prospect of refugees and undocumented people entering the country, the left will cling to the idea of core values based on American history and in the next sentence decry the evil’s of conservatism, mock the 2nd amendment and then proclaim themselves to be, “progressive.” I am not suggesting that xenophobia or any particular phobia is as easy to turn off as a light switch. However, in a country like the United States with such an influx of people every year and with such a complex “melting pot” (I hate that term) existence, that xenophobia would not be the law of the land after it had worn out its usefulness. We simply enjoy variety consciously or sub-consciously too much to be alright with stifling the potential of further variety.

So what is the motivation for the push for Syrian refugees to be settled in the United States by the left? That is a complicated question. But to my fellow conservatives, here are three reasons thrown around by the right which are laughably false:

  1. The President is in league with radical Islam.
  2. The Democrats are trying to secure people who would be beholden to them in elections.
  3. Democrats do not care about the country.

Let me address these one by one. First, the President is not in league with radical Islamists. The reason being that I do not think he’s a sociopath and quite frankly, it just sounds goofy. I will be the first to criticize the man and his presidency but this reasoning is ridiculous. Second, while you can make the case for this, it takes generations to assimilate into a political culture which is nearly exactly the opposite of what your religious convictions tell you. Once a devout Muslim gains citizenship, do you honestly believe he or she would vote for a candidate that openly expresses support for gay rights? Think again. Finally, the idea of one group of people bound by political affiliation not caring about their country smacks of National Socialism. Both ends of the political spectrum are guilty of leveling this claim on each other and it is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction argument used when an angry person has nothing to say.

So again, where is the motivation? It is necessary of any ideology to believe in an oppressor class in order to sustain itself. The ideologue will be quick to point out what is wrong with absolutely everything and then when confronted with the question of how to fix it retreat to a bevy of whimsical musings about how things could be. Ideology is interesting, as it does not necessarily need to be bound to the scientific method in order to be proclaimed worthy of attempt. This makes for a very soft science. How are soft sciences sustained? Through the strength of conviction. The ideology of the left is fueled in its darkest, deepest corners by elements of socialism. Socialists are nearly obsessed with the idea of an oppressor class. Therefore, the streams of socialist ideology which leak into the more mainstream thought of the left is absolutely the motivation for the acceptance of refugees. The motivation lies in the fact that regardless of the projected utopian outcome of any social plan, or the stark contrast of the more than likely scenario of the opposite, the ideologue is at least half convinced that they are acting in the best interest of the people.

So in conclusion; I believe that at this time it would be in America’s best interest to keep our citizens as safe as possible and close our borders. A little xenophobia goes a long way when there is evil enough in the world to exploit a refugee crisis in order to use it as a jumping off point to murder the innocent.

 

 

 

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A Little Xenophobia Doesn’t Hurt Now and Then

Social Media, Murder and the Decline of Decorum

Last Friday evening, I much like millions of other people around the globe, found myself glued to the coverage of the terrorist attacks that were taking place in Paris. Hour after hour of horror and shock mixed with conflicting reports from different news organizations left me nearly exhausted. I decided to turn the channel to something brainless and wait for the morning. My motivation being that we should have a clearer picture of what had taken place and who was responsible and so forth. That is when I made my mistake.

I decided to head to Twitter to see what the world was saying in reaction. Twitter, in my opinion, is a far more useful social media platform than Facebook. The limitation of characters forces the poster to be short and to the point and therefore it is very easy to decide whether or not the person you are reading is a lunatic. As I had figured, it was scroll after scroll of short but sweet, “Pray for Paris” tweets with very little difference between them. A few clicks of the thumb and I found myself on Facebook. That is where I found myself getting angry.

When I was a kid, we used to go to my Grandmother’s house almost every weekend for family dinners. I remember only a couple of constants.

  1. There was always either opera or Russian classical music on. Which didn’t thrill a 6-year-old me.
  2. Onion dip. Don’t ask me why but there was always an enormous bowl of onion dip and ridged chips waiting for us when we got there. No one complained.
  3. A large meal. Russian meals have no rhyme or reason. You will get meatballs and potato salad. You will get hot roast beef, gravy and pickles. Its odd. But it works. Trust me.
  4. Discussion about politics over coffee. Which even at 6 years old struck me as odd and I’d find myself thinking, “aren’t we not supposed to talk about this stuff at dinner?”

My family is not the exception to this rule. It is a common misconception that neither politics nor religion are widely discussed in polite company. However, I wager that you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’d consider their family to be, “polite company.” That’s a different story. As I grew older, I realized that this rule only really applied to when people are in public. Even then its impossible to frequent bars or restaurants without at least one over-heard reference to something political. So I began to think about it. The rule, at least in the current time, now only seems to mean that it is impolite to talk loudly about politics in polite company (public). The problem is; with the advent of social media and more to the point, Facebook, no one seems to be concerned with being polite anymore.

You’d think that people being slaughtered by ideological lunatics would warrant a modicum of respect… at least until the attacks were over. Wrong. Before the blood had dried, both sides of the political spectrum were spinning the attacks into their own respective webs of absolute garbage.

My friends on the right;

  1. Do you see what gun control does now?!
  2. CLOSE THE BORDERS
  3. Islam is evil and must be destroyed.
  4. France is weak, it got what was coming to it.

My friends on the left;

  1. Before we speculate on who the attackers were, let’s get all the facts! (after numerous confirmed reports that it was radical Islamists.)
  2. Oh great, now we’ll have a new wave of Islamophobia.
  3. Not all Muslims are terrorists. (I agree with this one… however in the context of timing these posts seemed more like the musings of apologists rather than genuine concern for discrimination.)

All of these posts cropped up during and within hours of the reported end of the attacks. The problem with these posts aside from the nauseatingly poor timing is this; with the advent of social media, we have a large segment of the population which believe themselves to be experts on everything. It gets worse. The glaring issue with pseudo-expertise born from social media exposure is that it is solely based on snark. The concept one adopts of themselves is glaringly different from the actual product when they post something sensational. The problem is; on social media, the idea of oneself is immaterial. It is a fake world, filled to the brim with escapists and loudmouths. The glib factor┬áthat comes from sharing something that was created only to anger or irk the “other side” should be enough to prevent most people from being as secondarily vocal as they become during times of crisis. However, in a fake world, this is simply not the case because there are no immediate repercussions.

Does social media make us ignorant? Perhaps. It definitely seems to soothe the idea of seeming ignorant to others. So what did I take from the onslaught of ill-timed posts? Basically nothing of substance. It did however, further my notion that the electronic world is eroding our ideas of propriety. We no longer need to stand up and face real-time criticisms of our narratives. We can back up our points with memes made by other people. Bad Luck Brian and Kermit-drinking-tea have more pull with the majority of Facebookers than the prospect of opening a news paper. That is the world we live in. Before Facebook, we could ignore loudmouths and walk away or change the channel. Now they live in our pockets on our smartphones. Thanks, Mark.

 

Social Media, Murder and the Decline of Decorum