Don’t Have To Live Like A Refugee


Damn, we’re only a week into the Trump presidency and I already wish I lived in an alternate reality; just like Trump supporters do.

A few months ago I was talking to a Canadian follower, Mike Ladano, in the comment section of “Icky Trump” and we got on the topic of the refugee crisis.

Do people worry about something bad happening? I asked him.

Oh yeah people are uneasy. Heck I’m uneasy! It’s naive to think ISIS will not use this tragedy to their advantage. It’s also naive to assume every country will be able to screen out all the bad people. But it’s a humanitarian crisis and people are split. A lot of “not our problem” vs. “Canada is the kind of country that helps.” A lot of “not worth the risk” vs. “we have to try to help”. And each side points to headlines around the world to make their points. 

This sentiment basically sums up how I feel about the issue. It would be naive of me to think that a few bad apples won’t make there way in with the rest of the bunch, but I’m not heartless enough to support turning away tens of thousand of people fleeing war, oppression and destruction. I’d like to think that America is the kind of country that would help; but sadly, I’ve been proven wrong.

I have a daughter and of course I worry about her, but the addition of Syrian refugees isn’t going to change that. I live in a community filled with people who think they need to own fully automatic AR-15s and whatever other type of high capacity weapons they can get their hands on because it’s their right to defend themselves against the tyranny of the federal government.

No, I’m not worried about refugees.

16265621_1435604136481766_5452606032854278941_nAnd the crazy thing about this: It’s not all based on a sense of righteousness or wanting to do the right thing. I honestly don’t think that bombing the shit out of Daesh is the way to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. Sure, we have enough nukes to kill every living thing on the planet seven times over, so we have the firepower to turn everything from Turkey to Iran into a glow-in-the-dark parking lot, but is that the answer?

When we send a drone strike to Yemen or Somalia or Sudan and kill a terrorist is that the end of the story? What about the terrorists’ friends? Or wife? Or brothers? Or children? These are people who will say “America killed my friend, my husband, my brother or my father. Is drone warfare eliminating terrorists or breeding them? If we send in a bomb to kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi how long to you think it would take before he is replaced? It took him eleven years after Saddam Hussein was overthrown, but with Assad on the ropes and the region in chaos, it won’t take long for someone else to rise to power.

And will they be any better?

I don’t want to come off like some sort of world-peace, patchouli-smelling hippie, but I don’t think war is helping anything at this point in history. I know Saddam Hussein was not a good guy. I know that Bashar al-Assad is not a good guy. I know that the terrorists getting hit by drone missiles are not good people. And yes, I know Donald Trump is doing what he thinks it right. The point that I’d like to make is I don’t agree with him.

We could send 325 million Americans to Mesopotamia each armed with 20 million bullets and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. You can’t kill an ideology with a bullet. I think Trump is making it a lot easier for people who want to hate America to feel justified in that feeling. I know his rise to power has made me question my patriotism. How can I love a country that allows something like this to happen? A country that causes chaos in a part of the world then turns its back on those affected?

od6I’m not an expert on the subject, but didn’t I hear once that the best breeding ground for terrorists is refugee camps? If we want to stamp out radical Islamic terrorism shouldn’t we be welcoming people fleeing and showing them that we’re the good guys? Shouldn’t we be treating these people the way we want to be treated? Didn’t someone important once say ‘as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me‘?

The truth is that we can’t show Syrian refugees we’re the good guys because we’re not the good guys. I want to believe that there is hope (and I do see some), but it’s getting hard to believe. Calling America a Christian nation is an alternative fact.

I keep telling myself I’m doing some good from behind this computer. That I’m working and bettering myself and giving to charity and raising a caring, levelheaded daughter all that is enough. But I don’t really think it is. What I’d really like to do is sell all my possessions, join up with the UN, or Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services or the Peace Corp or just fly to Turkey and see what I can do. I don’t know much about carpentry, nursing, medicine, peacekeeping or soldiering, but I’m a fast learner.

But I know that doing that wouldn’t be enough either.


20 thoughts on “Don’t Have To Live Like A Refugee

    • Slowly but surely I’m becoming more aware of people and groups in opposition to Trump. It’ll be a rough couple of years, but we’ll make it.


  1. A really great post, Zack. I know Trump made campaign promises like this, but part of me expected that to be one of those things he would just say to gather support. I’m glad that a few European leaders are asking “what the fuck, Donald?” (though not the UK, cause the Government here think Post-Brexit Britain can lead the world with Trump’s US of A. Quick, get me the hell out of this strange fucked up world).

    At least Merkel gave him a row. I think she’d be good at giving people a row: “now listen here, Donald. I don’t know who you think you are, but you better brush up on your Geneva Refugee Convention documents”.

    Crazy times, man.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have been sitting here allowing my social media to go quiet. I see the posts, I see the memes. I see the blindfolded right wingers saying “what is wrong with him trying to keep us safe?”

    This. This is what’s wrong and it’s not looking like it’s been to get better. As outrage piles on outrage at Trump’s “shock tactics” designed to sidestep morality, I fear we will tire of the outrage. If we tire of the protests and marches, we lose. And he will try to make America tired of hearing about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a good point. I hadn’t considered that.
      I’ve been hoping things would calm down and instead of shock tactics we would return to normalcy. I forgot to consider that Trump was a celebrity before being elected so; unfortunately, he’ll probably be dominating the news for a while.
      I see this as both good and bad. Bad for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. I’ve been trying to stay off social media myself, but occasionally there comes an issue you can’t stay silent on.
      But it’s also good because everything he does is happening under a microscope. He can’t do anything without it being broadcast to the world. I don’t think he meant to, but he’s brought a new level of transparency to politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Has he? He has fired and frozen out people who know what they’re doing, and assigned his friends with no experience. The transparency is only what you’re seeing, but behind closed doors, Steve Bannon is changing the way your government functions.

        Liked by 2 people

        • That is true. A lot of high level State Department staff quit the other day rather than work under Trump.
          I still like to see people taking more of an interest in politics. Even if it is for a bad reason.
          His election has really highlighted some problems with our government. I doubt he’ll do anything to fix them because they are the problems that allowed him to become president. But the president doesn’t have unlimited power and people are already pushing back against him.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for writing this Zack – it’s been a discouraging week.
    It’s heartening to see people acknowledging that there aren’t any easy answers but that what’s currently happening is not acceptable.
    And raising a caring daughter? I’d say that’s an admirable place to start

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m coming out of my semi-retirement to agree with everything you’ve said in this post.

    Hard to know what to do right now, though I think it’s becoming more clear with time. I signed a few petitions at the White House website, which I know won’t do much, but at least I put my name on something and let the WH know I disagree with all of this. I also sent a letter to Gov. Kasich, expressing my concerns about the EPA (I work in Environmental Compliance) and asking him if he will continue to look out for our resources here in Ohio as the fed government has officially turned its back on science. I’m working on letters to my local congressional reps, too. Cause I’m a letter-writing kind of girl.

    We do what we can. Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I didn’t think the White House petition site was still a thing. I thought that would have left with Obama. I may have to check it out.
      And I may have to start writing some letters. I thought about sending this to the editor of my local paper, but I might reach more people this way.


    • I’m glad it was enjoyable. I’m very interested in politics so naturally I want to write about it every now and again, but I always try to get a good tune in there.


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