Monday, November 24, 2014

The Immigration Debate, the Executive Order, and the Other

Charles Blow in the NY Times:

Don’t let yourself get lost in the weeds. Don’t allow yourself to believe that opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is only about that issue, the president’s tactics, or his lack of obsequiousness to his detractors. 
This hostility and animosity toward this president is, in fact, larger than this president. This is about systems of power and the power of symbols. Particularly, it is about preserving traditional power and destroying emerging symbols that threaten that power.
....
This president is simply the embodiment of the threat, as far as his detractors are concerned, whether they are willing or able to articulate it as such. There is no denying the insinuations in such language: a fear of subjugation by people like this president, an “other” person, predisposed to lawlessness. ....
From this worldview, liberalism isn’t simply an alternate political sensibility, but a rot, an irreparable ruination, a violation of the laws of the land as the founding fathers (most of whom owned slaves at some point) envisioned, but also of the laws of nature, which they see as being directed by God. There are so many examples of this: opposition to L.G.B.T. rights, to the science undergirding climate change and efforts to arrest that change, and to allowing women a full range of reproductive options. 
Make no mistake: This debate is not just about this president, this executive order or immigration. This is about the fear that makes the face flush when people stare into a future in which traditional power — their power — is eroded, and about their desperate, by-any-means determination to deny that future.

1 comment:

John-Julian Swanson, OJN said...

Oh, wow! is that right on!

No president in American history has suffered such ad hominem attacks—but then, no president in history has been African-American (and, therefore, a REAL threat the power people).