It was all fake. Every bit of it. The kid in the cage, staring forlornly out from his literally padded cell in the company of children wearing $69.95 Vans Sk8-Hi shoes? Fake. The picture of TRUMP CHILD CONCENTRATION CAMPS? It was from President Obama’s administration. The refugee child crying on the cover of TIME while Trump looks on with disdain? Not a refugee, and never separated from her family.
But if the coverage was entirely fake, the motive behind it was tiresomely real. After two years of trying every avenue of attack possible, the media has learned NAZI FUHRER DRUMPPPPPPFFFF’s weak spot: he is sentimental and doesn’t like to make people unhappy. The whole point of the fake-cage tempest-in-a-teapot was to get Trump to move the line on immigration a bit. Which he did, promptly stating that he would work to overturn the 1997-era legislation that governs the separate detention of children. Approximately an hour after he agreed to that, the media line changed.
Now it’s unethical to detain anybody at all, with or without their children. So the problem wasn’t separating children from their families at all; it was the detention of asylum seekers. The goal here is to return to the “catch and release” policy, which worked like so. You get caught crossing the border. You make an asylum claim. 95% of these claims are plainly false, and most of the remaining claims should have been handled in the first country the refugees entered, which is usually Mexico. That’s the UN Human Rights agreement.
Since ICE agents at the border are not judges, however, these 99% fake asylum seekers are given a date for an asylum hearing and then they are released into the general population of the United States, which is what they wanted in the first place. That is, in a nutshell, the policy that has allowed the United States to contain more than eleven million illegal, excuse me, “undocumented” immigrants. And it’s what everybody wants. When I say “everybody”, of course, I mean: the Democrats who expect grateful brown votes, Republicans who want grateful brown labor, rich people who want gardeners, limousine liberals who want to turn every bit of America brown with the obvious exception of their own gated community, which will remain lily-white.
The only people who aren’t on board are, oh, I don’t know, howsabout the entire working lower class of this country. They’ve been ignored since around the time George S. Patton charged through the Bonus Army with his saber raised and reaffirmed the right of the USG to murder its own people, a right which has been reaffirmed with monotonous regularity from Kent State to Ruby Ridge. The only person who has taken the dispossessed, disenfranchised Americans seriously in the past century is Donald J. Trump.
I have a lot of friends who reacted to FAKE CAGED KIDS with fury and misery. Some of them were even parents. “I wouldn’t want anybody to do this to my child!” Well, duh. As I read their emotion-laden rants, I realized that this country needs a solid dose of DadLogic.
Now, you probably think DadLogic would be something lame, because we now use “dad” as an adjective meaning “feckless, stupid, weak.” Dad jokes. Dad bod. Peter Griffin, Homer Simpson. To be a father in this country is to feel the full weight of pop culture’s active countermeasures. Commercials, songs, and movies portray you as the weakest, stupidest, most bigoted, and least capable member of the family.
Fuck all of that, if only for a moment. I’m talking DadLogic like your father applied when you were a child. Or at least like my father applied as a child.
“Dad, I want a puppy.”
“Who’s going to feed the puppy? Who’s going to pay the puppy’s medical bills? When the puppy reaches 100 pounds and drops turds the size of footballs, who’s going to clean it up? What happens when we go on vacation?” DadLogic sucked, because it immediately poked a hundred holes in your best ideas. But we were all lucky to have it, because DadLogic is the necessary counterpart to feminine/childish/impulsive emotion. Without DadLogic, your family goes bankrupt, kids get hurt, mistakes are made that are permanent and unfixable. With perhaps two exceptions, every school shooter in the past fifty years has been raised in a family with no DadLogic. Children who don’t get a dose of that unpleasant DadLogic are statistically far more likely to spend their lives in prison or end their lives early via violence or stupidity. As fathers, we want to think that our children need our love. They do, but more than that they need our logic.
So let me apply some DadLogic, since I’m a dad, to this immigration situation. Right now, we have the worst of all possible situations. We have an open border to the south which can only be reached by the people who are willing to suffer unimaginable misery and privation. We talk about how the United States should honor Emma Lazarus and take everybody — but it turns out that “everybody” means cheap labor. If you’re a Swiss engineer who wants to come to America, you’re fucked. If you’re an Israeli microchip designer, you can wait in line behind Wipro and Tata for an H1-B. But if you’re willing to cut my grass for ten bucks… well, my friend, all you have to do is march across the desert and risk the lives of your children. We want to make sure you’re extra-grateful for that off-the-books job, you see.
If we really care about the children in El Salvador and elsewhere, we should send a Gulfstream 650 to pick them up. If we are so God-dammed worried about the refugees of various wars, we should figure out a way to help them that doesn’t require them to cross the globe to a place where they don’t speak the language and where their religion is in many ways incompatible with the small towns chosen for their forcible resettlement. If we are determined to make life better for the 3 billion people out there who are living on a dollar a day or whatever, we should come up with a plan to do it without forcing people to walk 1500 miles across a narcostate or drink salt water on a raft.
The people who are so upset about 2,000 kids in cages, if they are even in cages, are loudly broadcasting to the world that they haven’t the slightest nodding acquaintance with logic or reason. They want those 2,000 kids to be immediately released. Along with their families, of course. And they want those families to bring their families in. Because #FamiliesBelongTogether.
Great. The minute you let those people in without consequence, they will be followed by 20,000. Then 200,000. Then 2,000,000. Because — and I’m going to put this in boldface, so you understand it — there is an effectively unlimited supply of people who want to live in the United States. A billion Indians. A half-billion Chinese, maybe. All of Africa. Most of the Middle East. All of Central America. Most of South America. Most of Mexico. All of those people would see a substantial improvement in their lives if they came to work in an American McDonald’s. So if they could come here, they would. Period. Point blank.
Just because you think Drumpf’s America is a Nazi wasteland of Confederate flags and gun nuts and bro-dozers, don’t make the mistake of thinking that actual poor people from other countries feel that way. They see America as a place with clean hospitals and clean streets and law enforcement that doesn’t answer to the highest bidder. Listen. I had four Bolivian cyclists living with me for about half a decade, off and on. Their parents were all Somebody back in South America, rich enough to pay for flights and bikes and uniforms and training and cars and homes with broken glass embedded into their concrete walls. They were the One Percent of Bolivia. And every one of them wanted to live in America. Working in a McDonald’s, if necessary.
I work with any number of high-caste Indians who can do anything they want in their home countries. What they want is to never go back. In fact, the only people I’ve ever met who didn’t want to move to America were exceptionally wealthy Europeans from places that haven’t yet been forcibly exposed to vibrant Islam. Every one of my Malaysian and Chinese friends would love to come here. Like I said. The supply is unlimited.
Right now, the sanctimonious Left and the corporate Right are basically children who want to adopt a litter of puppies. They haven’t thought about the consequences or the problems. They only want to feel good and/or make money. Until last year, there was no Dad to tell them no. You had creepy Uncle Bill Clinton, who never said no to an emotional issue. Then you had Pastor Bush, who quoted the Bible then opened the borders even as he sent young American to lose their limbs for Texaco. Finally, there was Barry, your mom’s chain-smoking boyfriend, who didn’t have the strength of character to ever make a tough choice.
Like it or not, Donald Trump is essentially the American Dad right now. He’s not the best Dad out there. We all know he likes women and Lamborghini Diablos and gold-plated faucets. We’d rather have a traditional American President in a powdered wig who speaks in measured cadences and quotes liberally from Cicero. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one available. This is the only Dad we are going to get. And Dad has enough DadLogic to know that the United States cannot let 3 billion people in and it shouln’t offer an unequal immigration opportunity to people who are willing to make their children ride on the top of a train to Juarez. Dad knows that this country has millions of native-born Americans who need a job. Dad knows that the social services are overstretched as they are.
Dad even knows that we are maybe 25 years away from universal automation and that to import 50 million low-cost workers now amounts to nothing but adding 100 million mouths to the Basic Income and Universal Welfare programs that will have to exist once the vast majority of the work in this country is done by capital and not labor.
Well, Dad may not know that. Dad might not be thinking that far ahead. But this dad is thinking that far ahead. So here’s my solution to FAKE CAGED KIDS and every other manufactured immigration crisis between now and the next Presidential election:
Close the border.
Increase foreign aid.
Help refugees in their own land.
Help Americans who need it. They are just as deserving as refugees.
Fix our own wagon first.
Then save the world.
If we can.