I spent much of the week ruminating on the situation in Murrieta, California. I was on the ground, and I watched as passion took the streets and both sides shouted their case to whomever would listen. I learned a lot.
I learned that pretty much everyone loves children, but children are easy to love. For me, that has never been a challenge. The challenge is loving them by action, not feeling. Human traffickers charging $5,000 bring children across the border. While some die, others are raped, and all are robbed of growing up in their family of origin. That doesn’t seem loving to me. That same $5,000 spent to get them here from their own countries could feed a child and their entire family in the country of their birth for a lifetime. In fact, $5,200 a year is the per capita GDP in Guatemala.
I learned that history repeats itself no matter how hard those of us who see the nightmare bang our heads against the wall, trying to warn others. I only ever have to remember the words of Adolf Hitler in “Mein Kampf”: “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
I learned that some of those who stood across the road from each other at the protests agree on enough to start a dialogue that could be very productive, revolutionary even.
I learned that many of those who stood across the road from the conservative side at the protest 1) think Obama is doing a horrible job and wish he was gone, 2) really love liberty and 3) really were there because they were concerned for the children on the buses.
I learned that both sides can dialogue rationally, when they try. I invited two of the women I met on the other side of the street to come on my show and talk some more. I thought what they said had merit, though I disagree with them regarding tactics.
I learned that these issues are complex, and they require complex thought. I found myself cringing when women and children, whom in my opinion are probably victims of drug lords and traffickers, were called hurtful names by some on my own side of this issue. It is true, they should not be here, and in my opinion, this disgraceful administration is in full force Cloward Piven's assault on our country. But that doesn't mean we have to stoop as low as those on the other side will in calling them somehow "inhuman."
I learned that some of the worst political pontificators can really suddenly care "about the children" when it suits them. I question the sincerity of those who claim compassion for the children among the illegal hoards but "forget" to love the thousands of babies that are killed every day in this country. It is "We the People" vs. "They the Elite" now, more than ever. And We the People stood in the 110-degree heat to protest for our liberty. While on opposite sides, all seemed equally in opposition to the imperial actions by the current administration.
Despite good will on both sides, I learned that the Brown Beret insurgents are misogynistic, disgusting hypocrites with an IQ low enough to trip over. The face-covering cowards are only concerned about their political agenda: Destroying the U.S. They couldn't care less if innocent children get sick or die in the process. They are in good company with the political elite on both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C.
I learned the finer points of compassionate conservatism, and how complicated it can be to stay honest amidst political passions. It is right to feed and love the children while they are in our stewardship, but it is right to send them home for so many reasons: 1) It is wrong for them. Those who stay will see very little of the American dream they were promised by traffickers, if they survive, sadly. 2) It is wrong for the impoverished children in low-income neighborhoods, who will be exposed to the treatment-resistant diseases brought across the border, including tuberculosis, scabies, lice and perhaps H1N1 and swine flu. Let's not kid ourselves that any of these dropped children will be in the neighborhoods of Barack Obama, John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi. 3) It is wrong for those who wait, and have waited to legally immigrate.
I adopted a son of Hispanic descent who also happens to have Down Syndrome. He is the heart of my family and much of the reason for my activism. If the diseases that the immigrant children are spreading (more than 100 sick children already released into the community where I live), realistically, it could kill a child like my Samuel. I am not being selfish. I am saying that maybe your compassion is screwing my compassion, but that doesn't make me any less compassionate. It also happens that your version of compassion is illegal.
I don't appreciate being called a "racist" over and over because my road to compassion is different than the emotional, reactionary one of so many out there who, in my opinion, aren't thinking long term in their actions at this moment. As parents, we are often called to resist an immediate need for that which is better for our child in the long run. We are often called to refrain from emotion, and act with rational intention even when it kills us to do it.
That's my view of compassion. It's a state of mind.