Right after the Murder-by-Muslim of the San Bernardino 14, on Dec. 2, immigration lawyers peppered the press with praise for America’s fiancé K-1 visa program. This immigration program is “robust” came the message from the lobbyists.
Onto this rickety scaffolding stepped the attorneys for The Fockers, I mean the Farooks. The family that spawned the assassins and warned no one was smart enough to hire proxies who spoke for the Ummah (the Islamic Nation).
The two put on a masterful display of taqqiya (deception in furtherance of Islam), demanding what the American political class had authorized them to demand: Attach no culpability to Islam. Give “the alleged shooters” the benefit given to victims of religious bullying.
The Muslim-Media-Congressional complex was poised to make suitably weepy statements and move on. Death by Jihadis was just one of those things the little people would have to endure in “a free society.”
This, too, was the attitude of the asses warming the anchor’s chair in TV newsrooms. We’ll show the grief; we’ll slobber suitably with the aggrieved; we’ll lead with the most emotional clichés about the dearly departed – and on we’ll go to the next news story. Any change in the status quo would be contrary to “our values.”
Such is life: C’est la vie, so long as it doesn’t happen to me.
In effect, the politicians committed to do nothing to reduce the exposure of America to the source of death. No domestic policy changes in the homeland have been floated. Promises aplenty, however, are being made to “carpet bomb” faraway lands as the solution to the “problem” in our land.
Enter Donald Trump.
The political calculus of collateral damage
Mr. Trump appears genuinely outraged by this crass and cruel political calculus. Trump was not going along with the notions implicit in the strategies proposed by the administration and the colluding political duopoly. These are that we trade a few American lives, every so often, in return for getting to boast about America’s commitment to “freedom,” our “open society,” all the intangible nostrums Rome-on-the-Potomac instructs us to celebrate.
Mr. Trump was not OK with the idea that mass murder by Muslim, every now and then, was the price of “our tolerance.”
Trump’s visceral response seems odd to the political class and their media barnacles because it’s the reaction of a regular, clear-thinking individual who has yet to be housebroken by Washington.
If you’re a Jihadi who’s traveled to train abroad – American, permanent resident or anything else – “you are never, ever coming back into the U.S.,” vowed Trump. Having suggested the same a few months back (“A Modest Libertarian Proposal: Keep Jihadis OUT, Not IN“), I would venture that immigration is a political grant of privilege; there is no natural right to immigrate into the U.S., not least if you are fixing to kill your coworkers.
Later, Trump followed up with a more radical statement, radical from a political perspective. He “called for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”:
According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25 percent of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad,” and 51 percent of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.”
“Without looking at the various polling data,” stated Mr. Trump, “it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
Squandering vs. conserving scarce resources
To grasp why Trump would counsel something so practical, yet so politically improper, one has to understand Trump the businessman.
Good businessmen are programmed differently than politicians. As a tremendously gifted entrepreneur, Trump is averse to squandering scarce resources, money or manpower.
By contrast, politicians do not understand the natural economic reality of scarcity. They control the production of money for their promiscuous purposes, and they exert power over millions of interchangeable people in their territorial jurisdiction.
To a politician, 14 lives in 322 million is a small price to pay for “our freedoms.” Trump’s political rivals look at the price exacted by a Muslim like Syed Farook and his bride in the aggregate. Fourteen dead is not a steep price to pay for unfettered immigration from Islamic countries, peddled politically as “our values,” “our tolerance,” “our greatness.” This callous calculus is second nature to politicians like Lindsey Graham or Darth Vader Cheney.
Not to Trump. “This must stop. We can’t have this,” he roared.
See, statistics are funny things. Insignificant probabilities, in this case an attack on each one of us, are immaterial unless they happen to YOU or ME. It is this calculus that politicians peddle. They rely on the fact that we’ll adopt their sloganeering because each one of us is unlikely to die by Muslim.
But to do nothing stateside, as Trump’s rivals imply, is to accept that lives lost are, in the grand scheme, insignificant.
The opposite is true for Trump. Taking losses offends his sensibilities. Trump, the consummate businessman, abhors and is angered by the preventable squandering of scarce assets: American lives. (Yes, Trump is an America Firster.) The death of a few Americans pains Mr. Trump, something that cannot be said about Obama, Hillary, Bernie or any of the insider GOPers.
How can you tell? The politicians – Rubio, Ryan – offer up platitudes; political niceties to excite the asses in the anchor’s chair. They propose nothing to stop the slaughter, stateside. Instead, they demand a leap of faith – that you believe dropping “daisy cutters” on Muslims in the Middle East (only on the bad ones, naturally) will reduce the danger to Americans at home.
The instincts of private enterprise and politics – never the twain shall meet. Private-enterprise driven considerations are aimed at conserving, not squandering, scarce resources. If it loses an asset, the Trump Organization hurts.
In politics, ‘nothing succeeds like failure’
The second thing a businessman must do – a trait so obviously ingrained in Trump – is solve “The Problem.” In Trump’s universe, solving problems is ineluctably tied to the greater goals of realizing profits and growing the organization. (“Making America Great.”)
The opposite is true in politics. You don’t solve problems; you let them fester. Politically, problems are not all bad. Plunge the people into crisis, and they are likelier to fall prey to state schemes.
Politicians accrue power over people in crisis. “War is the health of the State,” said a good progressive, Randolph Bourne (1918). “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” said a bad progressive, Rahm Emanuel. Both men understood the dynamics of state control. The first warned against it; the second capitalized on it.
Trump talks about taking practical, focused steps to reduce the murder by Muslim of Americans in the homeland.
The politicians speak of abstractions; upholding our values, blah, blah – gibberish Trump is genetically incapable of adopting. For the “Our Values” Speak is meant to addle the mind and shame individuals into believing they are evil if they don’t adopt the liberal pluralist faith put forward by all those who ride at the king’s bridle, Republican and Democrat.
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