(Reader Supported News) -- As reports flow in of raids and roundups of immigrants in the name of public safety and law and order, let’s pause to talk about fear—that most primal of human emotions, the one President Donald Trump seems determined to stir up in the breast of the American psyche. It is an effort that in my mind is so quintessentially un-American that it is destined to fail. Or at least I hope it fails... but even if it does, so much havoc and sadness will be wrought. It has already begun.
We are prone to fear for a reason. Fear of danger can keep you alive. But fear is a fickle beast that can distort and damage as much as protect. Fear prevents exploration, undermines growth and can poison society. Fear can be a great motivator, but also can be a great destroyer. Leadership decisions based on fear among a people seized by fear can lead to the decline and fall of nations. This has been known since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.
Mr. Trump is using fear of terrorism and lawlessness—real and legitimate fears—to advocate hurried, massive, radical changes to our immigration policy, indeed to our very self-identity. It was this fear, and the President’s methods for trying to use it, that the Appeals Court recently struck down, using our Constitution as a bulwark for their ruling, just the kind of check on power our Founding Fathers envisioned.
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