There are tens of millions of people who believe Trump and the Republicans do not really care about "the people." "The people" is an abstraction based on some leftwing definitions and leftwing fantasies that America should be welcoming those folks streaming across our southern border just as we welcomed the 11+ million who landed at Ellis Island with little more than the clothes on their backs during the years 1890-1910.
These ignorant souls conveniently forget that when immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, there was no welfare. They conveniently forget that there was no communication or transportation to speak with or visit their countries of origin. These late 20th century developments tend to (1) dilute commitment to the USA and desire for citizenship, (2) tend to reinforce the idea of globalism rather than the nation-state, and (3) incur astronomical costs upon the citizens which earlier immigration did not. Many of the growing numbers of leftists think that the deluded deplorables continue to believe that if we are strict in enforcing the law we can have a better country. Instead, these sentimental Democrat/globalists believe we have to get back to earlier principles where immigrants were welcome in the U.S. at Ellis Island instead of turned away. We have to get back and expand on the principles of progressivism and the New Deal which put the regular people first. These types of vacuous thoughts are of epidemic proportion in the USA today. Those holding these views do not see that the wallets/bank accounts of American citizens need to be protected. They do not see that America's Constitution and legal system and values are unique and are essential for U.S. and world progress, and that vast illegal immigration undermines our economy and values in irremediable ways.
Why is this writer so able to see the value of America and the offense that is in the leftist wet dream of accommodation to those who would reject the U.S. influence or presence overseas (as in Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq) and strict immigration admission requirements at home – both seen by the left as expressions of xenophobia? I was once also anti-establishment and anti-American. I was once an ideologue who embraced New Deal thinking and wanted to overthrow the established order and Constitutional values of the USA as well as capitalism. This writer only overcame these stupidities because of my stay in Iran at a time when the Shah (who was considered an ally or even a puppet of the USA) was in power. My five months as a foreign teacher in Iran at a private school for the well-connected revealed to me through incredible suffering that I was blessed beyond comparison with having been raised in the USA and under the legal freedoms of our Constitution and economic system.
During those five months this writer suffered from contracting amoebic dysentery, from having to borrow money every month to survive the runaway inflation, from living in a society where there are almost no women on the streets or in any public business or facility, from having to get into taxis with five strangers on a regular basis, from having to ride on highways where miles of wreckage were not cleared from the sides of the roads, from having to be in traffic jams where it would take an hour to go less than a mile on a bus and where cars would drive on the sidewalks just to be able to move forward, I developed a longing for the USA that never could have been anticipated.
It took five months of teaching in a school for the rich that nonetheless had no textbooks (when the Shah was deposed, the present ayatollah rulers took the additional step of burning all the books in that school's library). It took five months of having to disinfect all the food with bleach to prevent dysentery (and I still contracted dysentery) for me to appreciate the vegetable sections of our American supermarkets. It took getting injections for hepatitis C in a hospital room where everyone had their bare rear ends in the air without curtains in order to get their shots for an appreciation of the hygiene and respect accorded Americans in our healthcare facilities. This American’s suffering involved going to the best supermarket in the best neighborhood in Tehran and finding that 90% of the shelves were empty, of seeing young children sleeping on mats outside of grocery stores where they worked instead of on beds in secure, loving homes, of going to cashiers in department stores who had no money in their cash registers, and going into snack shops where the only food sold was cows' brains or yogurt.
On more than one occasion this citizen was the only customer in a bank with about 20 workers who were clerks scurrying around or drinking tea at desks behind the customer counter and being ignored. At other times this Westerner went to movie theaters with about 300-400 men and 4 or 5 women in the audience. Once this history teacher walked out of a birthday party in a "good neighborhood" and came face-to-face with a pack of six wild dogs with yellow eyes walking slowing towards me. On another occasion to simply apply for a visa, this expectant traveler went to the Israeli mission building (not even a consulate in anti-Israel Tehran even under the Shah) and was patted down for weapons like a common criminal before being admitted through a door as thick as a bank vault surrounded by Israelis with machine guns. This treatment was directly a result of Iranian hatred of Israel.
Additionally, our corrupt, sycophantic headmaster never once met with the faculty. Further, all school foreign employees had their passports confiscated so that all Americans and Europeans were in essence prisoners of the country. When we had reason to go to government offices, we were dressed down by uniformed bureaucrats; no respect was shown us – disrespect and indignity was the lot of the American living in that horrid Islamic country.
Fellow Americans became sick with strange ailments like pus running out of their ears. One teacher went to a hospital for surgery to remove certain sores on his head and, while on the operating table, the surgeon came in and said, "it's not that bad, you can leave the hospital if you want." Water canals in Tehran were filled with human excrement, and the air was filled with sickening sounds of calls to prayer from local mosques.
This was Iran under a pro-America, but despotic, government. We have failed to create a positive relation with Iran, with Iraq, and now with Afghanistan. All three are drawn back to their primitive religious and political value systems. The idea of replicating American values in those countries is not only naïve, but stupid. Similarly, the idea of thinking that the Ellis Island experience can be replicated in today’s America is incredibly superficial. The naivete and ignorance displayed in both contexts are related. If we have a firmer commitment to our way of life and values, we will be much better off than if we sentimentally think we can count on others wanting to become assimilated to our values or to adopt our way of life.