Immigration, the Alt Right and the Irony of Extreme Vetting
On August 15, 2016, in Youngstown, Ohio, presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an immigration policy he called extreme vetting. According to Trump, his administration would temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism and screen any immigrants who: 1) possess any hostile attitude towards our country or its principles, 2) believe that Shariah law should supplant American law, 3) do not believe in our Constitution or 4) support bigotry and hatred. Any such wrong thinking immigrant would be denied entry.
There is indeed no right to immigrate into this country. We further admit the importance of protecting our national sovereignty, ensuring the safety of American citizens and ending the scourge of radical Islam. Nonetheless, extreme vetting is unnecessary.
We already have a list of countries which export terrorism. These countries include Iran, the Sudan and Syria. And we sanction them via restrictions on U. S. foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales, certain controls over dual use items and miscellaneous financial as well as other restrictions. http://www.state.gov/j/ct/list/c14151.htm. Current U. S. naturalization law also requires adherence to Constitutional principles and rejects advocates of a variety of ideological positions as well as those with proclivities to commit various crimes.
Nor is immigration quick or easy. For potential immigrants already in the U. S. the process takes an average of 9-12 months. For those outside the country the process is considerably longer. http://www.litwinlaw.com/Articles/How-Long-Does-it-Take-to-Immigrate-to-the-United-States.shtml.
In addition, precisely how the Trump Doctrine would work remains a mystery. We are not yet equipped to read minds. Hence, it is difficult if not impossible to discern one’s inner most beliefs; no easy way to distinguish a blatant lie from an obvious truth. Never mind the issue of whether the mere exception to a particular aspect of American society constitutes a hostile attitude or how the doctrine would be applied to tourist, foreign diplomats, business people or those on a temporary or work visa.
But perhaps the greatest irony of extreme vetting is its potential application to American citizens. The outright hostility and contempt for American ideas and principles from those who profess otherwise is stark and depressing. This is especially true of Mr. Trump and his most ardent supporters, including those from the Alt-Right.
A convergence of previously isolated internet subcultures that cross-pollinate each other, the Alt-Right or alternative right movement includes a host of dark ideologies, e.g.,
- Manosphere (MGOW, Pick Up Artist, Men’s Rights, Redpill, Gamergate), a highly fractious group of mostly internet based communities that comment on what they view as the oppression of men in modern society.
- Paleoconservative/Tea Party/French New Right), nativist right wing political movements and parties.
- Racist (Skinhead, KKK, Separatist, White Identity), groups that believe in the innate superiority of the white race, or believe in the need for races not to mingle and view modern issues as being rooted in race mixing.
- Crackpot (Alex Jones, Truther’s, Birther’s), the regular conspiracy theorists.
- Dominionist Christian, a subset of Evangelical Protestant Christianity that believes that the government needs to be taken over before the return of Jesus.
Social Anarchy (neoreactionary, “radical truth”, evolutionary psychology), groups that try to break down social order to see what lies underneath.
These and other Alt-Right groups share the unshakable believe that something is fatally wrong with America, brought on in part by the diminished role of the white male. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-Alt-Right-movement. See also http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/ and http://www.nationalreview.com/article/433650/alt-rights-racism-moral-rot. More significantly, they all evidence and unrelenting bigotry, hatred and hostility towards America and the principles we hold dear.
The Alt-Right detest the government, liberals, women, ethnic minorities, gays and non-Christians. They despise Obama, Clinton, established politicians and political parties, even their own. Their contempt for our institutions of higher learning is so great that they insist upon that which they otherwise reject, i.e., an affirmative action quota system for conservative Alt-Right professors. And despite their professed love of the Constitution, they excoriate the very institution which the document enshrines, i.e., the news media or 4th Estate.
Equal protection under the law, religious freedom, the notion that people should be judged as individuals based on their conduct rather than their thoughts or group affiliation are fundamental American values. It is this which makes us great. Every citizen is therefore free to be who they wish to be and to worship as he/she pleases.
Thus, the Constitution embraces freedom of thought, speech, association, diversity and abhors a religious test. Not so much the Alt-Right which condemns and would deny citizenship to those who act differently or pray wrongly.
Consistent with the rejection of core American values, it is Donald J. Trump, the Alt-Right’s new titular leader, who expresses a lack of faith in our intelligence community, routinely praises despots like Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un and disparages our political system. According to he and his acolytes, if he loses it is only because the system is rigged.
It is Mr. Trump who refers to members of the media as scum, disgusting and the lowest of the low, who consistently slurs and otherwise talks-down America as weak and failing. It is Trump who judges people based on their religion, ethnicity and country of origin, who verbally abuses women, disparages their looks, ridicules their flat chest and rates them from 1 to 10 based on their sex appeal. His misogynistic insults alone demonstrates a profound hatred of American values.
There is nothing wrong with criticizing one’s country or those within it. There is much to criticize. Nor does social or political diversity excuse harmful conduct or aberrations. Not everything should be tolerated.
But despite our many shortcomings America is still the greatest country in the world. To argue otherwise, to express hatred and contempt for the nation or to advocate the complete destruction of our political system without offering anything better goes far beyond mere disagreement.
Pursuant to the very test proposed by Trump, it demonstrates a hostile attitude towards our country or its principles and therefore makes the holder of such views unworthy of citizenship. If hate, bigotry and a bad attitude towards all that makes us great disqualifies one from being an American citizen, then many of us should be vetted elsewhere.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum