Dealing With My Anger In The Age of Trump And The Pandemic

Here’s how I would reallyreallyreally like to feel when I think about Donald Trump, his Senate Republican enablers, and the thugs who are using the pandemic to terrorize and strut around with their AR-15s and shotguns:

“Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your neighbors.”

“Do not allow your anger to control your reason, but rather your reason to control your anger.”

“As I walked out the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind me, I would still be in prison.”

In other words, I would like to have the heart and patience and wisdom of Nelson Mandela.

Unknown-28
Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

I am—or have been—a conciliator by nature. I’ve never tried to paper over people’s differences of opinion—and how those differences play out in their actions. But I’ve always sought to search for the commonalities among us. 

(This blog began with the goal of finding common ground, and I wrote a post early on explaining why I wouldn’t deal with the Elephant in our national living room. But when babies were put into cages and other offenses defying human decency became evident, I found that orientation unsustainable. I’d love to get back to it at some point.)

Through practicing the lovingkindness aspect of meditation, I still try to wish us all well—everyone and every living thing. Even…this President and his enablers. But I repeatedly fall short. Extremely short. Earth to Saturn kind of short.

What to make of all this? I just listened to another tenpercenthappier.com meditation (I’d written about these helpful sessions previously) in which Sebene Selassie, a meditation teacher, explored the various ramifications of anger in our current bizarre environment. 

“Anger can be an intelligent emotion,” she said. “It shows us what’s wrong with the world and is a motivation for action.” 

I like that assessment. I’d just finished hand-writing a bunch of postcards to Democrats living in a state that will be important to the November election outcome.

These are folks who have spotty voting records, and our purpose is to urge them to sign up for vote-by-mail ballots so they can vote safely and comfortably from their homes. 

It was an annoying task that left me with a neck ache and cramped fingers, but I’ll be doing it every week because—as I wrote repeatedly on those cards—“the stakes are very high; protect our democracy.” 

That concrete action, multiplied by all the volunteers doing it, could have an impact. So perhaps when I’m so engaged, my reason controls my anger.

Some months ago, I printed on this blog the contact info for all the Class of 2018 Democratic members of Congress who had won in swing districts and then bravely voted for impeachment, knowing they could be jeopardizing their reelection. 

These courageous souls are now being targeted for defeat by the Republican National Committee. I was encouraging people to send them donations and/or volunteer with their campaigns. (If you’re interested, you can find the list here.)

.One of my friends from across the aisle let me know he thinks there’s something underhanded about dabbling in politics beyond one’s own district.

But since the voters in the targeted state will play a significant role in a decision that will ultimately affect my family and me directly, I have zero qualms about such efforts. 

Selassie also talks about “taking action without taking sides.”  That brought me up short. How do we do that? A viewer at the end of her session asked that very question:

How can we not take sides when our politics are so polarizing?

Selassie’s answer was that this is a perfect time for us to recognize our interconnection. “One thread over here can unravel on the other side of the world,” she said. 

Pondering our interconnection, which I do from time to time, provides a welcome respite from ranting. It happens when I disagree with my friend from across the aisle. I get angry, but I know he’s a good person with strong values who just happens to view the world differently.

When I get angry–furious, really–at the terrible toll this pandemic is taking because of our dreadful national leadership, I also think about all the generosity and kindness shown by individuals helping others—solid evidence of our interconnections.

I just read an article that I think exemplifies Selassie’s point about interconnections. A 13-year-old Israeli Jewish boy was gravely wounded in 2002 when he stepped on a land mine. Until last year, he was in agony, his foot constantly feeling as though it was on fire. 

Then, at age 31, after years of harboring hatred for the Arabs for what they’d done to him, he was operated on by a Palestinian Arab surgeon, an expert in the intricate nerve pathways involved in his injury. 

The surgery was a complete success, and a bond has formed between surgeon and patient. (This story is considerably more complicated; if you want to read the details, click here.)

Selassie points out that if we look beneath our anger, we see the fear, anxiety, and grief that’s there. And I know that’s true too.

But we needn’t banish our anger, she says; we can accept it, checking in with our bodies to make sure we’re not permitting the anger to turn into the constant stress that we know can be so damaging.

(A quick inventory would involve relaxing tense shoulders, clenched jaws, tight stomach, and the like.)

So I realize I can hold two concepts simultaneously. One is that it’s important to focus on all the people who have chosen to demonstrate their better selves at this critical time for all humanity. 

The other is that I am channeling my anger into actions that I hope will ultimately result in the removal of the forces I find so terribly destructive. Anger leading to action: that feels just right.

Donald Trump and his enablers won’t be with us forever. I remain hopeful that in the near future, the lessons of this pandemic will lead to competent government delivering a much stronger safety net. 

We’ll always have our differences, but they’ll be less raw if people are less fearful and anxious about their economic insecurity and lack of healthcare. I believe we can reduce the tensions that have been worsening our political polarity.

It seems appropriate to end with another nod to Nelson Mandela:

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

Annie

44 thoughts on “Dealing With My Anger In The Age of Trump And The Pandemic

  1. I’m not really angry…more amazed and disgusted at trump and his cult. It does bother me and my way of dealing with that is different.

    For the most part, all of my closest friends and family are on the same page as I am. I simply cannot be close friends with a trump supporter. For me, it’s a matter of ethics and doing the right thing…morality, I guess.
    So If on occasion, I’m around his supporters, it is not for a long period of time and usually politics does not come up. So I can be pleasant. Two people I know who support him, I actually like, but I know sooner or later it would come up if we became too close, so I keep it at a distance.

    The other thing I do is try to look at the long long view of governments and civilizations coming and going and knowing that countries eventually fall, as all do. Also knowing that climate change, potential for wars and environmental degradation will do more damage than this virus.

    So I guess you could say, I’m have a fatalistic view, that history just repeats and all things change and it is what it is. And it is well past the point of convincing a trump supporter that they have been conned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I certainly agree with you that climate change is a greater threat. But I grapple with the horrible irony that at this most critical time, the man in the White House is the worst possible person to be in this position. And we knew that it was just a matter of time until he met a challenge he couldn’t manage and would endanger us one way or another. I’m just hoping that now that rural areas in red states are being affected, he may decide “Of course we need vote-by-mail and assistance to the Post Office. I’ve said that all along…”!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m probably going to have to read this one a few times to absorb the idea of honoring our interconnections. In theory, it’s fine and even beautiful, but in practice, it is so much easier to choose a side and the other side be damned — easily justifiable too as we can chalk it up to laudable things like passion, commitment, dedication . . . even reason. Winners and losers, good guys and bad guys, lucky and unlucky — aren’t opposites the very axis on which so much of our culture spins? Yes, but. I have to work on my but, make room to hold contradictory thoughts and complicated emotions. For one who isn’t quite so conciliatory where suffering is at issue, this is a challenge. It will take finesse. To that end, I admire how you have parsed our reactions to this wicked pandemic and the administration’s profound bungling of it. Grief is in there, as are anger, fear, confusion, disgust . . . You’re a wise woman to put your anger to work instead of burying it, which both honors and uses it. Time to work on my lovingkindness. As for your friend who thinks working beyond one’s own district is inappropriate dabbling in politics — nonsense. It’s one country, one world. We all should exhibit such caring. Thank you for that — and for this post. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I still struggle with that myself. I was kinda side-stepping it in my brain—trying to focus more on possible interconnections than on impossible harmonies.
      I don’t feel that I’m conciliatory where suffering is an issue; that’s why I haven’t been able to adhere to my original self-mandate to find common ground and try not to write about trump.
      Thanks, as always, for your encouragement. If your rereading brings further insights, I hope you’ll return to express them.

      Like

  3. I donate to candidates in other states as often as possible. It assuages my anger for a few minutes, but most of the time, I wonder how long it will take for this country to recover from Trump and “the very good people” insisting, among other things, that the pandemic is just a plot to take him down. The Atlantic said recently that if 80% of people wore masks that were 60% effective, the infection ratio would be less than one; one infected person would infect less than 1 person (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/dont-wear-mask-yourself/610336/), We could go back to something resembling pre-covid life. But something that simple can’t be achieved when Trumps’ minions believe that wearing a mask means caving to the “elites” and brandish signs with such witticisms as “Your body; my choice.” At the same time, politicians who will readily preach about the sanctity of life when addressing women’s control over their own bodies have no problem suggesting that a portion of the population is expendable if it means the economy will improve. I can’t find the humanity in any of them; especially Trump, the huckster who cheers them on. Hopefully, we will learn in November that most of us have finally tired of winning.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Cindy. Good to hear from you. Yes, I think many of us are concerned about how long it will take to undo the damage of the trump/COVID-19 plague. They’re now one and the same to my mind.
      If you’re in a giving mood, I hope you’ll click on the link to the list of House Dems being targeted—the contact info is there. Republicans picked up Katie Hill’s seat today, so they’ll be fired up. We must protect the House majority while winning the Senate.
      Thanks for The Atlantic link. Loved your last line!

      Like

  4. Why has it taken Trump’s malfeasance and incompetence regarding the pandemic to awaken some people to his unconscionable conduct since the start of his presidency more than three years ago — he was the same above-the-law egomaniac then as he is now. If ever a country has been exposed for the shallow ignorance of millions of its citizens, it is America since Trump campaigned for, and was elected, President.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I wasn’t being literal, Nan. I’ve been exploring these trends for years. If you read my response to Joseph Urban, I mention some books I recommend and an idea I’ve been pushing. I’m well aware of the impact of Fox, Sinclair on the local level—and there’s more to come that will be even worse.

        Like

    1. mister.Why are some people only now waking up to Trump? I think the reason is pretty clear. It was ok to demean women, immigrants, blacks, liberal, Democrats. It was entertaining to many who may have been ambivalent toward Trump. His mental illness was entertaining. It was ok to lie about Biden, Pelosi, Obama and anyone else. It was ok to call for Russian interference in the election and even destroy the idea that we should have a rule of law and not a rule of men. It was fine to demean leaders of democracies and extol the virtues of dictators. None of those issues seemed to touch their lives. All of a sudden the nastiness, incompetence and arrogance of this petty man have put their lives at risk. Only when it was personal to them did they realize what this man has done. Reminds me of my GOP representative in Congress who voted over and over against the ACA. Hates government funding for social issues. EXCEPT, he is a big supporter of federal money for diabetes research. Can you guess why?

      Like

      1. Only when it was personal to them did they realize what this man has done.

        I couldn’t have put it any better! Until it touches “our” lives, it’s always someone else’s problem.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think it’s important to point out that current polls are indeed scary: they are showing a tightening race, and a CNN poll yesterday showed trump with a five point lead over Biden in a composite of battleground states. That tells me we have our work cut out for us— too many people (many of whom are undoubtedly hurting—it’s moved beyond the armed thugs to independent voters) seem to be responding to their fears instead of to the scientists’ views. I am hoping others will join me in contacting Biden and telling him he needs to be out there with a positive plan of action.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy: I want to make sure I understand you correctly. Are you saying “ a plague on both their houses”? (Probably a poor idiom to use in the midst of a pandemic, but I’m sure you get my question.)

      Like

      1. No, I think you have my comment mixed up with someone else’s. I just said they are fighting dirty like schoolyard bullies and I wish the teacher would come out and stop them. Nothing about plagues…

        Like

      2. I was referring to my use of the word plague. I see a big difference between Biden and trump, so when you said they’re fighting dirty like schoolyard bullies, I wondered whether you felt they were both being schoolyard bullies.

        Like

  5. Well, I wrote a seven part series of my own philosophy regarding what the election of Trump means to liberals. I will not bore you with posting an entire essay or series here. But you can bore yourself if you like. I will share a give you a small snippet and a link to the first essay, if interested….

    ” As a lifelong liberal I have had a number of core beliefs challenged by this development. Perhaps liberals have been lying to themselves about America and what it stands for. Perhaps we need to dispose of illusions and lies we have been telling ourselves. In this short 7 part series I will discuss some of the beliefs, which have turned out to be lies, that liberals have held for years. Things we thought were true. We have been dead wrong.

    I am not suggesting that we abandon these ideas and beliefs. But we need to accept the reality that significant minorities of our population do not hold the same core beliefs that we do. We can no longer take for granted that most Americans share these core values and beliefs. In order to go forward in a practical way, we need to accept the reality that we have been, in large part, lying to ourselves about a significant number of citizens of The United States….”

    https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/lies-liberals-tell-part-1/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s much validity in what you say. I just had a discussion this morning about how we got to where we got— and I mentioned Jane Mayer’s wonderful book, DARK MONEY, and said I think it’s time to reread Richard Hofstadter’s 1963 Pulitzer Prize-winning ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM In AMERICAN LIFE. In addition, I’ve been trying to figure out how we start a boycott of Fox News advertisers because their pernicious lies have served as an echo chamber for trump, and I believe the drying up of the almighty dollar just might have an impact. Any additional concrete suggestions are most welcome.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I admire the sentiment in the abstract, but I’m afraid I have no wish to find common ground with people who support tearing apart families and putting kids in cages, suppressing the black vote, taking away millions of peoples’ healthcare, and destroying the separation of church and state and democracy itself. I can assure you they have no interest in finding common ground with us, either. There’s really nothing to do with people like that except out-vote them. I see no reason to wish them well. They don’t wish me well.

    after years of harboring hatred for the Arabs for what they’d done to him, he was operated on by a Palestinian Arab surgeon, an expert in the intricate nerve pathways involved in his injury.

    I feel that this is a very common type of misformulation of the issue. It’s not reasonable to hate “the Arabs” (all 350 million of them) for what two or three terrorists did. But it’s perfectly reasonable to hate terrorists.

    The surgeon was obviously not the same kind of person as the terrorists — yes, he was also an Arab, but that vast category (everyone who shares a certain native language and a certain range of cultures) is irrelevant to establishing guilt or credit for actions which by definition are carried out by individuals. We need to distinguish between categories like ethnic groups, which are morally neutral, and categories like adherents of a particular ideology, which are quite the opposite (it’s wrong to hate Germans as a group, but it’s not wrong to hate Nazis as a group),

    Achieving reconciliation and overcoming enmity are laudable things — I recently noted a small but encouraging example. But this depends on circumstances. Trying to apply it toward people who really are trying to harm you just places you at their mercy. Israeli-Arab reconciliation makes sense now; it wouldn’t have made sense in the middle of the 1974 war.

    How can we not take sides when our politics are so polarizing?

    Given the malignancy and harm being wrought by Trump and his gang, I would say that refusing to take sides in our current situation is dereliction of duty. But maybe it’s just a matter of semantics. As the last part of your post makes clear, you are taking sides — more actively than most, by sending those postcards.

    What matters is that you’re in the fight and on the right side, not the terminology you use to describe it.

    Nelson Mandela took a side — against apartheid. He showed a superhuman degree of empathy for his enemies, it’s true, but he took sides and fought in his own way for the defeat of what he judged to be wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First, I’m glad you’re here to challenge me. I think my post led to a serious misinterpretation of my views. I do not like being filled with hate, and I do not find it productive. Do I understand it? Hell, I’m Exhibition One! That’s my point. I noted that I abandoned my emphasis on common ground because I found it unsustainable in view of babies in cages and other atrocities I cannot stomach. When I said I hope to return to it at some point, I meant in a post-trump world. But I’m sick of ranting against trump and allowing him and his Senate Republican enablers (Mitch McConnell has, over the years, done almost as much damage—probably more, not counting the pandemic) to have so much control over my thinking.
      With the Israel Jewish patient/Palestinian Arab doctor story, I was trying to demonstrate the hope for reconciliation. Was it wrong for the kid to stereotype? Of course, but how many people who are victimized can make the distinction in a war between the good guys and the bad guys? It’s wrong to hate Germans as a group but not wrong to hate Nazis today; could we automatically feel that way if we were Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, or other targeted groups in Germany in 1941? As I noted, fear and anxiety underlie anger.
      My point in using Mandela was precisely what you described: he fought against apartheid, paid a high physical price, but emerged with a moral suasion that enabled him to accomplish a profound reconciliation. Unfortunately, his successes do not seem to have had a lasting impact in South Africa. The battle for decency must be constantly fought. And while I think lots of haters are irredeemable—certainly trump—I also think Obama’s appeal not so very long ago shows that most people preferred to vote for hope than fear. I’m hopeful we can persuade enough people to do that in November because I’m very fearful of what will happen to us if we don’t succeed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps there’s not really much difference in views. I don’t like being filled with hate either, and with regard to Trump and his gang, I’m kind of mentally burned out — if I still write about the subject, it’s usually in an effort to encourage constructive behavior that will be of practical benefit, such as voting against him and his party. Yet I recognize that the capacity for hate and anger is born in us for a reason, and that there are situations to which those emotions are an appropriate reaction. I can certainly respect it when others react to Trump or other authoritarians that way.

        It’s wrong to hate Germans as a group but not wrong to hate Nazis today; could we automatically feel that way if we were Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, or other targeted groups in Germany in 1941?

        I think it depends on the person, and on how that person viscerally classifies the world. If you were brutally wronged by a person who had a mustache, you probably would not have to struggle against an impulse to hate all people with mustaches, because in our minds, “people with mustaches” isn’t a prominent category we use to analyze the world, whereas nationality is. Because my own focus has always been so much on the evils of religion, it comes more naturally to me to classify people first by what they believe in. So if I were a victim of Nazi atrocities, I think it’s more likely that it would make me hate Nazis more than Germans (some Nazis weren’t Germans, anyway). I noticed that when I was in Ukraine, when the subject of World War II briefly came up with a Ukrainian who spoke some English, he spoke of the hated enemy as “fascists”, not Germans (they certainly had a generalized hatred of Germans during the war itself, though).

        I don’t know what the right solution is for South Africa. Maybe there isn’t one. Unfortunately humans are capable of creating problems they can’t solve.

        As a long-time student of the Middle East, I do hope there can be reconciliation between Israel and the Arabs. They could accomplish so much with peace and without wasting so much money on armaments. But I also know the history of the oppression and humiliation of Jews under Muslim rule, generation after weary generation, and I can respect the feelings of those Israelis whose families came from Arab countries (that’s about half of all Israeli Jews) if, for some of them, it’s still a bridge too far.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No; I don’t think there’s much difference in our views on the political scene we’re facing. And I did include Selassie’s statement that anger is a positive emotion when it leads to action.
        With regard to the Middle East, I share your views quite closely; it is a tragedy to both peoples that it remains in such turmoil. Though you’ve apparently studied it more than I, I always look for explanations that include the cynical nature of the surrounding Arab countries that didn’t want to have to deal with the Palestinians.

        Like

      3. isn’t the situation in Israel essentially bible-based? So essentially, just one more mess that revolves about religious belief.

        Like

      4. Nan: isn’t the situation in Israel essentially bible-based?

        Actually I wouldn’t say so, except indirectly. The original Zionist movement was pretty secular and pretty much a conventional nationalist movement — the choice of Palestine as the location for the future Jewish homeland was based on the fact that that’s where it had been in ancient times. I’ve argued that, after the Holocaust, it would have been more just to take part of Germany to become a Jewish state — but Zionism dates back almost a century before 1945.

        Today, of course, Israel is 72 years old, and the basis for its existence is the same as for any other country — it’s been there for generations, and most of its people live there because they were born there.

        Since the 80s, the rise of militant Islam in the West Bank and Gaza (displacing the older, more secular Palestinian nationalist movement) has certainly made the problem much more intractable, and arguably the same is true of the fairly small but militant Orthodox Jewish movement in Israel, which has disproportionate power because of Israel’s factious political system. But in the same factors that are leading to a decline in religious belief elsewhere are at work in the Middle East too, and in the long run will prevail there.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I was going back further than that … like the original “establishment” of the land by “God” … and the conflicts that have occurred over time about who the land really belongs to — particularly in regards to the Temple Mount and city of Jerusalem.

        Like

      6. Man, I sure hope your prophecy happens before much more bloodshed. As to your idea about a post-Holocaust Israel carved out of Germany—which is a novel idea to me—I see the justice intellectually, but I can’t imagine such a thing ever having been possible due to the trauma of people expected to create a country so close to the site of their near-extinction.

        Like

      7. I want to remind myself and all commenters on my blog posts that we need to respect the diversity of readers’ viewpoints. Thanks for helping me maintain civility toward those with whom we disagree.

        Like

  7. Annie, I know you were reluctant to focus on Trump and his minions, but I’m glad you put that preference aside—at least for now. The disaster that is Trump needs to be addressed, along with suggestions on how to make him a one-term president. Your well-reasoned and we’ll-written posts do both.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am dismayed by the level of anger (if not outright hate) being directed at fellow citizens. There is so much talk of “minions” and “ennablers”. I would suggest that the toning down of rhetoric should begin by the cessation of name-calling.

    I would also suggest that we are all being manipulated by media sources who measure success in views and clicks, and who get more views and clicks when they can get us riled up. Where was the indignation when immigrants were “in cages” during the Obama administration? Nobody was calling Obama out then, or if they were it wasn’t getting any press. What changed? Trump got elected and lots of people have not gotten over that.

    My solution has been to spend as little time as possible consuming news. I look at a bit online in the morning, but I have work to do all day and my leisure time is much better spent with loved ones or engaging in activities that are either relaxing or uplifting. The happy result is that I am not angry all the time. I can become dismayed by politics (as practiced by both parties) but must remember two things: There are no “white hats” and “black hats” in this scenario, only people with whom we may disagree. Second, there is enough to worry about in my little piece of civilization without becoming consumed by things over which I have little or no control. The government is like the titanic, and while both parties want to steer, neither is capable of large course corrections over a limited time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JP–

      I’ll begin with an area of agreement: In this unprecedented time, I think we all would benefit by limiting our news intake. A couple of checks a day may be sufficient to keep us up to date on important matters.

      That said, though I’ve had my own criticisms of “the media,” I must remind myself of the dictum that was prevalent when I was freelancing and active in the American Society of Journalists and Authors: “media” is a plural noun. There are varying sources, and we do well to be discerning in considering carefully the validity of what we hear.

      From my perspective, some of the findings from careful journalistic reportage has been an invaluable aid to the citizenry in this age of alleged “fake news”: ie, anything that is even an accurate report of what the President has said. Notable example: “Testing may be overrated. We have so much disease because we test so much. If we didn’t do so much testing, we wouldn’t have so much disease.” (Perhaps not verbatim, but close.)

      If you are concerned about hate, I would like to hear you condemn the Hater-in-Chief and his Senate Republican supporters (if you prefer that term to “enablers”). No other President imaginable would have politicized a pandemic. This could have been his shining hour to create national unity against a deadly threat to us all. Instead, he has elevated an “us vs. them” mentality to national policy. Shame on him, and shame on all the Republicans who have made a bargain that as long as they get their tax cuts and their conservative judges, they’ll follow his bidding–even if they may be jeopardizing their own lives or those of their families and colleagues.

      There can be honest differences over policy, but when people who choose to follow the scientists’ advice and wear masks become the enemy, and the once-internationally respected CDC is forced to water down its recommendations for how states can reopen safely, and the US refuses to be part of an international effort to develop a vaccine, you can expect the fear and anxiety of many Americans to manifest itself in anger.

      Not surprisingly, and though I try mightily to see where you’re coming from, I find your “no white hats or black hats” statement demonstrably out of whack with what we’re seeing all around us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This comment comes to my mind so very often … This could have been his shining hour to create national unity against a deadly threat to us all.

        Unfortunately, being who/what he is, he chose instead to further divide the nation. I fear if this man is reelected, we will no longer be the United States of America.

        Like

    2. I need to explain the difference between the Obama and Trump immigration policies since there seems to be some confusion. First, because under Obama more illegal immigrants were captured at the border and returned home he was criticized by some Hispanic group as the “Deporter-in-Chief”. So, to suggest that pro-immigration groups gave Obama a pass is not the case.

      “How many people have been deported under Obama?
      Between 2009 and 2015 his administration has removed more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, which doesn’t include the number of people who “self-deported” or were turned away and/or returned to their home country at the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

      How does he compare to other presidents?
      In fact, they have deported more than the sum of all the presidents of the 20th century.”
      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obamas-deportation-policy-numbers/story?id=41715661

      “For the president, I think his legacy is at stake here,” Murguía said in an interview in advance of NCLR’s annual Capital Awards dinner, where she will deliver a speech lambasting Obama’s deportation policy. “We consider him the deportation president, or the deporter-in-chief.”
      https://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/national-council-of-la-raza-janet-murguia-barack-obama-deporter-in-chief-immigration-104217

      Of course there were significant differences in the Obama and Trump policies. Especially in regard to children and families. We have all seen the photos of kids in “cages” in both administrations. But the pictures do not tell the story. In the Obama administration kids were held up to 72 hours while they were being processed to be united with family members in the US. The holding areas were used to make sure they were safe before they could be sent to relatives.

      In the Trump case, kids were held in the cells for much longer periods of time. And the goal was not to unite families. It was to take away children from their families to discourage immigration. As a result thousands of kids, who had family members in the US, were instead transported around the nation and given to foster care. Kids were flown or driven up to Chicago and New York and other cities intentionally removing them as far away from their parents as possible. Also, there was no tracking system and even today many are lost in the system.

      So, the main reason people are not happy with the Trump policies is that, unlike Obama, they seem unnecessarily cruel. Why needlessly separate children form their parents when they cross together? Wouldn’t it make more sense, and be much cheaper, to put them in family units until their asylum requests can be adjudicated? What is gained by taking away children (some as young as 18 months) from their mothers or fathers?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed, Joseph. Obama got no pass on deportations. I think you’ve keyed into the difference. Also, Obama was trying to put together a bipartisan, realistic immigration policy. I think he went too far, but there was never the intention to destroy families as a weapon. And he did try to make DACA a reality.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s