Dogwhistles

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  1. Dog whistles are “messages” hidden between the lines – to be heard only by a special audience. By charging that someone is using “dog whistles” we can attribute motives to the writer or speaker other than what was said or written. But, how clearly can admitted outsiders actually “hear” the whistle? How would a person know that his beliefs pertaining to these secret messages are nothing more than just a projection of ideas invented in his own mind conjured only to serve agendas of similar origin?
    People with diverse (and often false) beliefs are trying to explain Trump’s win. To those minds filled with the belief that Trump and a great many voters are “racist” and/or bigots it makes sense that he would try to attract such support in a way that is not obvious. Thus almost any statement involving cultural factors (conflicts or otherwise) can be interpreted as radiating with racist “dog whistles”. A speech directed to problems of illegal immigration is easily restructured by such mindsets to be anti-Mexican or possibly anti-Catholic.
    Two hundred and seventy white-supremacists get together for a meeting and fifty reporters from as many news organizations swoop in to cover the story. They and their editors were driven by a need to cover the story (of a tiny, bizarre fringe group) that fits so well their pre-conceived (and false) generalized beliefs about the political right and Donald Trump’s role in leading it.
    The truth is that (in 1996) had General Colin Powell chosen to run for President against Bill Clinton it is quite possible that he could have been the first Black President and overwhelmingly elected by white Republican voters. The truth is that Democrat Obama at one time had approval ratings well into the seventy percent range that included huge numbers of white (and many Republican) voters. The need for a large segment of society to ignore the evidence that race today in these United States is of little importance except to those who need it to be important is of great interest and a source of great tragedy.
    V Vidaver addresses some fears as to how he believes a Trump administration will handle immigration. Trump has modified greatly his earlier statements about deporting all illegal immigrants. I agree personally with Daedal2207 that we have with a “wink and a nod” encouraged many from other countries to come here illegally. It is reasonable to ask at what point does a law not enforced cease to be a law against which we can hold people responsible. This argument presented after the border is secured and serious criminals have been deported is likely to have its impact in helping those with extensive American experience achieve legal status.
    V Vidaver tells us that “Our strength, our uniqueness, our message to the world is our diversity.” I think that this is worth some analysis. If he means E Pluribus Unum – it makes some sort of sense. Diversity does not make strength if we see ourselves as divided into separate groups. “A house divided cannot stand.” United we pull together.
    Because race doesn’t matter it makes great sense to embrace all races equally. This could be considered a “diversity” message to the rest of the world that is valuable. But belief systems are something else entirely. Beliefs do matter. Beliefs are the essence of religions, political agendas, and social attitudes.
    Immensely significant, they matter a lot!
    Diversity is great when those with diverse beliefs are unified by the overriding value of accepting all the others. But is it a good message to the world if we accept those groups possessing beliefs that exclude others? Sharia is an important aspect of Islam for a large percentage of its believers. Sharia is fundamentally incompatible with democratic forms of government. Islam as believed in most in the world does not embrace a form of diversity that is accepting of “infidels”.
    In fact, all cultures (which are complex, inter-connected belief structures) are not equally accepting of others and often do not advocate similar freedoms for its members. Some cultures in some contexts are downright destructive to others and themselves. It they collide with those that are functional, to what degree SHOULD the message be one of acceptance – or tolerance?
    Maybe the U.S.A. is great mainly because we have a template of agreement that overlays our diversity. – At least to the degree that this template allows us to agree on a method of government that values individual liberty, equal treatment under the law for each individual citizen, and its mechanizations most successfully allow the impacts of diverse beliefs to be expressed, debated, and conflicts resolved peacefully.

  2. Illegals are ILLEGALS. They committed a crime by breaking our laws. They should not be here. I immigrated t the USA LEGALLY. We should encourage LEGAL immigration & uproot ILLEGAL immigration. We should respect our country & it’s laws.
    Anwar Ghali, MD, MPA

    1. The receipt of money for services rendered by a Federal official including the President is illegal,not optional as Trump insists.It is DEFINITELY a CONSTITUTIONAL violation.Where is the respect?Providing a pathway for legitimization sans expulsion can be a reasonable and due process obviously requiring thought and time.I see no reason why cruelty needs to be a part of the process.
      Elsewhere on this blog I’ve noted the encouragement of nod and blink immigration policy on the part of the U.S.to balance the crippling effect of our support of repressive and mostly military regimes.The beneficiaries of the blink and nod pressure cooker release “policy” make up a high percentage of “illegals”.Not your fault? Not your case? Not your conscience to be invoked?

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