Kids in Cages: A National Disgrace

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      “A vote for Mike is a vote to Make America Great Again.”

-- Donald Trump, Oct. 2018.

 

     “We are trying to make sure we’re making America great, every day in every way.”

-- Mike Kelly, May 2018.

 

     Kelly’s unflinching support of an immoral president and a corrupt administration has become his calling card. His constant pandering to Trump an affirmation of his weakness, cowardice and lack of character. He’s what happens when you put an expensive suit on a corpse – it might look good on the outside but it’s dead on the inside.

 

     “You may get discouraged by what you hear on the TV, or radio, or something you read in the newspaper, look to the bright side. There is an awful lot of good going on right now.”

-- Mike Kelly, February 2020.

 

     A lot of good for who?

 

     Is this “making America great, every day in every way?” Is abusing and terrorizing innocent children now an acceptable trade-off for whatever Trump and Kelly see as the end-game of this atrocity? Is this barbarism part of Kelly’s Christian faith? Is this what he means when he professes to be pro-life? Is this his grand bargain? For what? Power? Money? Fame? A seat in Congress?

 

     Sevier “could read the fear in their faces, but they were perfectly submissive to her authority. ‘I can only explain it by trauma, because this is such an unusual behavior,’ she said. Sevier had brought along Mickey Mouse toys to break the ice, and the kids seem to enjoy playing with them. Yet none resisted, she said, when she took them away at the end of the exam. ‘At some point,’ Sevier mused, ‘you’re broken and you stop fighting.’”

-- What a Pediatrician Saw Inside a Border Patrol Warehouse, an interview with Dr. Dolly Lucio Sevier, The Atlantic, July 3, 2019.

 

     Why do we hate them so much? Are we afraid of them? These poor desperate people – many of them women and children -- risking their lives to flee from the horrors of their home countries?

 

     Are we so convinced that our survival and success can be ensured only by their destruction? We can only be great if we crush them? If we break them?

 

     When we first discovered that children were being separated from their families, when we saw the images of crying youngsters and heard the audio recordings of them bawling for their parents, Kelly could offer only a worthless mealy-mouthed compilation of political clichés.

 

     “When dealing with the many facets of immigration and border control policy, numerous concerns must always be carefully weighed, including legal, economic, security, and humanitarian consequences.”

– From Mike Kelly’s statement on U.S. border policy and child separation, June 18, 2018.

 

     No outrage. No indignation. Only political talking points.

 

     “Responsibly debating this issue must begin with separating concrete facts from sensationalized rumors, half-truths, and falsehoods.”

-- From Kelly’s statement on U.S. border policy and child separation, June 2018.

 

     Sensationalized rumors, half-truths, and falsehoods? What’s he talking about? Does he think these poor children are figments of someone’s imagination? No demand for justice. No call to action to stop the pain of these innocent youngsters. Just callous boilerplate ramblings.

 

     “I have a duty to craft policies in the best interests of the safety and prosperity of all Western Pennsylvanians, including wage security for our workers.”

-- From Kelly’s statement on U.S. border policy and child separation, June 18, 2018.

 

     Safety and prosperity? Wage security? Kids are the victims of unconscionable mental abuse and he defaults to the GOP stereotype of immigrants being a threat to Americans and taking their jobs.

 

     For instances when the child is verifiably not being exploited or facing any danger, I agree with President Trump that current policy should be changed to keep family units together.

-- From Kelly’s statement on U.S. Border policy and child separation, June 18, 2018.

 

     This is craven dishonesty from Kelly. It was Trump’s zero tolerance policy that led to the separations, but Kelly desperately tried to spin it as if the president was saving the day instead of traumatizing kids, possibly for the rest of their lives.

 

     Kelly characterized children being separated from their parents at the border as “deeply troubling.” No. A bad toothache is deeply troubling. Being concerned you might run out of gas as you drive on a dark, deserted stretch of road is deeply troubling. Your boss giving you a bad performance review is deeply troubling. Crying, traumatized children is way beyond deeply troubling, or at least it would be for most of us.

 

     Trump -- with Kelly’s support -- may think it’s fun to break the will of children, but in November it will be men and women going to the polls. Men and women sick of the Trump/Kelly vision of America, where the goal is cruelty and the victims are those least able to fight back.

 

     Hate and fear. Those are the foundations of this national disgrace. This dark stain on our history is happening right before our eyes.

 

     All we have to do is open them.

 

     Then we have to vote.

     Inside a Texas Building Where the Government is Holding Immigrant Children. The New Yorker, June 22, 2019.

     What a Pediatrician Saw Inside a Border Patrol Warehouse. The Atlantic, July 3, 2019.

 

     Hungry, Scared and Sick: Inside the Migrant Detention Center in Clint, Tex. New York Times, July 9, 2019.

     Statement by Rep. Mike Kelly on Border Policy. June 18, 2018

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