When conservatarian talk show host Glenn Beck, accompanied by Sen. Ted Cruz, took soccer balls and teddy bears to the waves of children illegally swamping the southern U.S. border, conservatives were somewhat conflicted.
Many appreciated the compassion but sharply criticized the move for potentially adding to the problem by making it more attractive for more children to come (be sent) which would swell the problem. Many liberals considered it a cheap publicity stunt. The media yawned and barely covered it except to question Beck’s motives.
The year was 2014. Barack Obama bestrode the halls of the White House. And U.S. policy at the border was chaotic at best. But Beck didn’t create the situation. He responded to it. The Obama Administration’s lax enforcement of national laws and insinuations of a warm welcome had prompted the humanitarian crisis of tens of thousands of Central American children stacking up at the border.
Of course, as has been the case in recent years, Mexico was a bad actor in this. As this terrible neighbor is doing today, it created a secure path for the children to be ushered straight through from their decrepit and corrupt countries to be dumped at America’s steps.
The media covered the crisis as a humanitarian one that just sort of arose, and put the Obama administration in a tough spot. How would they deal with it? But this did not simply happen like a hurricane or tornado. It was man-made in Central America, Mexico and Washington, D.C. — exactly like the current family separation issue, except add in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals mandating that families cannot be kept together.
About 18 months before this, President Obama unconstitutionally, and probably illegally, granted blanket amnesty to about 800,000 mostly Central Americans who came to the country illegally. He did not follow the law or enforce the law. He simply bypassed it. Further, he began releasing illegal aliens into the interior of the country.
News of changes to American border policies travel like wildfire through Mexico and Central America.
“One of the consequences we’re seeing on the border is a humanitarian crisis that is a direct consequence of Obama’s lawlessness,” Cruz said at the time. He was making the totally plausible case that by granting amnesty to such large numbers of illegal aliens and relaxing border enforcement, Obama sent a message throughout Central America that precipitated a “change in behavior” — sending children northward.
Cruz was not alone. Many Republicans and Americans saw in the President’s actions an open invitation to all aspiring illegal aliens. So did the human-trafficking cartels and coyotes who run people across the border. So did the Mexican government that created the corridor for passage as long as they did not stop in Mexico. They would be America’s problem — just like Mexico’s poor.
The result was the 2014 humanitarian crisis on the border that captured considerable attention without assigning any substantial blame to Obama.
Yet the conditions that resulted from Obama’s actions were arguably much worse than the conditions in which children were separated from their families and placed in the care of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
But the media did not blame Obama for the human suffering and misery. He was not called a cruel animal, racist and xenophobe. No mass protests erupted. No groups targeted his staff in restaurants, at movies or other public places. No Republican Congressmen urged political opponents to harass Obama staffers wherever they found them.
Trump has played his role in the poison in our society right now, but it is not the major one. Trump is in many ways a response to the slow-drip poison injected by a deeply agenda-driven media that alternately lectured or vilified conservative, traditional Americans and ran interference for the endless scandals throughout the Obama administration. It’s a response to the ceaseless demonstrations and protests against traditional America, and Republicans’ inability or unwillingness to fight back.
It’s worth remembering Obama’s role in generating a full-scale crisis — and the lack of responsibility attached to him.
Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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