Tag Archives: immigration

Positive Politics, Part 2

Dear Republicans:
Will you make history or miss another moment and pass the problems forward?
Courage, humility and unselfish love compels action. Please begin negotiating and passing bipartisan legislation that benefits the most people possible.

You may never get the extreme Left to join you, but there are persons of conscience and common good that want to refine healthcare, improve infrastructure, secure our borders and transform immigration.

Please create budgets that move us toward debt reduction. If you care about efficiency and ethics, please transform systems so resources get to the people that need them. You were elected to create a new environment in Washington, D.C. Simplify tax laws, stop currying favor with lobbyists and making side deals.

We just endured 8 years of opaque contempt for dialogue. Please do not make the same mistakes. Forge friendships across every aisle.

Regardless of your distaste or support for the President, you have a moral obligation to bring legislation for signature. “Open covenants openly arrive at…” should be the norm, including laws the average person can read and understand. President Reagan and Speaker O/Neill negotiated. President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich were not friends, but came the closest to a balanced budget since 1967.

It just takes courage, humility and love for the American people.

A More Excellent Way: Restoring Civility in the USA

There is “a more excellent way” through our hatred, polarization and violence. Please ponder the following:

Being conservative is not fascist, racist, sexist or xenophobic. It means limited government, free markets and certain traditional values. Being liberal does not make you an atheist, communist or hater. You are more sanguine about the role of government and long for international agencies to improve human life.

Violent and vocal opponents of liberty are stifling free expression, threatening the lives of any who will not tow a narrow ideological line.

There is a more excellent way – the way of agape love that is passionate and principled about human flourishing.

Love means wanting the best for all and thinking deeply and acting decisively for that goal.
Love means risking debate because freedom of conscience/religion is the first freedom and more precious than hurt feelings.
Love means listening to the stories of real people next door, not just passing on media memes.
Love means looking for the best in others while recognizing the worst in ourselves.
Love means self-discipline, especially of emotions and words and that can wound deeply.
Love engages in peacemaking, from college classrooms to war zones, from family disputes to economic and environmental issues.

Whether “alt-right” or “progressive”, Republican, Democrat, Green or Independent, let’s foster civility and honest debate and refuse to give in to intolerance. Let’s end the tired nostalgia of the Right – that somehow life was better in the 1950s or 1960s – before millions could vote. Let’s end the tired revisionism and fantasies of the left – that America is fundamentally evil and any traditions are suspect.

Let’s create a fresh history, humbly learning from the heroic deeds of our mothers and fathers and repenting of the injustices of others. Time for creativity, not collectivism, fresh thinking, not slogans, ethical service, not agitation.

A more excellent way is possible.

Immigration. Ellis Island 2017: 11 Principles for Shaping Compassionate and Principled Policy

  1.  Compassion and hospitality are compatible with the rule of law and national sovereignty.
  2.  Citizenship matters and voting is for citizens.
  3.  Violent felons should be deported and known gang and terrorist affiliations are reason to reject applications.
  4.  For all desiring legal status – from student visas to work permits to citizenship: the process can be streamlined and improved, with reasonable vetting and follow-through.
  5.  For the current undocumented residents: if you desire long-term residency, come out of the shadows and begin the normalization process, without fear of deportation (if you are free from criminal activity). Businesses will be penalized for failure to comply with the law. There must be a statute of limitations for welfare benefits and students must maintain visas. American citizens and legal residents will receive priority for scholarships and registrations in classes at colleges, universities and trade schools.
  6.  Enforce the Mexican border well and demand reciprocal cooperation against the drug cartels and governmental corruption. Reject all racism and revisionism from radical groups like La Raza that aim to subvert American values.
  7.  Anyone of any faith or none that calls for the subversion of the American government and human liberty is not welcome. Background checks and careful questions can help keep terrorism at bay.
  8.  Islamic leaders must reject violent jihad and the imposition of Sharia Law as a parallel system for their communities in all but the narrowest religious matters. Religious liberty is the first freedom…and it creates the ability for all people to commit to any faith or none without fear. There must never be “no go” zones for civilians or law enforcement and no suppression of non-violent free speech. A Christian evangelist or a Jewish Rabbi should feel safe in any neighborhood of Dearborn, MI.
  9.  Both political parties and business leaders must come clean and stop the dishonesty. Democrats are happy with more voters and swelling welfare rolls, increasing governmental reach. Republicans and some libertarians love the cheaper labor, from service to technology, thus un- or under employing millions of qualified citizens. E-verify and priority for American citizens as workers must be part of our policy.
  10.  No more sanctuary cities or campuses…there is no need if the system is reformed and people are welcome.
  11.  Finally, create Hospitality Centers along all borders and other points of entry and foster a welcoming and safe environment. Work with local and state governments, business and non-profit and religious groups to transition refugees to sustainable work so the welfare and medical systems are not overwhelmed.

We can create a new history of compassion and safety for both citizens and immigrants, residents and refugees. Let’s stop the shouting and get to work.

A Summer Letter to the Presidential Candidates

Dear Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump,
Congratulations. The race is on.
You each must answer fundamental questions about America’s future:

What is your ethic of human dignity, from conception to coronation, and how do we treat the vulnerable?

Will you affirm without qualification the first freedom of the First Amendment – complete freedom of conscience/religion and repudiate all attempts at enforced theocracies of any kind?

Will you call on all allies everywhere to affirm human dignity and equality and freedom of conscience, repudiating all slavery and dhimmitude?

Will you outline a real strategy against ISIS and other terror groups that includes our allies?

What is a hospitable and wise immigration policy?

How will federal budgets be balanced?

What is our posture toward Israel and a Palestinian Authority still dedicated to her destruction?

How do we really heal racial divisions?

How do we balance the blessings of global free trade with concern for American workers?

How will you balance free enterprise with proper ethical oversight?

AND…What are the virtues that nourish true liberty and what are the responsibilities of every citizen?

Madame Secretary and Mr. Trump,
Our times call for statesmanship, not gamesmanship. Our times call for conciliation and conviction, courage and humility, not ad hominem attacks. It is easy to label and libel – much harder to articulate the vision and sacrifices necessary to secure the future. Self-love and lust for power are the road to personal and national self-destruction. Please articulate a way forward that ensures the common good without a nanny-state and unleashes ethical enterprise and compassion for all.

Waiting for character and vision.