All of my grandparents immigrated here from Europe. European Jews who fled their homelands in the face of rising nationalism. Crossed the ocean with little more than a dream of a freer and more open society. My father in turn was raised mostly in foster homes. Passed around from family to family. Valued more for the monthly check he’d bring in than for his intellect or kindness.
To turn away refugees and treat them as greater threats than the head of our National Security Agency. To tear an innocent child away from a parent. To lose them in the system as if their worth is equal to that of a UPS parcel. As a father to two small girls my thoughts immediately turn to them. The possibility that they may ever experience such pain. It wrecks me.
How can it be that not everyone feels the same. How can this be a political issue? How can Republicans stay silent in the face of these horrors that are taking place within shores?
It comes down to empathy. The contrast between parties; whether in response to immigration, preemptive war, healthcare, mass shootings can only be explained by empathy. The GOP respond with a “that would never be my child” attitude. Extend their thoughts and prayers. Mourn the national tragedy, the innocent civilians, the fallen soldier, the lost children, and then move on to he next day.
Progressives react with a “what if that was my child!” response. They express outrage, demand #GunContolNow, exhaust diplomacy, protest the wars, wonder where are the children, and then spend thousands of sleepless nights worrying “what if tomorrow…”