The End of Facebook

At least it’s the end of Facebook for me. I’m not so full of myself to think that if I stop posting, Facebook will collapse. In fact, it’s not totally the end of Facebook for me. I still have friends I want to keep in touch with, and I use it as a means to promote our local Toastmasters club, Arthur Storer Toastmasters. So I’m not going to disappear entirely.

I guess that makes the title wrong in every sense of the word. It is merely sensationalist. My bad.

What I am going to stop doing is conducting lengthy political debates there. As I indicated in my first post here, Facebook is not a great forum for debates. At its best, there are some detailed discussions, with links to appropriate articles and videos. These take a long time to scroll through, and just don’t look right amidst all the one-line comments and shout outs.

At its worst, political debates on Facebook quickly become diatribes, bickering like I remember from second grade, or efforts to explain my position when people misinterpret what I say or spin it in a totally different direction. This seems to be a favorite tactic of a lot of debaters. When Facebook discussions raise multiple points, or when one person tries to respond to multiple disparate comments, any sense of order quickly dissolves.

With a blog, I can avoid a lot of that. It’s much easier to read a blog post on WordPress than it is on Facebook, where it is squeezed between ads on either side of the page. I can take my time and fully explain myself, so there is less time discussing what people think I said and more time debating what I actually said.

As I indicated when I started this, Facebook is more the equivalent of the man standing on the corner and ranting (Speaker’s Corner in London, for those familiar with it). People walk by, listen for a few seconds, maybe get into a shouting match.

What I hope to do here is invite these people to sit down and have a discussion. Hence the virtual bar analogy.

So, if I think I can correct a point with a one-sentence reply and one link, I will continue to do that. If my point needs to be made in a longer form, I will write a blog here and link to it on Facebook.

I hope you will take the time to follow me over to here and engage in debates. Enjoy the distraction-free environment, and take the time to make your case.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sure, Let’s Talk about the Electoral College. Everyone else is!

The Electoral College has been in the news a lot lately. Part of the reason is because, again this year, the winning candidate did not have the most popular votes of all the candidates. Another recent time this happened was in 2000, when Bush beat Gore in the Electoral College (and the Supreme Court), but not in the popular vote.

 

In fact, studies have been done that show that a person can win an election with as little as 27% of the popular vote. It does not seem to make sense that a person can be elected when 3/4 of the people think someone else is better.

 

The counter argument to that is that if the candidates knew the election would be decided by popular vote and not electoral votes, they would have run their campaigns totally differently. States that would get a lot of attention in a popular vote election are largely ignored in an election decided by electors.

 

When I was in high school, our social studies teacher said that it is not a good idea to scrap the electoral college because there isn’t a better system. I used to think the Electoral College was a better system than a simple popular vote. A candidate could campaign in the six largest cities, promising all sorts of things to people in urban centers, totally ignore the rural parts of the country, and still win the election. The electoral college mitigates that, somewhat.

 

Lately I have been hearing arguments that with the current Electoral College, the same thing is happening. Certain states, like CA, TX, and NY, are largely ignored because they are solidly in one political camp.

 

The original reason for the Electoral College, in addition to creating a compromise between individual rights and state’s rights, was because at that time the Founding Fathers thought the average citizen didn’t know enough about political issues to make an informed choice. News traveled very slowly, so the average citizen couldn’t possibly know about all the goings-on in election campaigns. They elected people (electors) who would devote time to understanding the issues and vote in the best interest of the people who elected them.

 

Today’s citizen is much more informed, and can get news quickly, so the argument that electors are needed because they are more knowledgeable than the general public is no longer true. The average citizen has as much information as any elector, and can make his own informed decision.

 

That’s what I thought. Then I read this:

 

 

Fake news has been a scourge since before Facebook; the existence of that social media platform has only made the situation worse. And people are being taken in by these stories hook, line, and sinker. (The president-elect himself has referenced some news stories that turned out to be wrong.) The article claims that the average student does not have the critical thinking skills to distinguish real news from fake news and to seek out primary sources to verify or refute stories.

 

So maybe we do need electors who know more about the process than the average person.

 

Unfortunately, that’s not the way electors are chosen. They are politicians or party faithful who will vote for their party if their party wins.

 

Maybe we do keep the Electoral College, but modify choosing of electors. Have potential electors run for the position and campaign for it. Maybe, even among electors for the same candidate, one will have a better grasp of the issues, or at least the better ability to identify fake news stories.

 

Of course we will need to iron out the details. First and foremost, can we handle another 2000 candidates for electors? But as a thought exercise, it is worth considering, and may give us ideas on how to change the current system.

 

I also have other ideas for voting differently. They will help with the situation like we just had where a lot of votes were not as much for candidate A as they were against candidate B. I will save that for another blog.

 

In the meantime, I’m sure there will be a lot more talk about the electoral college in the near future.

How Donald Trump will Unite America (This is me writing, so it’s not what you think)

During the NBC News election coverage Tuesday night, some of the reporters and analysts pointed out a contradiction in the way political campaigns are run. People running for President talk about building bridges and bringing Americans together. Yet, during campaigns, they focus on how they can tailor their message to reach Black voters, women voters, Hispanic voters, etc. This is totally contradictory to the message of bringing Americans together.

I was disheartened that I couldn’t think of a way to ever get past this.

We may have found one.

Here is how I think Trump is going to unite America.

During his campaign, Trump made derogatory comments about the following groups:

  • Mexicans
  • Muslims
  • Women
  • Blacks
  • Democrats
  • Establishment Republicans
  • Jews (it wasn’t as front and center as the others, but it was there)
  • (If I left out your group, I apologize, and welcome your input)

That’s an interesting set of categories. Many have views that oppose others in the group. If all these groups could work together on a common issue, it would be a powerful force.

There is a common issue for all of them – President Trump.

At least, I hope these groups band together to make sure there is no second term for Trump. Better, I hope they make changes at the local level that will trickle up the chain so they affect the nation.

I’m glad there may be a way to unify America, finally.

I’m just sorry it’s going to take four years of a Trump presidency to accomplish this.

For people who were slighted by Trump’s words throughout the campaign, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But there is work to do.

But, we can stop one terrorist… Right?

I am alarmed at the frequency of mass shootings in this country. I wrote this post previously:

Straight from the Source – Me

It’s sad that Tom Tomorrow’s job has been made that much easier – all he needs to do is re-run that cartoon every so often.

As the cartoon suggests, whenever a mass shooting occurs, I hear the arguments that if more people in the theater, school, nightclub, etc., had guns, the mass shooting would have been stopped with no loss of life, except, possibly, the shooter.

Let’s picture the scenario. We’re at a busy night club. It’s actually a cowboy bar. Texas allows open carry, so it is a good bet that many patrons will be carrying. A miscreant enters, intent on shooting as many American infidels as he can.

As he enters, he realizes he will not get past the bouncer without being stopped, so he charges past, pulling out his Uzi in the process, ready to mow down innocent partiers.

Joe, a beefy-looking dude who is a supporter of open carry, sees the bad guy and yells, “Gun!” Instantly the house lights go on, the music stops, and 20 men and women on the dance floor have their weapons trained on the bad guy. Realizing the futility of his situation, the gunman drops his weapon and puts his arms in the air. The crowd holds him at gunpoint until police arrive to take him away. Afterwards, the party continues, with the patrons congratulating each other and singing “God Bless the USA.”

Great story, huh? Let’s let it sink in and see how masterfully it was pulled off.

OK? Ready to go on?

Now, let’s see how many ways this scenario is unlikely to happen as I just wrote it.

First, there is the notion that many people will be packing. Question is, will they be carrying all the time, or will they leave their guns with their friends while they do the Texas Two-Step? It’s likely many will be carrying, but I suspect not all.

Will the shooter be stopped at the door? Possibly, but since Texas is an open carry state, it’s possible the bouncer won’t care or even notice that he has a gun.

Will the patrons identify the gunman and draw before he can do any damage? It’s not likely. At Columbine, there was an armed marshal on site, and before he even knew anything was happening, several children had already been killed. At Pulse nightclub in Orlando, patrons first thought the shots were part of the music, then others thought it came from firecrackers. Again, people died before anyone realized anything was going on.

Will the music stop suddenly and guns be drawn quickly and effectively? It’s not likely the music will stop right away and the house lights would come on. People would probably not have the immediate presence of mind to do that. If they realized there was shooting, their first inclination would be to duck and hide, not to run to the light switch.

Remember, shooting is starting in a dark nightclub with loud music. Will all the gun-toting patrons know exactly who was shooting and properly draw their weapons? Police officers, who have been in training, have to navigate a Hogan’s Alley type obstacle range, where they must shoot criminals quickly, but must not harm any civilians. I’ve played video games that simulate Hogan’s Alley, and even though I didn’t shoot any civilians, I wasn’t able to get the criminals on the first shot. My accuracy was off. The actual Hogan’s Alley exercise is done with no other people in your way, and with no distracting lights or noise. It is still extremely difficult.

Now picture the scene a bit differently. A gunman pulls out a weapon. Amidst the loud noise and flashing lights, some patrons, certainly not all, realize something is going on.  Remember, these people very likely have less training than a police officer, the room is loud, the lights are distracting, and a sense of chaos is starting to spread.

Will the patrons pull their guns? Will they be able to keep the gunman immobile? Will they be able to find the gunman? Will they accidentally shoot someone else, or themselves? Will  they freeze in their tracks?

The situation is suddenly a lot less heroic, but is much more likely. The presence of guns did not help the situation; in fact, it is easy to see how it could make the situation a lot worse.

People who advocated arming more people will no doubt say my second scenario is far-fetched. They may even try to poke holes in it. I believe with calm, honest reflection, you will see that the chaotic scenario is much more likely than the successful one.

To me, still, the best way to keep the situation from happening is to keep the shooter’s gun from getting into the mix. Prevent him from getting a weapon in the first place. Or, in the words of Joshua from WarGames about “Global Thermonuclear War:” “The only way to win is not to play.”

How Not to Stop Terrorism

There is a chess book called How Not to Play Chess. The book shows all the things that good chess players must not do (for example, “Avoid mistakes” and “Don’t relinquish the initiative.”). It is a different way to approach chess strategy, but looking at the game from that different vantage point helped me see many different ways to improve my game.

This essay is in the same vein. Let’s outline some of the strategies that will not stop terrorism.

Building a wall will not work. In WWII, the French built the Maginot line, a string of defenses to keep the Germans out. What did the Germans do? They went around the wall, through Belgium and the Netherlands. If Mexicans are determined to find a way in, they will. They can take boats up the Gulf Coast. Cuban refugees took rickety boats across Atlantic ocean waters to Florida. Traversing the Gulf would be easier, though still treacherous. Desperate people will take extreme measures to survive. They already have.

And that is only the average Mexican, with very modest means. Think how much easier it would be for a well-financed terrorist to bypass a wall. Remember the tunnels the Mexican drug cartels built into Arizona? I predict that if the wall gets anywhere close to being built, there will be a network of underground tunnels before it is ever finished.

So, a wall won’t help.

Another suggestion I’ve heard is killing all terrorists. Upon closer analysis, this idea makes building a wall seem as normal as filling potholes.

Ted Cruz talked about bombing ISIS until the “sand glows in the dark.” Trump said he would “bomb the shit out of them.” These simplistic taunts – I hesitate to call them policies – have major flaws.

Bombing strikes of this magnitude are bound to inflict casualties upon the citizenry we are supposedly trying to protect. Many years ago, I read in a “News of the Weird”-type publication of strange-but-true news stories. In a northern town, a floating chunk of ice – a mini-iceberg – was threatening to damage a causeway. Town engineers devised a plan to use explosives to destroy the mini-iceberg. The explosion destroyed the causeway.

Even if unintended casualties were avoided, killing ISIS fighters will not discourage people from joining the fight. In fact, it will only encourage them. These are people who have subverted mainstream Islam and enticed their followers by saying that seventy-two virgins await martyrs for the cause in heaven. To paraphrase a line from Blazing Saddles, we can’t bomb them; it will only make them angry.

To have a fully successful bombing campaign, then, it must kill absolutely every ISIS fighter and potential ISIS sympathizer. Since new converts join because their friends are killed by the enemy’s bombs, that could potentially mean everyone – ISIS fighters, ISIS supporters, Muslims, Arabs, liberals – would need to be killed. You see where I’m going with this?

So, bombing won’t work either.

What will stop terrorism?

The title of this piece suggests that I don’t know what will work, but I hope it is plainly obvious to people what won’t work. The two policies I discussed won’t work because they don’t consider the mind of the terrorist. Building a wall assumes that terrorists will think, “Wow, that’s a huge wall. I’ll never get past it. I give up.” Bombing assumes the terrorists will think, “If they bomb us, I might be killed. That would be a bad thing. I better stop fighting.” Those thought processes are naive.

We need to try to consider the mind of a terrorist. I suspect one driving thought process is “we have a mission to convert all people to Islam – the right form of Islam. If we stop before that goal is completed, we are not being true to Allah.” Building walls and dropping bombs would be ineffective against this thinking.

I believe any approach to fighting terrorism needs to start with the terrorists’ hearts and minds.

Let’s discuss their beliefs with them. At the very least, it will show that we are interested, and validation goes a long way toward mutual understanding. If we press many terrorists, I suspect we will find very few who are willing to die for their beliefs.

The die-hard terrorists will need to be defeated militarily. There is probably no other good option. But, we must also point out to the wannabe terrorists that the die-hards we are stopping do not represent the vast majority of Muslims in the world.

We then can find out what the actual bee in their bonnet is. I doubt it is that everyone is an infidel and must be stopped. There may be issues of religious persecution, economic inequality, and the like. While these issues are not easy to solve, there is at least hope of a solution.

People may say this is a naive hope. I think it’s equally naive to think that we can stop terrorism with useless walls or indiscriminate bombing. At least, if we try to work on their hearts and minds, any unintended consequences will be more positive.

If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything at All

I could have made this a snarky essay and posted it with the title, and nothing else. But I’m starting to realize that change in political discourse needs to start somewhere. So I thought I would make a small overture here.

Jon Stewart famously made an appearance on CNN’s “Crossfire” program, at the time hosted by Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. Stewart asked Carlson, a Republican commentator, to say something nice about John Kerry. He also asked Begala, former aide in President Clinton’s administration, to say something nice about George W. Bush. Both hosts flubbed the challenge, then went on to defend the deliberately antagonistic format of “Crossfire.” Here are Begala’s recollections of the interview.

I’m not going to flub this one.

I am glad I’m writing this, because I’m not used to thinking about Republican politicians positively, and, along with taking a step toward common ground, it’s an interesting exercise. So, here goes:

Donald Trump – He is a successful businessman, and a master of marketing. His name is recognized worldwide, and he has built some exceptional buildings, several of which are synonymous with Trump. Yes, he has had a lot of failed business ventures, but that is only because he is not afraid to take chances. That is the right mindset to be a successful businessman.

Ted Cruz – He is very strong in his beliefs, which is more than a lot of politicians can say. He takes his Evangelical background and Conservative beliefs very seriously, and is not afraid to take a stand, even if it is far removed from the norm. In a very short time, he has become an important figure in politics.

Mitch McConnell – The senior senator from Kentucky, McConnell has been in the Senate since 1985, which shows he is responsive to Kentuckians, and is well liked. Throughout his tenure, he has been majority whip, minority leader, and majority leader; in addition to the respect of Kentuckians, he also has the respect of the Senate.

I hope this doesn’t come across as faint praise. I am impressed by these accomplishments. It takes years of hard work to achieve what these three, and every other Presidential candidate and Congressional leader, have achieved.

And I am also sure that these three have the best interests of America in mind…

OK, I want to hedge my bet here. I can’t be absolutely certain Trump has the best interests of America in mind. His lack of an expressed position on issues, his changing rhetoric, and his grandstanding, all suggest to me that he may be in this for himself, either to somehow improve his business cachet, or just to have people talk about him and have his ego stroked.

As for Cruz and McConnell, I do truly believe that they have the best interests of America in mind. It’s just that their vision of what is best for America differs a great deal from mine, and from many Democrats (and more than a few Republicans). That is what is great about America; that people with totally differing viewpoints can all express them.

I truly wish the debates and discussions over issues were more focused on why one person believes what he does and why the other belief system is not correct. Let’s focus more on these ideas, and less on people’s hand size.

Conservative Principles, or Glenn Beck Sounds Rational!

Glenn Beck is a conservative, formerly Republican commentator who has a website called “The Blaze” and a radio show. He also at one time had a show on Fox News. This year, he gave the closing address at the Conservative Political Action Conference. One of my conservative friends referred the speech to me as a good explanation of conservative values.

Click here for the speech.

To be fair, I listened to about half the speech, but then I downloaded the transcript and read it. It was easier for me to make notes that way, and faster, too.

Beck had a reputation for getting excited, ebullient, and sometimes erratic when he speaks. (I watched bits of his show a few times; the reputation is earned.) For this speech, though, he was forceful, but measured. There was none of the wildness he had shown on his program in the past.

The parts of his speech that explain conservative principles is that we are all individuals who have free agency and inalienable rights. No man or woman has power over any other. Rights are ours individually, and so no individual’s rights can trump anyone else’s rights.

Beck made his case passionately. And I disagree with nearly everything he said.

To start, there is an overall tone to his speech that immediately undercuts his argument. For all his talk about individuality, Beck is very quick to lump progressives, liberals, socialists, and the like into one bucket with one common goal. If everyone is an individual, certainly we have individual viewpoints that do not follow one set of beliefs assigned to us by people who disagree with us.

Since we live in close proximity to other humans, an individual’s rights are bound to bump up against another’s rights. Beck completely ignores this possibility, other than to say the rights of five can never outweigh the rights of one. But there are many cases where one person’s rights can interfere with another person’s rights. For example, if a person makes a statement, he is exercising his First Amendment right of free speech. If the statement is a libel against another person, explaining falsely that he committed a crime, he is denying that person due process, another Constitutional right.

No rights are absolute – even the right of free speech (the “shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater” situation). More generally, nearly every civil court case occurs because each party feels his rights have been violated.

Conflicting rights need to be resolved. In Beck’s world, each individual would claim his rights, and there would be a standoff, which could possibly end in chaos. I don’t think this is what the Founding Fathers envisioned.

In Beck’s talk, there is the statement that advances in technology were stagnant, then came at an incredible rate after the American Revolution, strongly suggesting that the American ideal of individuality led to the advances. Let’s forget for a moment about the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The simple truth is everyone’s success is built on the work and successes of people before him.

Unless a multimillionaire dug gold out of the ground with his bare hands, all of his successes came from the hard work of others. I’m not suggesting that he didn’t do hard work himself – just that he could do what he did only because of those who came before him.

In fact, man has only survived through joint effort. I made a comment to this effect in a Toastmasters speech I gave. The reason there are only 20% true introverts is that introversion is not conducive to survival. Introverts are most at ease when they are alone. Do you know what else likes it when introverts are alone? Mountain lions.

There is much more to society than saying “I am an individual, and I have rights.”

I consider myself liberal, and I too believe everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as presented in the US Constitution. I also believe that those rights are meaningless if people do not have the ability to exercise those rights because of their current situation. That is where others step in to help. Individuals, and even small private groups, can offer some help, but the government is in a unique position to provide help on a national scale, through the powers and duties of imposing taxes and organizing aid (such as Medicare and Social Security).

There is also a principle called the social contract. Society agrees to give up some individual rights to the whole in exchange for the whole providing services. For all their talk, conservatives never mention the social contract. Is it possible they don’t accept it or have reimagined it to fit in with their agenda?

Conservatives believe in the power of the individual. Liberals also believe in the power of the individual, but we also believe that individual power can be even better expressed through the help of the whole of society. That requires more work to find the balance between individual rights and what is best for society, but just having that discussion helps everyone understand his place in society and his responsibilities.

How can anyone seriously talk about individual rights as the be all and end all without realizing that we give up our individual rights regularly in order to live and work in society? I for one don’t want to live in my own fiefdom. I am delighted that I can forego some rights so that others can exercise their rights in the same way. Then we can work together and truly improve society for all individuals.

 

Topic: The Supreme Court is neither Supreme nor a Court. Discuss…

I was going to title this blog post “What Happened?” Then I realized that didn’t narrow down the subject matter very much.

I’m sure you all know what is happening with the Supreme Court. Justice Antonin Scalia passed away on February 13. Within hours of his passing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would not hold hearings on any Supreme Court justice nominations put forth by President Obama.

I emphasize the “within hours” part because I wonder if the statement was a knee-jerk reaction to an unexpected development. Justice Scalia was known to side with conservatives on many issues brought before the Supreme Court, and Republicans were caught with their pants down. They manifested their concern that any Obama appointee would shift the liberal/conservative balance in the Supreme Court.

The previous paragraph sounds like it belongs in a “Twilight Zone” episode. The founding fathers put several provisions in place to ensure (well, try to ensure) that the Supreme Court and its justices would be above politics. The biggest of these is lifetime appointment of Supreme Court justices. That is designed to help the justices make rulings based solely on the law, and not because their job might depend on it (as is the case for the Executive and Legislative branches).

That is why Senator Ted Cruz’s proposed Constitutional amendment that Supreme Court justices be subject to periodic retention elections is totally against the basis of forming the Supreme Court in the first place. He is claiming to be a defender of the Constitution; I hoped he would understand it well enough to know why Supreme Court elections are a terrible idea.

Senator Cruz and Senator McConnell both refer to the “will of the people” as the reason for making the decisions they did. McConnell says the public needs to have a say in the choice of the next Supreme Court justice. Cruz says that retention elections will make the justices more responsive to the people.

These arguments don’t hold water. The public already did have a say in the choice of Supreme Court justice: they elected Obama in 2012. One of his Constitutionally-assigned duties is to nominate someone to fill any vacancy in the Supreme Court.

If the political landscape is too turbulent in the last year of a president’s term in office, who’s to say it’s any less turbulent in mid-year elections, when the House and 1/3 of the Senate is elected? Do we pass measures that say Presidents cannot nominate Supreme Court Justices for the period of one year before congressional elections? Why not extend that to appellate court judicial nominations? I used to embrace slippery-slope arguments. I like them less nowadays, but you can still see where this might be headed.

As for Cruz’s comments, Supreme Court justices are not supposed to be responsive to the will of the people. They need to be responsive to the law.

This brings us back to the title of his blog. (I hope that you realize it’s a joke, and you get bonus points if you know what I am referring to.) The Supreme Court is not supreme if it needs to make its rulings based on how anyone responds. It needs to be above all that – “supreme.” I’m hard-pressed to argue how it is no longer a “court,” but with a Supreme Court justice vacancy, it is not the Supreme Court previous generations envisioned.

We all know how politically divisive our country has become. All the media discussion around the Supreme Court justice nominee has centered on how it will affect the balance of the court, if it will make the court more liberal, since a Democrat made the nomination, and will the next President make a nomination more in line with the thinking of one of the parties.

There had been much praise for Judge Garland when he was nominated (and later confirmed) as an appellate court judge. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, who supported Judge Garland 20 years ago, even said recently that it is not about the man. That only leaves the notion that it is about politics. Some Senators floated the idea that the Justice Committee would hold hearings after the November elections. Again, the only reason to even make this suggestion is politics.

The start to breaking the logjam of divisiveness is to appoint a centrist justice who has not shown a strong bias in his rulings throughout his career. By all accounts Garland is such a justice. Obama hoped nominating Garland would be a big overture in the process. The Republican-led Senate brought political hard feelings back into play with their decision not to hold hearings. Maybe enough Senators will be perceptive enough to see the foolhardiness in their actions (if only to avoid losing in the upcoming Senate elections) and hold hearings. Perhaps then the Supreme Court will be back on the road to an impartial body that is truly “supreme.”

Well, I can hope. After all, this is the President of hope. At least for another nine months.

Thinking Outside the Border

I heard several stories on NPR in the past few days about Syrian refugees that got me thinking. Today, Slovakia, Croatia, and Slovenia announced they were not going to allow refugees to enter their country:

NPR logo http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/08/469724610/slovenia-closes-its-border-stranding-tens-of-thousands-of-migrants

(One overland route to Germany goes through these Balkan states, since Romania closed its borders.)

Yesterday, there was a story discussing how the EU was going to pay Turkey assistance, on the order of billions of dollars, to keep refugees from entering Europe. Here’s the original Reuters story:

Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-eu-idUSKCN0W8111

The money would obviously help take care of the refugees. There were other conditions imposed by Turkey, which is making negotiations difficult.

What if the United States did something similar? In exchange for billions in aid specified for refugee resettlement, the EU will take in and care for refugees. On the surface, this has several selling points:

  • The cost would probably be less for the US than the cost for resettling refugees in the US.
  • The process would be safer for the refugees; instead of having to risk a trip to North America, fraught with navigation dangers and human smugglers, they could take the (relatively) safer trek to Europe.
  • Refugees would not need to be settled in the United States (making it palatable for extremists).
  • Ultimately, we would in fact be helping potentially a million refugees.

This is just the broad brush idea. There will be a lot of logistical details to work out, and it might take years until Europe sees a huge influx of US aid. However, experts say the refugee situation is going to be an issue for years to come.

I welcome your comments.