I have to wonder if the people that voted for Trump are starting to regret their decision, or if they simply have their heads buried in the sand. First the FCC, and now “extreme vetting.”
Admittedly, the FCC thing has yet to be signed into law, and well the whole extreme vetting thing is really just a “What If?” People still in support of Trump would probably look at the words “could’ and “possibly” as extremely problematic, discrediting of a news source, and then decry “fake news” or some bullshit.
The very fact that this is a very real possibility though should scare anyone with an ounce of critical thinking.
Extreme vetting as described via The Guardian:
The changes might include visitors from the 38 countries – the UK, France, Australia and Japan among them – that participate in the visa waiver programme, which requires adherence to strict US standards in data sharing, passport control and other factors, one senior official told the Journal.
This could require people to hand over their phones so officials can study their stored contacts and possibly other information. The aim is to “figure out who you are communicating with”, a senior Department of Homeland Security official was quoted as saying. “What you can get on the average person’s phone can be invaluable.”
A second change would ask applicants for their social media handles and passwords, so that officials could see information posted privately in addition to public posts, the Journal said.
Why this is problematic?
Extreme vetting would make more sense if this was being used specifically against Middle Eastern countries, in particular ones we have conflicts with. That isn’t to say it is right or ethical to do so, it just would be the most logical considering we have very real issues with countries in that part of the world.
This isn’t the case though, and would be applied to countries we are allies with i.e. France and Australia. This vetting process in particular is being sold mainly as a way to combat terrorism. So practiced in its wholesome intended purpose would mean that it would be applied towards people who are newly immigrated to allied countries from the Middle East. In particular people of the Muslim faith.
I am not a fan of religion, but I believe that people have the right to believe what they believe, and some of my very best friends are Muslims. Although, I am realizing that me writing this paragraph is like a white guy justifying his use of the N-word. All that being said it is Islamic extremists who seem to be perpetuating a cycle of violence bent on disrupting the Western way of life.
However, can anyone really be certain that this practice is going to be used to weed out terrorists? Donald Trump’s ego is so fragile this feels more like a ploy to silence agitators. How broadly can something like this be extended, and what is to stop other countries doing the same to us.
Instead of filtering out potential terrorists, the more foreseeable use of something like “extreme vetting” would be to have justifiable cause to spy on people that are critical of the president and his administration.
Donald Trump’s paranoia seems to be on the same level of Philip K. Dick. Only one was a genius and the other a complete nincompoop. I’ll let you guess which is which. However, this extreme vetting process seems to be something taken out of one of Dick’s stories. Maybe “Minority Report”, where we arrest/prosecute/condemn people before a crime is even committed. To some this may seem ideal, and I do realize these people are not U.S. citizens, but we should seek to be the example when it comes to civil liberties and not totalitarian. Which is my fear, and that the very purpose of what extreme vetting is meant to do would be applied in a manner opposite of that.
Sure a few terrorists might be caught in the net, but with a country that has over 300 million people terrorism actually ranks pretty low on our list of threats.* Europe seems to be experiencing more of a problem with that as of late. That isn’t to say we should drop our guard either, just that our country has been doing a pretty good job since 9/11, and that the few awful events that have occurred are actually anomalies. Terrorism really reached its peak in the 70s and 80s, yet that is forgotten in our collective memories somehow.
This could potentially be added another long list of blunders committed by “our” president. The man refuses to listen to anyone with expertise, and the one guy that has his ear (Stephen Bannon) is believed to be some sort of far-right nihilist.
Part of what makes this country so great is our freedoms, with Trump as our president, those freedoms feel like they are being completely eroded. George W. Bush and Barack Obama weren’t exactly saints, but Trump seems to be a man who doesn’t even hide the fact that he doesn’t give a crap about the citizens he is now responsible for. Whether it be attempting to dismantle our health care for something that mainly favors the rich, systematically destroying the EPA so that coal and oil can rape and pillage are natural resources, attempting to discredit adversarial media organization, or potentially sell our information out to the highest bidder through the FCC. This man isn’t really full of any surprises, the only surprise would be if he did something out of human decency.
People like the guy because he isn’t politically correct, and that he is somehow giving a big middle finger to leftist libtard morality. Sure he is a real kick in the nuts to the P.C. police, and for that I really appreciate him. But really? Is this really any reason to support someone? Someone whose foreign policy strategy appears to just be about pissing off political allies, and getting in bed with human rights violators because… fuck it!
These questionable decisions might seem to align with a common goal, but in reality they only will hurt the U.S. soft power. Right now we are positioned pretty high, some would say we are number one, this is a position I’d like to keep. The emphasis shouldn’t be on the word “soft” and instead on the word power. Power is something I think we can all understand, and Trump is like the doctor giving our country a vasectomy. Sure we still will have some influence, but when it comes time for the money shot, we just aren’t as explosive and powerful as we used to be… plus our balls now look kind of sorta weird.