How the terrorists win:
- We stop trusting everyone, except those who agree with us..
- We impugn the motives of anyone with whom we disagree..
- We hide in our cave(s), afraid to travel or associate in groups..
- We give up our personal freedoms, and privacy in exchange for a false sense of security..
There is and always has been evil in the world. Fighting it is a continuing challenge. The ISIS threat is not new, though it may be different in kind in some significant ways. It feels extreme and a fundamental threat to civilization. It cannot be allowed to persist.
Individual citizens have incomplete information, and likely false information in part, on which to judge government actions/policies. Determining who/what source(s) to trust is a separate challenge.
For these, and other significant reasons, deciding how to respond to the Syrian refugee issue is especially problematic. Compassion says open our doors, caution says no, wait or some variant prompted by concern for imbedded ISIS threats. I choose to believe that no one wants these individuals to be thrown to the wolves. Deciding how best to help those fleeing from terror, without impugning the motives of those who have different views, should be the goal of a sensible and useful debate.
Listening to disparate news reports and the very personal attacks and counter attacks by our leaders is singularly unhelpful. Leaders of both political parties, especially the President, should be ashamed by their behavior to date.
I for one, want to help those truly in need, AND I want reasonable assurance that my government is protecting us – personally and our way of life – AND our ability to safely enjoy it. These may be conflicting goals that call for some accommodations by all of us – citizens and leaders.
Let’s start by focusing on solutions, sharing fact-checked information, and dispensing with rhetoric and name calling … those can’t do that are not being helpful and should get out of the conversation.