Less than six months since Paris fell victim to a lethal barrage of terrorist attacks that shook the country, and the world, to its core, Europe is reeling once more.
As the blood dries in Brussels the world’s most liberal continent is forced to weigh its philosophy of compassion against its own security.
And as America deals with its own migrant crisis in the form of refugees from Latin America likewise fleeing the terror of their homelands for a richer neighbor’s relative security, the events across the pond have not gone unnoticed, particularly in the throes of a tumultuous election year.
Democrats now appear terribly shortsighted in their approach to these issues as their policies only serve to enable the meteoric rise of Donald Trump. After all, the man that warned us about Brussels just months ago and the dangers of an ill-defined domestic immigration policy has, wittingly or not, largely been proven right by a string of events in the Old World.
Meanwhile, our sitting President reduces border surveillance, empties the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility, and continues to insist that we open our arms to Middle Eastern refugees that, while largely well-intentioned, nevertheless constitute a high-risk population. Cognitive dissonance much?
Simply put, the Trump Train is sweeping the country because he is winning the compassion vs. security debate hands down. And given the fact that the electorate has firmly declared national security a top priority, Brussels only helps his cause.
And why shouldn’t it? Is not the role of a government to protect its own citizens first and foremost? After all, the President’s oath on Inauguration Day is quite clear:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Exactly where in the Constitution does it declare that we are to sacrifice our collective well-being for the well-beings of others? And at what point was the Office of the President tasked with rehoming refugees from all four corners of the globe? You would think a former Harvard Law professor could tell you, but you’d be wrong.
As the world’s largest economy and greatest military power, of course we should help those from less fortunate locales — within reason. But as Belgium so painfully demonstrates, the risks of come one, come all may well outweigh the rewards. And that’s something every leader, in particular our president, should carefully consider.
The last time I checked we were electing the commander-in-chief, not Mother Teresa. The president serves as the head of the executive branch, tasked with enforcing the laws of the country. Instead, the last few have sat idly by while those laws were repeatedly violated in the name of compassion, or, perhaps more accurately, political demographic advantage. Rather than promoting the interests of those that entrusted them with the land’s highest office, our leaders have instead chosen the interests of those on the other side of a clearly defined, though ill-enforced, border.
And while the vast majority of those on the other side are hard-working, God-fearing people, enough are not. How many Kate Steinles and, for that matter Boston Marathon bombings, will it take before our leaders realize that they have betrayed their oath to the American people? How many families of deceased Americans could, in theory at least, rightfully accuse the government of negligent homicide (hint: thousands)? My opposition to the death penalty rests solely on the idea that one innocent man wrongly executed by the state is one too many—too bad our leaders don’t feel the same about the citizens they swore to protect.
If Obama, Merkel, and the like wish to play concierge for asylum seekers the world over, perhaps they should join the Red Cross. And leave protecting their electorates to those that honor the legal obligations of higher office.
Besides, no matter how badly we might want to rescue every man, woman, and child from the depths of tyranny, we simply cannot afford to. Continuing our blind-eye border policy as we approach $20 trillion in debt may well be more dangerous than any bomb.
According to one Heritage Foundation analysis:
“In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household. This cost had to be borne by U.S. taxpayers.”
In a country with millions of illegal immigrants, it’s not hard to see how the checks might soon start bouncing.
A similar study found that immigration from outside of Europe costs the U.K. alone “nearly 120 billion” pounds, or more than $180 billion, over 17 years. That’s not chump change by any measure, particularly when the only thing more coveted by a portion of the beneficiaries is your head on a platter. Considering that approximately one million refugees entered Europe in 2015 alone, the E.U. had best be flush with cash. It’s going to need it, for years to come.
In short, this Western compassion seems to have a pretty low return on investment, particularly in Europe where assimilation for Muslim refugees has proven especially difficult.
But, I’m sure you’re thinking, human lives are more than a bottom line. And you’re correct. As a Christian this philosophy of “America first” creates obvious problems with the compassion so valued in the Bible (and nearly every other major religious text). But religion, to me at least, has always been a personal calling, not a governmental one. While we have an obligation to do unto others, our government’s obligation is to do unto us before all others, a distinction long recognized in this nation’s policy of separation of church and state. Governments are not God, nor were they intended to be, hence Jesus’s command to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
After all, it’s entirely possible that Jesus would take issue with the might and scope of our military as well. But no one is suggesting we donate our bombers and carriers to Russia and Iran.
In the end, we should be as compassionate as possible. But never should that compassion supersede our own security.