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Is this America's Best?

Post # 256, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary

America is Better Than This.

This is a picture of a boat that sailed from Cuba to Tavernier in the Florida Keys. I found it in the archives of the Miami Herald. For South Floridians it is all too common. The immigrants sailing on these dangerous vessels across the Florida straits are not just Cubans, but today include freedom seeking individuals from Venezuela, Columbia, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominic Republic. Most are risking everything for the 'new life,' but many do not make the trip alive.

The magnitude of the flow into Florida, and on the border states of California, Arizona, and Texas makes the problem serious today. But without bi-partisanship and cooperation among the affected states, the ballooning population on the border is now a crisis. Let's look at the political leadership involved:

  • Former President Trump: After calling 'some' Mexicans rapists, he closed America's borders until the courts declared his actions unconstitutional.

  • President Biden: With no consensus in the Congress, he has largely re-enacted the Obama policies of support for the dreamers and provided additional funding for the most affected states.

  • Texas Governor Abbott and Florida Governor DeSantis: Demonstrating the pro-Trump anger toward the refugees and the Democratic leaders involved, both governors have used the political gimmicks of 'dumping' the immigrants onto the soil of Democratic leaders, terrorizing the refugees.

  • Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker McCarthy: Both lament the lack of bipartisanship in both chambers and seem unwilling to provide the necessary leadership to address the crisis.

  • The Courts: To date, almost all progress in attempting to articulate manageable policy has come from the courts.

  • NATO: Without leadership coming from America, NATO has been reluctant to superimpose it's jurisdiction over the crisis.

  • The Catholic Church: Not considered to be a 'legitimate' leader in the immigration crisis, the church nonetheless provides substantial leadership among the people affected, although in the large picture, with limited success.

With so many break throughs in medicine, technology, communication and law, it is hard to believe that the broken down sail boat pictured above is the very best we have to offer the world in dealing with the futile plight of our fellow human beings. But without compassion and leadership that may be the very best America has to least today.



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