Being safer is harder when we lose focus

Our new President used fear as one of his key marketing messages to get elected. Let’s face it, fear sells especially to an uninformed audience. He feels obligated to act on those selling points as a show of force – build that wall, limit travel and focus on Islamic terrorists. It is not unlike a gorilla beating on his chest before a fight. They are largely symbolic than effective.

The dilemma is not only are these efforts not going to make us safer, they will actually have the opposite effect. Conservative columnist David Brooks said not only was the travel ban rolled out with equal parts chaos and incompetence, the ban will accomplish nothing except make us look poor in the eyes of the world and be used against us by terrorists. The best defense against extremists is a welcoming and flourishing diverse society.

The same is true with the heightened focus using the words “Islamic Terrorists” at the expense of funding of other terrorism fighting within our borders. Per an editorial in The Charlotte Observer called “In war on terror: look closer to home,” the following quote struck me.

“Charles Kruzman, who teaches sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University, say that 74% of the law enforcement agencies surveyed listed anti-government extremism as one of the top three terror threats in their jurisdictions – compared with only 39% who felt the same about Al Qaeda and like groups. And, with good reason: an average of nine American Muslims per year have been involved in terror plots since 9/11, in contrast to the 337 per year by right-wing extremists.”

There are over 1,000 domestic terrorist groups in the US that range from right-wing extremists to anti-government to white supremacists groups. Yet, the President feels we should focus less on this problem preferring to use the funding to fight a much lesser problem. To me, this is the direct influence of Steve Bannon who catered his Breitbart website to alt-right extremists.

Finally, building a wall between us and Mexico is symbolic more than it will be effective. The cost will likely be higher than the recent Homeland Security estimate, as that does not include land acquisition and cost overruns tend to occur. Plus, the annual maintenance is not factored in. Yet, illegal immigrants are largely here and the flow of immigrants has slowed. The ones that are here are accretive to the economy buying goods and paying taxes. If the President thinks building a wall will solve a problem, knock yourself out.

So, our President is focusing on three things that will do little to make us safer. Yet, these bumper sticker solutions were boasted about on the campaign trail, so he feels he must beat on his chest and say look what I have done. Since our money is dear with almost $20 trillion in debt, we could be spending that money more wisely in my view actually using a data driven analysis on where it would be most helpful to make us safer. The problem it is hard to put data driven analysis on a bumper sticker, or Tweet.

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14 thoughts on “Being safer is harder when we lose focus

  1. All so very true. While he is busy chasing shadows, the real enemy from within will rear its ugly head. Regarding the wall on the Mexican border … I saw a comment somewhere a few days ago that said he should just say he built the wall, that his followers would believe him and it would be much cheaper. 🙂

  2. Note to Readers: I caught a portion of DT’s news conference. The fact this man represents our country is shameful. Would a parent want his or her children to emulate this man’s behavior?

    • Janis, there was a contrast of the first few weeks of the two presidencies which revealed significant legislation passed by Congress in concert with the Obama. Trump has done numerous orders, but many are not substantive. His comment that his roll out of the travel ban was smooth, is laughable. Plus, his reference to a his White House being a finely tuned machine runs counter to reality. Keith

  3. Dear Keith,

    IT is my opinion that it is only going to get worse. Yesterday, DT’s performance was one for the ages but it was meant to deflect. He lies without a second thought but his minions are getting nailed for the same actions.

    The sooner his IRS returns are shared and a special prosecutor is assigned to investigate any and all connections between DT, his minions and Russia, the better it will be for all of us.

    Ciao, Gronda

    • Gronda, I agree. But, there is hope. Senator McCain spoke in Europe of Trump’s White House being in disarray. A Fox newscaster called Trump on the carpet about Russia and his maltreatment of the CNN reporter. While calling Trump’s press conference performance as mildly deranged, David Brooks noted that Trump has not filled about 630 out of 690 posts. That is incredible, if true. And, he made the cover of Time, but not on the way he envisioned. This is needed to apply pressure to Republican legislators to protect their country and avoid their party going in the toilet. Keith

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