Here is where we are as a country right now. When an immigrant wants to come to this country from Pakistan or some other country that is known for producing violent terrorists, the Secretary of Homeland Security orders his underlings not to check their social media postings for obvious red flags about their willingness to commit acts of terror. Meanwhile, an obviously fake terrorist emails in a threat with obvious clues that it isn’t genuine, and the entire Los Angeles County School District shuts down.
People think that the key to having better national security is to throw money and/or resources at a problem. That’s pretty much Trump’s entire national security plan, for sure. The reality, of course, is that the key to securing the country is not working harder, it’s working smarter. Displaying an ounce of common sense is worth ten tons of pointless running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles spent an absolute ton of money today – probably an unquantifiable amount – responding to a prank.
Meanwhile, actual threats were actively ignored because of insane policies that are designed to make us appear, as a country, sophisticated and open minded.
This policy, by the way, reflects a poisonous attitude that has crept into the psyche of the American public, as evidenced by the fact that Syed Farook’s neighbors strongly suspected something was going on at his house, but refused to report it for fear of being called bigoted.
So if you are keeping track at home, the death toll this century in America due to Islamophobia is still at 0. However, the death toll due to Islamophobia-phobia is at least 14 and counting.
There are basically four routes a country can take when contemplating their own national security. First, they can take the route of totalitarian countries, and rigorously screen every single person entering the country, along with constant monitoring of their movements. This approach is flatly incompatible with American values, and would involve an encroachment on liberty that the American public at large would not tolerate. The second approach is the approach of the EU Schengen Zone countries, which is to leave their borders completely and freely open to any and all comers; an approach which has proven disastrously unworkable in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis. The third approach would involve selective increased scrutiny of immigrants and travelers from certain well known trouble spots in order to make maximum use of a minimally invasive national security force.
We, as a country, have chosen the fourth – and by far the stupidest – route: selective screening of immigrants and travelers based on wholly random criteria, combined with an actual paranoia of giving the appearance of selecting certain groups for extra scrutiny even though they definitely deserve it.
Until this attitude in America is changed, we won’t be safe, no matter who the President is.