How might a future historian view the massive protests of President Trump’s temporary travel ban? Given that I have yet to see a sign disputing the President’s legal authority, I can only assume that these demonstrations are entirely about President Trump’s refusal to make America more Islamic. At least in the minds of these demonstrators, talk of terrorism seems to be just a subterfuge to keep Muslims out.
Let me suggest that our future historians would view matters differently from current interpretations. Many would probably categorize the demonstrations as mass hysteria. The Salem Witch Trials (1692-3) perhaps most famously illustrate such mass hysteria but countless others existed in which seemingly normal people suddenly “lost it.” For example, during the mid-14th century Black Plague bands of religious zealots—often called Flagellants—hoping to escape the Plague roamed the country side dragging crosses and whipping themselves senseless as penance for their sins. In parts of Europe during 1518 there were outbreaks of the “Dancing Plague”–otherwise normal folk without any apparent reason danced without rest for a month with some dying of stroke, heart attack or exhaustion.
Comparing the Flagellants to airport demonstrators may seem overly harsh but calibrated by any measures of rationality and self-interest, the parallel is appropriate. This is willful blindness, a rejection of plain-to-see reality on a grand scale that hints of mental illness. Are those seeking to roll out the red carpet for Muslims aware of what’s occurring in France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and elsewhere in Europe when millions of un-vetted, self-selected Muslim refugees arrive? In fact, a recent poll of 100,000 people in 10 European nations found that on average those opposing Muslim immigration out-number those in favor by about 2 and a half to one (at most, 32% percent—Spain–favored more immigration). If these counties could back the clock, how many of them would welcome this exodus from the Middle East? I would love to ask the agitated Jewish demonstrators why so many of their French brethren are fleeing France for Israel or why so many no longer wear their Yarmulkes in public.
Particularly remarkable about this madness is the hysterical vitriol hurled at those defending Trump’s travel ban. Put in the format of a classic joke:
A Hasidic rabbi, a drag Queen and a Holy Roller walk into a bar to have a drink. While waiting for the bartender, conversation turns to recent immigration from the Middle East. The rabbi expresses concern about historic Muslim anti-Semitism. The drag Queen notes that the Qur’an calls for killing gays. The Holly Roller recounts how Muslims have slaughtered thousands of Christians and are thus never to be trusted.
The bartender has been on the sly listening on this conversation, comes over and announces that they are not welcome at this bar since policy is not to serve haters, Islamophobes, fascists, hate crime perpetrators, Nazis, neo-Nazis, sexists, racists, members of the alt-right, xenophobes and anybody who rejects the American tradition of respect for all religions and inclusion. “We believe in tolerance, so take your hate elsewhere,” he emphatically adds.
The three immediately leave and seek refuge in a nearby Country/Western bar and watch Fox News while getting drunk on cheap beer and harmlessly talk sports.
Imagine the Sioux Indians during the 1880’s debating sending a tribal delegation to New Orleans or Galveston to welcome German and Swedish immigrants, including helping them to fill out the paperwork to claim millions of acres of government land in what eventually will become Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Sane tribal elders would probably instead counsel sinking the boats before they docked in New Orleans or Galveston.
What can possibly explain today’s insanity? To be sure, a few may be paid agitators and a handful of others are chronic virtue signalers addicted to protesting “injustice.” But let me offer a better explanation: the misguided crusade is the result of millions of American over many decades having their brains marinated in a multi-culturalism celebrating varied skin colors, disabilities, various ethnic holidays, distinctive cuisines, Tower of Babel collections of languages and, most recently, an ever-expanding list of sexual identities. Such textbooks, often with racial and cultural injustice slants, number in the hundreds and few youngsters can escape these feel-good fantasies (the indoctrination is often called “teaching tolerance”). It is thus no accident when today’s campus protestors are asked what they want, most respond with “more diversity.” Simply put, we have collectively deluded ourselves in believing that if diversity is our strength, the greater the diversity, the greater our strength. Recall Mae West’s quip: too much of a good thing is great and this seems to apply to our infatuation for promoting differences.
Further add our recent aversion to making distinctions about the abilities and behavior of people as if the very idea of “privileging” some traits over others is hateful intolerance. With those having marinated brains, everything is just “different” not better or worse so ranking commits the heinous sin of being judgmental. It thus follows that since all people are fundamentally interchangeable, equally smart and talented, America should be open to all newcomers whether these fresh arrivals are low-IQ Syrians goat herders or East Asians molecular biologists. All will make America a wonderful mosaic of people from everywhere on the planet. It is thus inconceivable that President Trump would Tweet “Yes, America needs more immigrants but let’s bring in smart, industrious law-abiding Chinese who will boost our GDP,” though I suspect that most Americans would privately agree with the Donald.
Our Founding Fathers would be horrified by today’s embrace of diversity. As James Madison famously explained in Federalist 10, men by their very nature and circumstances, divide themselves into factions, and since these divisions are enduring and irrepressible, divisions must be managed by the organization of government–checks and balances, separation of powers and federalism (among others)–lest society tear itself to pieces or degenerate into tyranny.
The mischief of faction truth was visible everywhere in Madison’s day: varied religious faiths (some of whom had been killing each other for centuries), inequalities in property (including slave ownership), conflicts over political ideology (think Hamilton vs. Jefferson) and on and on. For Madison the best that could be said about diversity was that in a large Republic it would hinder a single faction from dominating but this was not an argument calling for yet more diversity. A more-the-merrier argument was an invitation to ruin. Madison belonged to the American Colonization Society that sought to repatriate blacks back to Africa; Lincoln similarly endorsed this policy. To suggest that transforming America into a rich multicultural tapestry is “who we are” and a “fundamental” national value is a bizarre and quite recent vision.
Ironically, today’s Middle Easterners refugees are by the millions fleeing murderous diversity. Just ask these desperate visas-seekers waiting in airport lounges their opinion on religious and ethnic diversity. It’s is not that diversity per se breeds civil violence; rather, all things being equal, heterogeneity increases the potential for civil disorder. No doubt, millions of Turks, Iraqis, and Iranians would be dancing in the streets if the Kurds all vanished tomorrow (and the opposite would be equally true). Imagine how much the US would save financially if we were a 99% WASP nation? Who needs Directors of Diversity and Inclusion, affirmative action programs, mandatory cultural sensitivity training and all the rest in a white bread world?
Fortunately, today’s bizarre outpouring of sympathy for Muslim immigrants will—hopefully– disappear when the short term ban expires. But the multicultural indoctrination may be forever and so these anti-travel ban protests will, with any luck, serve as a wakeup call. Something is deeply wrong when a gaggle of Rabbis block traffic to help admit anti-Semites or women march to show solidarity with those who believe that women should have their cliterous removed. Judged by the impact of today’s madness, the Salem witch trials were harmless. And it can only get worse as millions more Americans every year come to believe that anything short of welcoming anybody who wants to come here, especially the more exotic, is an act of hate. Is there an antidote for this lunacy? I doubt it.