How it begins

If you issue a travel ban against countries that have no history whatsoever of terrorism against the U.S., you are making it very clear that the ban has nothing to do with terrorism.

So what then is it about?

Hermann Göring wrote the manual on this: If you can get people to follow you on a principle of mindless hate, then you become powerful. The more mindless the hate, the more powerful you become.

And really, how can you get more mindless than a totally nonsensical travel ban on countries whose people have never even once harmed or threatened us?

Oh wait — I know, I know! You arrange it so that Americans with relatives in these countries no longer have the right to claim any meaningful kinship with their overseas grandparents, grandchildren or fiancé.

This is pure genius. Its very crudeness and casual cruelty is the source of its power: You are pointedly — and ostentatiously — “unpersoning” some Americans.

By treating these Americans with such extreme disrespect, you are essentially labeling them “not real Americans”. As an inducement to mindless hate, policies don’t get any more ingenious than this.

I worry that we are just a short step now from our own home-grown version of something we have seen before: First we pin on the yellow stars, then we start loading the trains…

2 thoughts on “How it begins”

  1. Good point. These days, if they tried to send me to my death on a NYC subway, I might end up living to a ripe old age.

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