The sleep of reason brings nightmares

Nothing combines Trump’s ignorance, cruelty, fecklessness and desperation like [what I suppose is] Stephen Miller’s idea of sending refugees into sanctuary cities.  It’s nature imitating art, Brers Fox and Bear throwing Brer Rabbit into the briar patch.

The way this scheme is supposed to work is that we (I live in one of those places) will be terrified at the prospect and crime will soar when it happens, so we will vote against all our Democratic officials and, I guess, form vigilante gangs and go after the refugees violently. Boy, that’ll show those luftmensch liberals and the refugees both, right?

But every assumption behind this is completely wrong. These are people who don’t want to be raped and killed, and have the courage to trek two thousand miles to protect their kids, and who trust US decency and law, and being immigrants will have lower crime rates than the native population. The idea that they are going to scare the pants off us is completely and obviously nuts. Sanctuary cities declared themselves such having lots of experience with immigrants; we know exactly what to expect, and it’s OK with us.

Aside from its viciousness and illegality, it’s hard to think of a Trump initiative that is so completely disconnected from facts and reality; not just slightly off, but totally mad.  The White House continues to plumb new depths of sick and stupid; are there any more wheels that can come off this thing?

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

5 thoughts on “The sleep of reason brings nightmares”

  1. Not to mention that many of the people who either traveled to the border or would have liked to do so in order to help with the arriving immigrants (“Grannies Respond,” “Angry Tias and Abuelas,” etc.) are likely to find a local sanctuary city or county a lot closer to home. That provides more opportunities for volunteers who want to help out. Mrs. Grundy, the Spanish teacher, can spend her Tuesday evenings helping asylum seekers, instead of trying to figure out how to arrange to go to the Texas border for three weeks in the middle of the summer.

  2. Gosh, if Trump sends them to Dallas, a sanctuary city, every time I see a Hispanic-looking woman walking a kid to the bus stop, I’ll have to worry about whether the kid is in MS-13 or ISIS or Baader-Meinhof. How will I know the guy washing dishes in the restaurant isn’t looking lovingly at all those knives and plotting mayhem? Can you even begin to imagine the havoc a terrorist with a stump-grinder or paint-sprayer could create?

    What if that Salvadoran making pupusas is filling them with C-4 instead of beans? Did you know the word “taco” — a supposedly wholesome and tasty food — is probably derived from the word for dynamite charges used in silver mining? Well, you do now, so don’t say you haven’t been warned.

    A final, chilling thought. What if Dallas becomes such a heck-hole Stephen Miller and Trump are afraid to come here? I can’t bear such a thought, but still, because I care very much for their safety, they should probably stay away until further notice.

  3. Oh, Mr. Feet,

    You warm the cockles of my Texan-exile heart. Truly, it would be a wondrous thing, if Messrs. Miller, Trump, Abbott, [the list could go on for a long time] were so a-feared of visiting D/FW, with its many immigrants, that they stayed awaaaaaay! I might be able to come back and visit! [grew up in Weatherford] I sure do miss the food, that’s for sure.

    Oh, sigh. I fear neither of our hopes will be requited.

  4. A few days ago Kevin Drum pointed out the wonderful irony of President Trump’s idea.

    Let’s send those poor refugees to places where they will be welcomed, where they can get the medical care they need, where their kids will be able to go to school, and where there will be business owners who will be glad to have hard-working immigrants to fill jobs that are hard to find white Anglos to take.

    Boy, that’s sure to stop all those refugees from trying to come to the USA.

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