There’s Only One Way Out and You Need to Come In

In a letter to Ryan, Ben Carson — the retired neurosurgeon and a Republican front-runner — called for Congress to block funding for any programs “that seek to resettle refugees and/or migrants from Syria into the United States, effective immediately.”

“Until we can sort out the bad guys we must not be foolish,” Carson said in a news conference in Nevada.

Bombing isn’t working and yelling isn’t working and sure as fuck policing what everybody else is Tweeting and Facebooking isn’t working, and if you wanna scream MUSLIMS SUCK at a football game to make yourself feel better, okay I guess, but that isn’t working either. Charlie had some suggestions for the head-of-state level: 

It should be done state-to-state. Stop funding the murder of our citizens and you can have your money back. Maybe. If we’re satisfied that you’ll stop doing it. And, it goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – not another bullet will be sold to you, let alone advanced warplanes, until this act gets cleaned up to our satisfaction. If that endangers your political position back home, that’s your problem, not ours. You are no longer trusted allies. Complain, and your diplomats will be going home. Complain more loudly, and your diplomats will be investigated and, if necessary, detained. Retaliate, and you do not want to know what will happen, but it will done with cold, reasoned and, yes, pitiless calculation. It will not be a blind punch. You will not see it coming. It will not be an attack on your faith. It will be an attack on how you conduct your business as sovereign states in a world full of sovereign states.

Which is fine by me. The post-9/11 policy that if you bankroll terrorism you’re just as responsible as if you blow stuff up, that always made a lot of sense, except then we went and shut down a bunch of charities and left the Saudi businessmen alone. This isn’t the entirety of the answer, though. This isn’t all of it.

It’s getting cold out.

The other day I took the train into the city in the morning and the light was thin for the first time. It was still warm, but it was that wintry warmth, papered over with the knowledge of its ending. The evenings are blinks, the mornings slow in coming, and my neighbors are starting to drape their homes in strings of stars. I hustle Kick off the playground when her nose starts turning red, wrap another scarf around her.

Everyone has to come inside.

We should say, we should declare, the word should ring forth from America around the world: Come inside. We will open our doors, #porteouverte, America. We will give you homes. We will give your children food. We will give you land if you want to farm, jobs if you want to work. We will take care of you. We will take care of your children.

America can and should take every single refugee fleeing warfare in the Middle East and give them all a place to go right now yesterday today. Come here. Come inside. It’s dark but we are lighting candles. The food is for sharing. The spare bed, the couch, the vacant apartment. We will figure it out. Come here and stay for a while. Come here and stay forever. Be part of us, and let us be part of you, because we cannot make you love us with your bullets.

But bad people will come in! Yes, they will. And we will find them and lock them up and there will be four of them and it will not matter. The good will be in the tens of thousands. Weigh the risks.Weigh your immortal souls, too.

But the practicalities! Don’t tell me it can’t be done. Don’t tell me we can’t afford it. We blew a hole ten trillion dollars deep in the world. We can fill it up again. We have bridges that need building. We have diseases that need curing. We need so much done, and we have so many schoolhouses sitting empty.

But are you going to open your doors? Yes. Yes a thousand times and screw my garbage governor. But your family, your child? Will learn that this is the world, the whole world, and everyone has to come inside.

It’s the only way through this, for us. It’s not the only political way or the only military way, it’s the only way through this for ordinary people who are ordinarily angry and ordinarily scared. It’s the only way out of our national rage spiral, our hunkered-down please-don’t-hit-me-I’m-trying-to-be-good. It’s the only way out that gets everybody out, and we have done this before.

We have the New Deal to look to, the WPA, the Marshall Plan. We have the big things that aren’t explosions in the sky. We have the forces to build and we are letting them sit so that we can feel good about doing nothing, as if nothing ever feels good.

It’s getting dark early and it’s getting cold out. We are going to sit around the fire in the next six weeks and tell a cautionary tale, about a poor couple traveling, facing oppression, about to have a baby and scared for his future. We are going to shake our heads at the innkeepers who sent them back out into the night, sent a poor man and his pregnant wife into the dark alone.

We are going to wish that innkeeper had said, come inside.


8 thoughts on “There’s Only One Way Out and You Need to Come In

  1. You let in 10,000 cuban refugees, and maybe one or two are christofascist extremist that’s going to raise anchor babies to overthrow our government!

    But, unlike the case with syrians, we know *exactly* who to deport, now don’t we?

  2. This is a critical moment. Figuratively, we need to decide whether we are going to ship the Jews back to Auschwitz and intern the Japanese all over again. Are we better than that? I doubt it, given the prevailing Randian philosophy of I’ve Got Mine, You Can Go Straight To Hell.

  3. I have posted part of your powerful blog ( crediting you) on my FB page…it is a masterful piece of writing , and as far as I am concerned, this is the only redemptive way to keep the world from blowing itself up with fear/hate/vengeance

  4. The attackers were from Belgium. They are neither being bombed by NATO nor restricted from entry by the US congress so clearly both NATO and congress are objectively pro terrorist, and that goes for those asshat governors too.

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