Travel bans, terrorism, totalitarianism and Trump

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Today I am taking a break from writing about animals and the law to write about… animals and the law. In a manner of speaking, anyway.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

Like most of you, I am absolutely gobsmacked by what’s going on in the United States these days. It’s gotten to the point that when I wake up each morning, I find myself hoping that whatever transpired the day before was all some sort of bizarre nightmare and that sanity will be restored within a few hours. So far I’ve been dreadfully disappointed.

To be fair, I felt the same way about a lot of stuff that happened in the last eight years — but there’s no use crying over spilled milk. It’s what’s happening now that matters…

Trump’s travel ban

As most of you know, I am a first-generation American whose father fled his country (which was then a Communist regime) as a political refugee. So you can imagine how I feel about President Trump’s so-called “travel ban.”

Frankly it doesn’t sit well with me. And apparently it doesn’t sit well with a federal judge, either.

According to published reports, “Federal Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who presides in Seattle, halted the enforcement of Trump’s order Friday night, effective nationwide.”

Robart did so by granting the temporary restraining order (TRO) sought by the attorneys general from Washington state and Minnesota.

In rendering his decision, Robart said the states “have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. “

He also said the Executive Order “adversely affects residents in areas of education, employment, education and freedom to travel.”

The Trump administration immediately vowed to fight the TRO. So how all of this will actually play out remains to be seen.

Terrorism and totalitarianism

Acting Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Gillian Christensen told the media that, “(Trump’s order) is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so.”

Maybe so. But an Executive Order banning immigrants and refugees from certain countries from coming to the United States for a specified period isn’t the answer. A travel ban does nothing to address a far greater threat to this country — and that is the threat posed by the terrorist sympathizers and radicalized individuals who are already here.

Furthermore, an Executive Order targeting people from specific countries where a great deal of hatred is directed towards the West in general and the United States in particular only creates more ill will. As if our enemies need another reason to hate us…

Finally, signing such an ill-conceived Executive Order and then firing the acting attorney general who refused to defend it doesn’t seem very presidential to me. In fact, it sounds downright dictatorial. Or maybe even totalitarian

For those of you who don’t know, a totalitarian is someone who embraces totalitarianism. And for those of you who don’t know what that is, here’s a simple definition:

Totalitarianism refers to an authoritarian political system or state that regulates and controls nearly every aspect of the public and private sectors. Totalitarian regimes establish complete political, social, and cultural control over their subjects, and are usually headed by a charismatic leader.”

Hmm… Sound familiar? And here I was thinking that I live in a constitutional republic….