For those of you who are patient enough to follow this erratically posted blog, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, pounding nails, making sawdust, doing some hands-on work that helps free up my brain when it bogs down.
It’s good work, and nice to see when it’s done. And that’s part of the appeal, that it can be finished. There’s always another job, but that one, the one I just finished is finished.
With this writing, it seems there is no end. No closure.
If you read the blog just preceding this, you’ll see it generated quite a few comments, which is a good thing in general. But the tone of it all got me to reconsider why I even throw these words out into the drift.
I re-read what I wrote, and when I wrote it thought it a reasonable questioning of the ongoing immigration debate, bringing into focus our own legitimate claim to ownership and citizenship in the Americas. It segued off a bit far into the philosophical underpinnings of the concept of ownership, which is a problem of focus for me, but not fatal to the writing.
As I re-read it from a more detached perspective I could see why it would generate the rancor it did. Perhaps that too is a good thing. But it doesn’t seem to move the discussion in any positive direction, with responses that arched off into personal attacks on the president rather than attacking the problem itself.
That’s fair I suppose, and to be expected from the hinterlands of the far right. But it’s not the discussion I would hope for here.
So I need to be better at writing in a manner that is less inflammatory.
Immigration is a tough nut to crack and I would hope we could find those who could craft a policy that is both fair and forgiving. We individual Americans are here because we had the good fortune to be born here. I’ve raised a family, build a business, lost a business, survived the Air Force and the Peace Corps and have the good fortune to be living and working now in south Florida, most of which I can attribute to the accident of my birth in the US. I don’t think we can just open our borders to any and all, but I also believe that building high walls and hunkering down with our own good fortune is not the best policy.
I’ll try to be better at writing columns that ask question and wrestle with current events and policies in a manner that might engender reasonable and passionate discussion with less rancor and finger pointing.
The point is, what can WE do to change things?
Not what the president can do, or the Speaker of the House, but what can WE do?
We have an immigration policy now that does not seem to be working well.
What would work better?
I think as you and I get into the specifics of trying to sort that out we will find that the simplistic slogans thrown about from both the right and the left are just that, slogans rather than solutions, and they increase the heat of the discussion without shedding light on the problem.
And I do think that part of the answer to the immigration debate, or any policy debate, is to focus our considerable combined experience and intellectual ability on that policy rather than on the people involved.
The people will change, administrations will change, but the hope is that good policies will endure.
We have an immigration policy right now that is not working well.
What could we change to make it better? How would that work in the world as it is now, and how might it improve that world?