Children are an endless source of moral blackmail in causes of the Left. Nowhere is this truer that in migration.
There was the tragic picture of Syrian child Aylan Kurdi’s body on the beaches of Greece that ushered in the most dramatic surge of asylum seeker migration in recent history, primarily into Germany and Western Europe.
Locally, it has been children in detention that has consistently been the cause celebre of the staunchest opponents of the government’s migration policy.
Many of my medical colleagues have pointed to the long-term psychological effects of children’s detention. There is certainly evidence such detention can be harmful, although modern detention in Australia is significantly more relaxed than when the original research occurred decades ago.
But few of the same opponents seem to question why the children are being brought in illegally in the first place, especially if they are unaccompanied or with unrelated adults.
In the latest Trump saga amid his battles involving the separation of migrant children, the reason that children become part of the problem so regularly is clear.
In people smuggling 101, there is clear teaching that the best chance you have of staying in a country after entering illegally is if you step foot on the mainland with accompanying children.
You can be absolutely sure thereafter of waves of support from segments of the population whose currency of meaningful living is to embrace the apparent authenticity of their feelings. This is particularly true at a time of hollowed out identities with many people lacking meaningful community and metaphysical structures to process suffering.
Much like the outpouring we saw against ordinary men after the recent death of comedian Eurydice Dixon, no longer can we accept or process the fact that bad things happen to good people. When combined with latching on to extraordinary or outlier events to then paint them as somehow representative of the mainstream, the playbook for the Left with race or gender is set.
Just add a steady dilution of the measures of harm such that being sheltered and fed in a closed facility with a fence around it can be classified as a concentration camp, and the strategy can be replayed ad nauseam for any social issue.
Illegal migration is a particularly fraught issue because it turns some of the strengths of Western society into weaknesses.
Before to Trump’s policy, children entering illegally could only be detained for twenty days after which they were released with their parents but burdened with a court summons.
Surprise, surprise, hardly anybody showed up to their ensuing court hearing highlighting the policy as of questionable efficacy. Trump’s crime was to attempt to enforce the law seriously by making entering illegally a criminal offence. It was only repeat offenders, those with a criminal record or others who were not the parents when the children were separated.
But much like in Australia, once you are physically present in a Western country with systems of due process you can count on an army of professionals looking to assuage either their white or corporate guilt to repeatedly appeal and stifle legal attempts to deport.
In parallel pictures or stories associated with sick children or mental health problems are sure to whip Guardianistas into a frenzy. Facts need not get in the way when feelings conquer all.
As a migrant myself of Bangladeshi parents, I have every sympathy for those trying to enter illegally. When I was a kid growing up in western Sydney, my parents used to help such people when they were worried about getting caught by the police by putting them for a few days.
It’s not fair that that large numbers of completely undeserving people get access to the world’s best health, education and welfare simply by being born in a country like Australia. Who wouldn’t want the best for their children even if meant taking enormous risks or attempting to subvert white man’s laws?
The rewards of citizenship in a Western country have never been greater. Mobility has never been cheaper. The driver, as best outlined by migration expert at Oxford historian Paul Collier, is inequality. Not conflict, not persecution, but inequality.
But given that even in countries like Sweden, parties cautious of migration such as the Swedish Democrats are now leading the polls, the waves of popular opinion sweeping the Western world are very much against the cultural Left, increasingly sidelined and isolated. Their cries of protest do not represent any kind of resurgence, but more of a death rattle.
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