The year was 1940, in the month of June. The Netherlands had suffered a major defeat in the flattening of Rotterdam and surrendered to the German Army a mere five days after the invasion began. My grandmother was pushed out of her family house, which became a Nazi barracks and was later blown up. She and several other younger children were sent to Sweden on some of the last trains that would be allowed to leave the nation not headed for German labor camps.
My grandfather was not so lucky. As a member of the Dutch scouting program and a resident of Haarlem-Heemstede, he was considered a risk and carefully monitored and often brought in for questioning. While in German stations he witnessed families being separated from one another, with men going to labor camps, women going to lock up or serving the soldiers, and children being cast out into the street or orphanages if they were lucky. Many never saw their parents again, and many parents were not reunited with their children in time to save them from the post-war starvation.
I tell you this not to try to Godwin my way into a discussion of politics today, but to give context to the visceral reaction many people have to the forced separation of families with no plan to reunite them that you may hear today. Not a one of us who have experienced this before or have family who has experienced this before can hear this and not shudder. And that’s just from my family history. Try thinking about minorities who were separated and sold for generations. Try thinking of entire generations without families due to religious persecutions and genocides. When it comes to family and the forced separation of them, there is no event in history where the people who did this come out looking like any sort of moral person.
So what then must we think about an entire administration who not only willingly did this, but did this to a zero tolerance degree with no intention of reuniting anyone, no matter the age, circumstance or needs of the people? What can we possibly think of the people who while a pandemic rages through the nation still cram in hundreds of asylum seekers into detention camps, without proper hygiene? What should we think about an administration who ignores or even tries to justify alleged medical experimentation on women, literally mutilating their bodies by removing their ovaries? And what should we think about a group of people who would ignore all those things because it might save them a few dollars somewhere down the line?
Where is the moral outcry over throwing honorable serving soldiers out of the military just because of their gender identity?
Where is the moral outcry over a woman getting shot in her own home because someone thought a door open in the middle of the day was suspicious?
Where is the moral outcry over a woman getting murdered by police in her apartment because of a person she dated?
Where is the moral outcry over all the blatant and useless lies and hypocrisy?
Where is the moral outcry over supporting leaders who imprison, starve, and murder their own people?
None of this is necessary. We do not need to accept any of it. None of it helps our nation one bit. There is no benefit to be had in selling our souls.
This election stopped being about political ideology a long time ago. It was always going to be a referendum on who we are as a people. What we are willing to accept. What we punish. Whether there are consequences and whether those consequences are just.
It’s not a game. It’s not about teams. This is about the basic question of right versus wrong.
Children should not be permanently separated from their families and abandoned. It should never happen to one, let alone 545.
If you cannot agree on this, then you are not a part of any society that is fit to lead. Every single group who accepted this before has gone down as the example of evil in our history.
Don’t support it any longer, or anyone who would push for it.
I would never ask you to abandon your conservative principles. I am pleading with you not to abandon your human principles.
Do not stain your soul for one more day by supporting this kind of thing ever again.