While Donald Trumps calls for Hitleresque measures to combat terrorism, there is at least one Republican in Congress who seems to have a heart and a solid grasp on American principles.
Speaking on the House floor amid debates on what to do with the Syrian refugees, Steve Russell lambasted his GOP colleagues on their un-American, heartless treatment of those seeking refuge in our country:
While I have tried to focus my comments on actions that we should take to eliminate ISIS, one action we should not take is to become like them. America is a lamp that lights the horizon of civilized and free mankind. The statue of liberty cannot have a stiff arm. Her arm must continue to keep the torch burning brightly. But if use our passions and our anger and fear and we use that to snuff out her flame by xenophobic and knee-jerk policy, the enemy wins. We have played into their hands, period.
Did Russell just accuse the GOP of waging a xenophobic war on refugees based on fear and anger? Why yes he did. Did he just compare that war to the same one ISIS is waging against, well, everyone? Yes, he did. Did he also accuse he Republicans of doing exactly what ISIS wants? Yes he did. And this guy is a republican? Yes, he is! And not only is he a Republican, he’s a combat veteran who served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After chiding his xenophobic colleagues, he jumped to the defense of the helpless refugees with a list of horrendously offensive statements from members of Congress in 1939 that mirror his colleagues statements made today:
These quotes are from 1939. The refugee bill was not for Muslim and Christian Syrians or Iraqi Muslims, Christians and Yazidis – it was for German Jews. While it was true that Germany was indeed a threat, the refugees were not. They were 20,000 children. Not only did that bill of 1939 not pass, but that Congress had the same speech and rhetoric that I’ve been hearing in recent days in this chamber, Mr. Speaker.
It was pointed out (again) in the media that Ann Frank’s father, Otto, sought refugee status to America for him and his family but was denied.
Americans need to sacrifice and wake up. We must not become them. They win if we give up who we are and then even more so without a fight…we have to have each other’s back and be alert of the dangers around us. We must speak up when we see something unusual…Patrick Henry did not say ‘Give me safety or give me death,’ but rather, ‘give me liberty’ implying that he was willing to lose his life to defend that liberty.
Someone give this man a medal. Everything he said was spot on. Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul and especially Chris Christie could learn something from this man.
Image a screen caption via YouTube