As much as we might like to turn away, we cannot. When even Laura Bush, wife of war criminal Dubya, is compelled to speak out against the Trump policy of forcibly removing an estimated 2,000 children from their asylum-seeking parents, the teflon coating of the president who once boasted he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and get away with it is starting to lose its nonstick sheen, even among some of his erstwhile tacit supporters in the Grand Guignol Party.
Whether Donald Trump diverts from type and bows to public pressure for one of the few times in his life remains to be seen. But ominously, his base of supporters which agrees with everything he does is growing, and emboldened by the rhetoric of their leader. Trump's approval rating has now reached the 40 percent danger zone.
So just because the lead human rights official at the United Nations is condemning Trump's actions in no uncertain terms as state-sanctioned child abuse doesn't mean he will have any influence on the regime's draconian policy. After all, Congress refused only a couple of years ago, and not for the first time, to ratify the International Rights of the Child treaty. The United States is the only country which has officially given the giant middle finger to children, now that even the autocratic regimes of South Sudan and Somalia have become signatories to the treaty.
Trump is no outlier. He is only the latest and the loudest manifestation of the right wing core of Exceptional America.
Children as young as five or six years old were already getting hauled out of their American classrooms in handcuffs long before Trump decided that jailing the "illegal" ones should be the next logical step in the march of cruelty. As the American Civil Liberties Union reports, children are treated as adults in the criminal courts of 14 states.
The United States remains the only country in the world to sentence children to life in prison without the possibility of parole, a severe punishment that is categorically prohibited under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. While in recent years the U.S. Supreme Court has limited the application of this life and death sentence to children, around 2,500 people are currently serving this sentence for crimes they were involved in years ago as children.So that the corporate media are now focused, en masse, on the abuses and deadly antics of the aptly named ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is really quite remarkable after years of relative avoidance of the issue during the Bush and Obama administrations. Trump, for his part, is no doubt cynically using the child arrests to pressure Congress into allocating him the funds for his precious Wall. And given that this is a midterms election year, he might well succeed in forcing the wishy-washy congress critters to finally pass an immigration reform package, including making permanent the Dream Act.
Meanwhile, here's my New York Times comment to Charles Blow's column
about the individual human beings who are being tragically swept up by the Icemen of Trumpistan:
Only a few weeks elapsed between Trump calling them "animals" and treating them like animals, yanking kids from parents and jailing them. He literally views refugees as less than human.
His flacks' pleading that they're only following the law hearkens back to the fascist regimes of the last century.
That excuse didn't fly at the Nuremberg trials and it shouldn't fly here, either... although the US has carefully exempted itself from international human rights statutes.
US leaders have never held the family in highest regard. While the entire nation is rightly aghast at what's happening in our own back yard, should we really be shocked?
The Trump regime is also now assisting Saudi Arabia in a genocide in Yemen, attacking and isolating the only port of entry for food shipments.
Here at home, one in three black American males is imprisoned at some point in his life, a de facto policy which also serves to rip families apart. We have more prisons and lock up more people than any country on earth.
We have more guns than any other place on earth.
The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas have certainly learned the hard way that US leaders don't care a whit about families - unless they're dynasties and billionaires.
It's the all-American norm of state-sanctioned violence with cynical thoughts and prayers, blame and excuses, whenever cruel policies have "shocking" consequences.
So little time, so much to protest against. Let's all wake up, and stay awake this time.