“In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.” (Joseph de Maistre)
The President recently reversed his own decision to separate children from their parents after crossing into the United States, an action that the United Nations office of human rights condemned as a violation of basic human rights of children. They weren’t alone. The Pope spoke out citing such a disgraceful policy as contrary to Catholic values, and immoral. The Methodist Church called it child abuse and racism. Other religious leaders echoed this sentiment. Business leaders spoke out publicly condemning it. All five living first ladies spoke out against it. It was clear to the world that the United States, under the direction of the Donald Trump administration, was committing violations of human rights of children. Yes, it was disgusting and disgraceful, and the world was ashamed of us. Yes, I blame the Trump administration as the root cause of it. I also blame the people that carried it out, who all too often get away with no accountability for “just following orders”.
Such a mandate to violate human rights should have never gotten past the terrible leadership call; the orders should have been outright refused by the people who were tasked with handing them down, and ultimately by those carrying them out. Refusing inhumane orders is what separates us from a history of atrocities. Why didn’t these orders get refused on a large scale? We should consider this very seriously. There are only two possibilities: either the agents who carried these orders out didn’t realize they were abusing the children as they were ripping them from parents and putting them in cages, or they were willing to commit acts they knew to be immoral and inhumane (for any variety of reasons). In either case, we are dealing with defective human beings who should not be in a position of authority.