By now it is crystal clear: the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was simply a way for President Obama to force his successor to make an unpopular decision.
For all the pejorative “populist” talk about President Trump, his predecessor could not countenance something he regarded as unpopular, especially to his base, and a potential future base of the Democrat Party.
The Obama doctrine across many aspects of his presidency was simply to kick the can down the road. That’s why within months we have heard of Trumpism, even Bannonism, but rarely did the world ever contemplate what ‘Obamaism’ was. The man was just another in a long line of tepid presidents since Ronald Reagan.
But kicking the can down the road on DACA was in the policy’s very name. Deferred. Not cancelled. Postponed. Not abolished.
Even so, the conditions under which DACA beneficiaries were allowed to remain the country were scarcely heinous on either side, if you set aside the rule of law, forget that these sorts of policies impact different states differently, and of course want to persuade the world that your legal immigration system is obviously the worst route through which to pursue U.S. residency.
Besides all that, the policy is perfectly reasonable.
If you didn’t sense the sarcasm there, you’re probably a liberal. The former president and his advisors clearly also saw no problems with any of this.
Most importantly however, now, for the left, is its own cognitive dissonance on the matter of heritage, history, and accountability.
Over the past few months we have had it battered into our heads — in some cases quite literally — that the beneficiaries of acts of immorality, illegality, or even just contextualised normality should be punished for the actions of their forebears.
The white man especially, we are told, should bear responsibility for the actions of his great grandparents. Even when the actions were nothing but remaining silent in the face of what only now seems to us to be such obviously craven and deplorable behaviour.
I am of course talking about slavery, and the demands the United States faces from the left and the minorities they have co-opted for their Marxist cause. Tear down statues. Rewrite history. Destroy whitey.
Well, they’re at least thinking that last one.
For you, reading this, are probably the benefactor of centuries of iniquity and you must be punished. Your ancestors didn’t break the law as it was at the time. But they broke the law as it is now. So you are culpable. What’s the use in imprisoning a corpse? Let’s flog America instead.
And while the moral concerns regarding slavery versus the illegal crossing of a border are scarcely comparable — the notion of collective and/or hereditary punishment surely should give us pause.
If the argument goes that “Dreamers” should not be punished for the actions of their parents, then why should modern Americans be punished for the actions of their grandparents, or even their European ancestors?
Is it the scale of the crime committed? If so, which crime was committed at the time slavery was legal? None. Sure, we all think of it as repugnant now. But how could one seek to pass punitive measures on a few generations, if one is comfortable dismissing actual crimes committed by parents just a few decades on?
It is this conundrum, this duplicity, and this anti-intellectualism that sets real America so drastically apart from the liberal left.
While New York’s “elite” would have you believe it they are smarter than the average American, it is the latter that instinctively understand “fairness” as a concept, and are able to strike the balance between morality, constitutionality, and common sense.
For Obama and his army of shrieking bleeding hearts — including many Republican legislators — the first of these notions is misplaced, and the last two are seemingly non-existent.
Not only should DACA be rescinded, it should become a test case for the facts that firstly: you may not seek to penalize descendants for non-crimes; secondly, you may not directly benefit from criminal acts (as Dreamers do) and expect special treatment.
At this point, I think DACA beneficiaries are lucky that the right is not floating the idea of retroactive prosecutions for breaking U.S. law. But then again, America is instinctively fair, and the right rarely ever goes for low blows — which that would inherently be — like the left.
Raheem Kassam is the Editor in Chief of Breitbart London and author of No Go Zones: How Shariah Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You