U.S. President Donald Trump waves from Air Force One on Thursday, March 29, 2018 upon arrival in West Palm Beach Airport, Florida. (Johnny Louis/Sipa USA/TNS)

Elliot: Zero tolerance, zero humanity, infinite insanity


In the games politicians play, zero tolerance encapsulates what America means by tolerance.

Beau Elliot


It’s so easy to hate America.

Especially, but not necessarily limited to, white America.

It’s white America, after all, that owns most of the wealth. It’s white America, after all, that holds most of the power. Coincidence?

Of course it’s just a coincidence. So much of life is, don’t you know. We live in a meritocracy. That’s a fancy Latin/Ancient Greek mashup for move along, folks, there’s nothing to see here.

We can see meritocracy at work along our southern border these days. Of course, we can see a lot at work along our southern border these days, including cruel, brutal, inhuman treatment of our fellow Homo sapiens and a stunning intellectual vacuum among our leaders. It’s as if two black holes collided over the West Wing and a celestial vacuum cleaner snorted up all the meager signs of intelligent life and spewed them into the cosmos. (Don’t try this at home, though it does sound exciting.)

How is this meritocracy? you wonder. Simple. Dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of people are arriving at the border, seeking some here that isn’t there, as in, their home country. But there’s a catch. They’re poor, they’re scraggly, they’re fleeing something back in the there (maybe those rapists and gang members the Trumpster sees in nearly every landscape except North Korea), so they have no merit. Also ​— ahem ​— they have brown skins. Therefore, they get the -ocracy part. Yeah, it’s crass.

So the border officials seize the children and take them away from the parents, send the parents to detention, send the kids to, well, detention, to be later “placed.” As you might have guessed (the Obama administration and the Bush administration did), the action is one big chaotic, inhuman mess. To use the polite word.

The condemnation has been swift and unrelenting. From Democrats, of course, but also from some Republicans. Even former first lady Laura Bush (yeah, a famous liberal) called the action immoral. The criticism has been so harsh that the Trumpster had to find a scapegoat. And he couldn’t very well blame John Kelly and Stephen Miller, who championed the zero-tolerance policy.

So the Liar-in-Chief blamed the Democrats. Of course. His hands are tied, he said, the Democrats passed a law saying the U.S. had to take the children away. Funny how the Obama administration’s and the Bush administration’s hands weren’t tied by the “law.”

That’s because there is no law. Oh, I know, the Trumpster keeps saying so, over and over, but there’s still no such law. The Democrats never passed such a law, the Dems and Republicans together never did, the Republicans by themselves never did.

Turns out, the administration’s policy is a ploy. The kids being taken away from their parents are mere poker chips in high-stakes poker that the White House is playing. The West Wing figures that Democrats will become so disgusted, and unnerved, by the sight of thousands of children being seized by border agents that they’ll be forced to the congressional bargaining table and compromise on the Trumpster’s much-vaunted Wall.

And that displays a deep cynicism and immorality not seen in the White House since the dark days of the Nixon administration.

Often, you’re known by the company you keep.

Special Sections

Print Edition

Front Page PDF

Text Links