Politics know not of sentimentality. Politics are cynical, etc., etc. How many times have we heard such expressions? One should not forget though that behind every politician there is a human being; and that that human being is the one who makes the decisions, the one who reacts against particularly dramatic or painful situations. To speak of politics as something abstract is dangerous, because it exempts from responsibility the person behind them.
The politician’s mission is —or should be— to work for the well-being of other citizens who rely on him/her to build and organize the society where they live.
As a result of these reflections, we find it very difficult to understand the apparent indifference of President Trump as regards the devastating earthquake that struck Mexico. His silence —after the quake of magnitude 8.2, that added death and destruction to what the hurricanes had left behind— said more than a thousand words. It was only after four days, when shy expressions arrived, of solidarity on the part of the American government towards the Mexican people.
Such hardness ignores even the simplest rules of diplomacy, in the face of the pain of a neighboring country. It is really worrying.
Equally concerning is to see the lives of almost a million people being equated to a sort of quid pro quo as regards the construction of a wall, which — like other walls of painful memory— would attest to the rejection one people by the other. And then, we ask ourselves: What should one do to remind Mr. Trump that the dreamers are people of flesh and bone, with their own first and last names, stories, families and projects? The appellative “dreamers” seems like a summary that turns different and unique human beings into a single and lifeless block.
President Trump’s contradictory attitude —which at times induces panic and at times give hope back— would seem to take no account whatsoever of the repercussions his statements have on the lives of almost a million people. His first statements about the decision to overturn DACA —President Obama’s law, giving those who came to the United States before the age of 16, a status that allowed them to study and work without problems— fell like a bucket of cold water on more than 800 thousand young people, who know no country other than the United States. Valuable young people who, day after day, in the most different sectors, contribute to the growth of this country and, in many cases, to its security, enrolled as many of them are in the ranks of the Armed Forces. Shortly thereafter, hope returned with statements by Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who had held a meeting with the President to discuss issues in connection with DACA and border security. The relief was short-lived though, because such statements were denied by Mr. Trump, who said that no agreement had been reached. He said it, as it is usual in him, through a series of “twitters”; and —always via twitter— a little later he let show a small window of hope, implying though that he would use the “dreamers” as exchange currency for the construction of the wall that should separate Mexico from the U.S. It is a bickering that sows uncertainty and fear!
Wall in exchange for humans! Is it possible to compare the one against the others?
It should not be. In a world, though, where humanity, solidarity and even pity are disappearing, it is possible.
Perhaps something would change if President Trump were to look for a moment into the eyes of those young people who are as American as he, who also has a history of emigration in his past. Perhaps at that moment he would understand that human life cannot be shuffled; and that belonging to a country —feeling it like homeland— goes beyond having a passport or a visa.
“Pensar es como vivir dos veces.” - Cicerón