This has been an eventful week in politics, filled with fear for some and hope for others. Every new President awakens those emotions in America. Those who voted him/her into office, hang onto the belief that this person will bring forth a new day, while the other side believes that this same person spells the end of our country as we know it. In the best and worst of cases, our system of checks and balances kept us on an even keel. I believe that ultimately our country will stop rocking, and we will sail through calm waters again, but we all might become a little seasick before that happens.
The security of our country is our biggest challenge. Like a parent protecting his/her family, a President must make sure that those he is responsible for are safe, but sometimes this quest for safety becomes harmful. When Mike was small, I fully believed that putting a child on a bike was like throwing him to the lions. He could fall and break a leg or worse, he could ride into the street and get hit by a car. Nothing Art said could change my mind...my kids would be bike free. Mike stopped trying to convince me, and I thought that I had won, until the day I walked into the living room and found him sitting by the window. He had a sad little smile on his face as he watched his friends playing on (and falling off) their bikes. In that moment I realized that sometimes we can be over zealous in our desire to protect, and we cause more harm than good. Mike got a bike and I got fifty more grey hairs.
In theory, a wall between the United Stares and Mexico will keep the "bad guys" out, but in actuality, that is unlikely to happen. It might keep out the men and women who are looking for a better life, but the drug runners and other criminals can easily grab a boat anywhere on the shores of Mexico and find an opening anywhere on our shores. Terrorists who are trying to find a way to enter the United States will quickly alter their routes and come in through our Canadian border. We can find much better uses for the billions of dollars that we will spend in the construction of this wall, and we can't rely on Mexico to foot that bill voluntarily. Trying to put a tariff on imported Mexican goods will quickly cripple our neighbors who will either stop importing, raise prices to cover the tax, or bankrupt themselves trying to pay for a wall that they never wanted.
I think that the old saying, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" is applicable here. Our President is trying to protect us without seeing the bigger picture. Sometimes it isn't only about what will keep us safe, it is about what will safely keep us free. We, as a free nation, have welcomed people to our shores for many years. That is who we are...standing with opened arms and taking in the " huddled masses yearning to be free." Within those masses we have discovered our finest scientists, musicians, artists and businessmen. Sometimes, within all that is good, a bad apple sneaks in, but that doesn't mean we stop eating apple pie. We find better methods to detect the bad and continue to appreciate all of the good that makes us the home of the "free and the brave." I agree with Franklin...if we easily give up what makes us free, our security will be meaningless.
Jodi Picoult is an author who never disappoints. Her ability to reach her readers' deepest emotions surpasses any of her contemporaries, and her latest novel, Small Great Things is no exception. During these days when White-Supremacy is rearing its head in our country, she talks about a time when the separation of white and black was commonplace. When Ruth, an African-American maternity room nurse meets Turk, a White-Supremacist who forbids her to touch his newborn, he sets off a chain of events that ends up in a courtroom. This book will grab your heart as it grabs your interest.
Thread of Suspicion by Jeff Shelby will also grab your heart, as you follow Joe Tyler's relentless search for the daughter who was snatched from his yard nearly a decade ago, while he was watching her. The reader is caught up in emotion and adventure as this good man continues to lose everything in his life while searching for a child that could be long dead.
As always, complete reviews of these two books follow this blog.