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We Are a Country in Crisis

By 

Wesley Smith

|

September 27

8 min read

Public Policy

As Americans, we have proven over and over throughout our history that we are a resilient country.  Through hardships, crises, and challenges, we have always demonstrated an ability to overcome and bounce back.  In 245 years, we have faced difficulties, large and small.  Our own civil war, two World Wars and multiple other military conflicts, a Great Depression, terror attacks on 9/11, and more.  There have been financial ups and downs, the threats of the Cold War, racial strife, and presidential assassinations.  In the end, we unite, look our difficulties straight in the eye, and persist until we are victorious.

Today we are a country in crisis again.  It is multi-faceted this time, which makes a solution to what we face more complicated.  But we now face a faltering leader and extreme political divisions, even though President Biden promised to unite us and be a President for all Americans of all political stripes.  That simply has not happened. The culmination of this Administration’s decisions and policy changes has had a negative impact on us domestically and has called into question how we are viewed in the world at large.  Our foreign policy, as well as life at home, is in the balance.

Poor decisions by the Biden Administration combined with poor implementation of its policy decisions once they attempt to put them in place make for a double threat to life together as we know it:  bad decisions followed by poor implementation. Added to this is an ongoing break with reality as to the impact of bad decisions and poor implementation.  Denial is rampant, even as the President’s supporters and some in the mainstream media call into question what is happening.  Rather than reevaluate and change course when it is apparent that mistakes were made, this Administration persists in the actions and attempts to convince Americans—and perhaps themselves—that no mistakes were made.

One example of this is the crisis on our southern border.  DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, on behalf of the Administration, continues to downplay the realities of what is going on.  For months he refused to even say there was a crisis or problem.  He continues to insist that our border is closed—even as thousands of people cross over that “closed” border.  Vice President Kamala Harris, the alleged border czar, is literally absent from the border and the issue.  President Biden has yet to even visit the border.

Yet President Biden changed effective border policies in his first week in office.  A policy that was even partially effective (during the previous Administration) is better than no policy at all.  But all border wall construction was stopped on Biden’s first day in office.  The “Remain in Mexico” policy was also halted, though a federal judge has ruled that the current Administration did not follow standard rules in changing this policy.  It was rightfully called the Migrant Protections Protocol, as those wishing to enter the country were ordered to remain in Mexico pending their immigration proceedings.  It was a commonsense and humanitarian policy to prevent exploitation of our generous immigration laws and to avoid the human suffering and chaos we are now witnessing along the border, such as what happened under the bridge in Del Rio, Texas.  The Mexican government was fully on board with the Remain in Mexico policy.

Before President Biden, we worked with the Northern Triangle countries in Central America, tying our aid to those nations with their willingness to police their own borders and decrease people fleeing illegally into Mexico en route to the United States.  Mexico also used their troops and law enforcement to guard their southern border and to assist the U.S. by placing personnel along Mexico’s border with the U.S.  All of this went away under President Joe Biden.  Rapid deportations were also stopped.  Even now the Left in Congress and the President are trying to jam through radical amnesty in proposed bills that are unrelated to immigration.

With the recent rush to the border at Del Rio, Texas, it must be noted that—as the Administration has tried to clear out the crowds under the bridge—the reports are that most of the people are being processed for deportation.  That sounds like these illegal immigrants are on the way out.  That is not the case.  For the Biden Administration, “processed” for deportation for thousands of the illegal crossers means they were released after being given either a Notice to Appear (with a specific court date) or a Notice to Report, which means the immigrants are to report to an immigration office at their convenience.  Statistics show that most of the people given this paperwork never report.  They are simply released into the United States.  Additionally, beginning last February, the Biden Administration ordered ICE not to track any of them down unless—and only unless—they are on a terror watchlist or have been previously convicted of a violent felony.  This means that thousands of people who recently crossed our border are released without even knowing if they are violent felons or on a terror watchlist.  This is unbelievable.  In addition, these illegal immigrants are released without being given a COVID test unless they are symptomatic; and they are not required to be vaccinated. This is not only a national security issue, but also a humanitarian, public safety, and health crisis. 

Biden’s policies are an open invitation for people to come to America illegally—and they are coming in droves. That should come as no surprise, even to the clueless political leaders who profess total bafflement as to what is causing the massive illegal border crossings.  Apparently, Vice President Harris is still studying the “root causes,” though the causes are apparent to anyone with two eyes and common sense.  Immigrants truly believe that if they can cross the border into the United States, there is a good chance they can stay; and, unfortunately, they are correct.  Thus, there is a record number of illegal crossings—1.35 million so far this year.  There were 208,887 immigrants encountered illegally crossing in August, marking the first time in history that we have had over 200,000 such crossings in consecutive months, from February to August of this year.

But the mistakes and flawed decisions by the Biden Administration are not limited to the border.  Closing down the Keystone Pipeline and restricting energy production elsewhere in the U.S. have put millions of Americans out of work and raised gasoline prices 40% since Biden took office.  Once again, the U.S. is importing fuel; we have lost the energy independence we enjoyed for the last few years.  The energy policy changes, along with the tax and spending decisions by the Pelosi-Schumer-controlled Congress, have resulted in inflation being the highest in decades.  The foundations of our economy are fundamentally shifting.  Not only are we paying more for gas, but we are also paying more for virtually everything – even milk, bread, and beef.  Everything is more expensive than it was nine months ago. And now President Biden is working with congressional leaders to also raise taxes.  This will impact U.S. corporations and every U.S. citizen.  It will impact you.

But the crisis for America and the mistakes by the Biden Administration involve even more.

  • The Biden Administration continues to work toward a reimplementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the JCPOA.  This, even though Iran remains belligerent and continues to export weapons technology to terror groups and increases its enrichment of uranium as it works toward a nuclear weapon.
  • The Administration damaged our relationship with NATO when we unilaterally decided to leave Afghanistan without giving our NATO partners a chance to prepare.  Additionally, Biden snubbed France in its agreement to give nuclear submarine technology to Australia, leading France to recall its ambassador to the United States in protest.  Lack of coordination with our oldest ally is simply unbelievable and unnecessary.
  • Biden extended the Obama-created “New Start” treaty with Russia for five years, allowing Russia to increase its nuclear arsenal—with many of its missiles pointed at our NATO allies. The Administration also refused to sanction Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline, hurting the U.S. oil industry and making our European friends more dependent on Russia.
  • The Biden Administration rejoined the Paris Climate Accords, even though it costs the U.S. billions, hurts our own gas and oil industry, and gives China (the world’s largest polluter) a pass on its actions that impact the climate.
  • The Taliban now rules Afghanistan.  The enemy that facilitated al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack on America is in charge, holding U.S. citizens and thousands of our Afghan allies as virtual hostages.  Meanwhile, the Taliban requested to be recognized by the U.N. as the official government of Afghanistan.  Rather than categorically rejecting this request, the Biden Administration is withholding an opinion for now.  The U.S. sits on the U.N. credentials committee and has a vote on this matter.

In a mere nine months, the Biden Administration’s policies have brought unprecedented instability to the United States.  Our enemies are emboldened.  Our allies are confused and uncertain about where the U.S. stands on multiple issues. And polls indicate that the American people are concerned about our President’s ability to lead and the recent rhetoric and decisions of those in charge.  The President lauds his theme of “Build Back Better.”  Build Back Better is simply not happening.

We are strong.  We are also a nation at multiple crossroads, a country in crisis.  All of this demands candor and courage from our political leaders.  It is a time for Americans to let President Biden and the White House know that we are holding them accountable.  The Administration and Congress need to make multiple mid-course corrections and not do what is politically expedient—but rather do what is good for the country as a whole.  It is also a time for all of us to pray for the United States of America.

Wesley Smith

More Articles

Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is Senior Advisor for Military Affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments.

Wesley Smith

Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is Senior Advisor for Military Affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments.

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We Are a Country in Crisis

By 

Wesley Smith

|

September 27

8 min read

Public Policy

As Americans, we have proven over and over throughout our history that we are a resilient country.  Through hardships, crises, and challenges, we have always demonstrated an ability to overcome and bounce back.  In 245 years, we have faced difficulties, large and small.  Our own civil war, two World Wars and multiple other military conflicts, a Great Depression, terror attacks on 9/11, and more.  There have been financial ups and downs, the threats of the Cold War, racial strife, and presidential assassinations.  In the end, we unite, look our difficulties straight in the eye, and persist until we are victorious.

Today we are a country in crisis again.  It is multi-faceted this time, which makes a solution to what we face more complicated.  But we now face a faltering leader and extreme political divisions, even though President Biden promised to unite us and be a President for all Americans of all political stripes.  That simply has not happened. The culmination of this Administration’s decisions and policy changes has had a negative impact on us domestically and has called into question how we are viewed in the world at large.  Our foreign policy, as well as life at home, is in the balance.

Poor decisions by the Biden Administration combined with poor implementation of its policy decisions once they attempt to put them in place make for a double threat to life together as we know it:  bad decisions followed by poor implementation. Added to this is an ongoing break with reality as to the impact of bad decisions and poor implementation.  Denial is rampant, even as the President’s supporters and some in the mainstream media call into question what is happening.  Rather than reevaluate and change course when it is apparent that mistakes were made, this Administration persists in the actions and attempts to convince Americans—and perhaps themselves—that no mistakes were made.

One example of this is the crisis on our southern border.  DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, on behalf of the Administration, continues to downplay the realities of what is going on.  For months he refused to even say there was a crisis or problem.  He continues to insist that our border is closed—even as thousands of people cross over that “closed” border.  Vice President Kamala Harris, the alleged border czar, is literally absent from the border and the issue.  President Biden has yet to even visit the border.

Yet President Biden changed effective border policies in his first week in office.  A policy that was even partially effective (during the previous Administration) is better than no policy at all.  But all border wall construction was stopped on Biden’s first day in office.  The “Remain in Mexico” policy was also halted, though a federal judge has ruled that the current Administration did not follow standard rules in changing this policy.  It was rightfully called the Migrant Protections Protocol, as those wishing to enter the country were ordered to remain in Mexico pending their immigration proceedings.  It was a commonsense and humanitarian policy to prevent exploitation of our generous immigration laws and to avoid the human suffering and chaos we are now witnessing along the border, such as what happened under the bridge in Del Rio, Texas.  The Mexican government was fully on board with the Remain in Mexico policy.

Before President Biden, we worked with the Northern Triangle countries in Central America, tying our aid to those nations with their willingness to police their own borders and decrease people fleeing illegally into Mexico en route to the United States.  Mexico also used their troops and law enforcement to guard their southern border and to assist the U.S. by placing personnel along Mexico’s border with the U.S.  All of this went away under President Joe Biden.  Rapid deportations were also stopped.  Even now the Left in Congress and the President are trying to jam through radical amnesty in proposed bills that are unrelated to immigration.

With the recent rush to the border at Del Rio, Texas, it must be noted that—as the Administration has tried to clear out the crowds under the bridge—the reports are that most of the people are being processed for deportation.  That sounds like these illegal immigrants are on the way out.  That is not the case.  For the Biden Administration, “processed” for deportation for thousands of the illegal crossers means they were released after being given either a Notice to Appear (with a specific court date) or a Notice to Report, which means the immigrants are to report to an immigration office at their convenience.  Statistics show that most of the people given this paperwork never report.  They are simply released into the United States.  Additionally, beginning last February, the Biden Administration ordered ICE not to track any of them down unless—and only unless—they are on a terror watchlist or have been previously convicted of a violent felony.  This means that thousands of people who recently crossed our border are released without even knowing if they are violent felons or on a terror watchlist.  This is unbelievable.  In addition, these illegal immigrants are released without being given a COVID test unless they are symptomatic; and they are not required to be vaccinated. This is not only a national security issue, but also a humanitarian, public safety, and health crisis. 

Biden’s policies are an open invitation for people to come to America illegally—and they are coming in droves. That should come as no surprise, even to the clueless political leaders who profess total bafflement as to what is causing the massive illegal border crossings.  Apparently, Vice President Harris is still studying the “root causes,” though the causes are apparent to anyone with two eyes and common sense.  Immigrants truly believe that if they can cross the border into the United States, there is a good chance they can stay; and, unfortunately, they are correct.  Thus, there is a record number of illegal crossings—1.35 million so far this year.  There were 208,887 immigrants encountered illegally crossing in August, marking the first time in history that we have had over 200,000 such crossings in consecutive months, from February to August of this year.

But the mistakes and flawed decisions by the Biden Administration are not limited to the border.  Closing down the Keystone Pipeline and restricting energy production elsewhere in the U.S. have put millions of Americans out of work and raised gasoline prices 40% since Biden took office.  Once again, the U.S. is importing fuel; we have lost the energy independence we enjoyed for the last few years.  The energy policy changes, along with the tax and spending decisions by the Pelosi-Schumer-controlled Congress, have resulted in inflation being the highest in decades.  The foundations of our economy are fundamentally shifting.  Not only are we paying more for gas, but we are also paying more for virtually everything – even milk, bread, and beef.  Everything is more expensive than it was nine months ago. And now President Biden is working with congressional leaders to also raise taxes.  This will impact U.S. corporations and every U.S. citizen.  It will impact you.

But the crisis for America and the mistakes by the Biden Administration involve even more.

  • The Biden Administration continues to work toward a reimplementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the JCPOA.  This, even though Iran remains belligerent and continues to export weapons technology to terror groups and increases its enrichment of uranium as it works toward a nuclear weapon.
  • The Administration damaged our relationship with NATO when we unilaterally decided to leave Afghanistan without giving our NATO partners a chance to prepare.  Additionally, Biden snubbed France in its agreement to give nuclear submarine technology to Australia, leading France to recall its ambassador to the United States in protest.  Lack of coordination with our oldest ally is simply unbelievable and unnecessary.
  • Biden extended the Obama-created “New Start” treaty with Russia for five years, allowing Russia to increase its nuclear arsenal—with many of its missiles pointed at our NATO allies. The Administration also refused to sanction Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline, hurting the U.S. oil industry and making our European friends more dependent on Russia.
  • The Biden Administration rejoined the Paris Climate Accords, even though it costs the U.S. billions, hurts our own gas and oil industry, and gives China (the world’s largest polluter) a pass on its actions that impact the climate.
  • The Taliban now rules Afghanistan.  The enemy that facilitated al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack on America is in charge, holding U.S. citizens and thousands of our Afghan allies as virtual hostages.  Meanwhile, the Taliban requested to be recognized by the U.N. as the official government of Afghanistan.  Rather than categorically rejecting this request, the Biden Administration is withholding an opinion for now.  The U.S. sits on the U.N. credentials committee and has a vote on this matter.

In a mere nine months, the Biden Administration’s policies have brought unprecedented instability to the United States.  Our enemies are emboldened.  Our allies are confused and uncertain about where the U.S. stands on multiple issues. And polls indicate that the American people are concerned about our President’s ability to lead and the recent rhetoric and decisions of those in charge.  The President lauds his theme of “Build Back Better.”  Build Back Better is simply not happening.

We are strong.  We are also a nation at multiple crossroads, a country in crisis.  All of this demands candor and courage from our political leaders.  It is a time for Americans to let President Biden and the White House know that we are holding them accountable.  The Administration and Congress need to make multiple mid-course corrections and not do what is politically expedient—but rather do what is good for the country as a whole.  It is also a time for all of us to pray for the United States of America.

Wesley Smith

More Articles

Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is Senior Advisor for Military Affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments.

Wesley Smith

Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is Senior Advisor for Military Affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments.

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