When you have family that lived and suffered in Russia, it is impossible not to be affected by politics today, both nationally and locally, in my adopted state of South Carolina. Whether I am overreacting or not is difficult to tell, because it is challenging to analyze which news is accurate, and which words by my elected officials I can trust.
I can only react based upon my research, my personal experience, and my family history, which gives me a unique perspective on what I see and hear regarding our interactions with Russia. When you have family members who died under questionable circumstances while living in the Soviet Union, that gives you a specific viewpoint.
This week, I read that someone in my state legislaturce has introduced an amendment to one of our laws to “ESTABLISH THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT UNIT WITHIN THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION.” (I am not yelling. The entire code of laws is written in caps!)
I do not know what the intent of this proposal is now, but a few years ago, the law was such that a person could be detained until their status was determined. That provision has since been softened. What is the intent of this new addition?
It worries me when I hear our president-elect speaking about a registry for Muslims, which in reading his past remarks, it is not clear to me if he currently supports such a registry or not. (Did he ever? It is difficult for me to know what he really believes.)
It concerns me when I heard him say this past summer that “We will issue detainers for all illegal immigrants who are arrested for any crime whatsoever, and they will be placed into immediate removal proceedings.” What constitutes “any crime?”
Then I see him praising Putin, calling him a greater leader than our president. I hope he has changed his mind about saying “Why do I have to get tough on Putin? I don’t know anything other than that he doesn’t respect our country.”
His nomination to the position of Secretary of State of a man with ties to Russia is troublesome to me, particularly because we do not know if Mr. Trump has any investments in Russia.
I see the incoming administration’s proposed changes regarding daily press briefings and the lack of any traditional press conference (still waiting), and I worry. I am sad that I have become such a skeptic because I want to be more of an optimist, but it is not easy these days.
I first learned of the word “propaganda,” not in school, but from my father, who had lived in the Soviet Union. Then I see our news, and yes, I worry.
I hope I am jumping to conclusions , so I am hanging on to the belief that our system of checks and balances will protect us. But for anyone who has read this blog for the past three years, or anyone who has read my book, perhaps you will understand my concern.