The sleight of hand continues unabated in Washington. While Barack Obama holds up this shiny, scary thing called “sequestration” with one hand, his real agenda seems to be to slip through the most massive amnesty bill ever foisted on the American people with the other. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, Dorothy.
In the interest of putting the issue of illegal immigration into perspective once again, I present the following scenario, first proffered in this space several years ago under the title, “Where no one locks the door.” It still seems eerily relevant.
Imagine you are a child living with your family in a small town. You have always felt safe there. The crimes of big cities seem distant from your serene world, where no one ever locks the door.
Then one night, your next-door neighbors are murdered in their home, which is burned to the ground. Your whole town is terrified. Your parents gather the family together for a reassuring pep talk.
“The men who did this will be brought to justice,” your parents tell you. “And until they are caught, we will protect you.”
You believe them, but the next day you discover that your doors not only remain unlocked; they are standing wide open. You are astonished. Your parents tell you that locking the doors would not be neighborly.
Miraculously, nothing happens for five nights. On the sixth night, you hear a noise downstairs. You wake your parents and follow your father down to the kitchen, where you discover a man rummaging through your trash.
Your father opens the refrigerator and tells the man to take what he wants and turn the lights out when he is finished. Amazed, you ask why he doesn’t call the police or at least throw this man out and lock the doors. He tells you this man meant no harm, and besides, locked doors are not the way in your town.
“After all,” he says, “we don’t want people to hate us.”
Frightened and confused, you go back to bed and listen to the sounds of the man in your family’s kitchen.
Over the next fourteen nights, six men wander into the house and take what they want. One night, you open your eyes to find one of them standing over your bed. In answer to your screams, your father puts his arm around the man and escorts him downstairs to the refrigerator. The next morning your family discovers their home theater system is missing. Your mother sighs and shakes her head, while your father simply shrugs.
On the second night of the third week, just before sleep comes, you smell something that sends chills over every inch of your body. Gasoline!
This time, you don’t wake your father. You reach for the phone and call the sheriff, who arrives just before one of the three men in your living room lights the match. The men are arrested and taken to the county jail, but later you hear that they have been released.
Meanwhile, you learn that the criminal’s entire family is living in a house on the other side of town, and that they are all criminals. You ask your father why they haven’t been jailed or simply thrown out of your town. He is shocked that you would even suggest such a thing.
“Our town has a lot of new strangers who have moved in,” he says. “Most of them are good, decent people who don’t mean us any harm. Just because they are criminals doesn’t mean we shouldn’t welcome them here. After all, we were once strangers in this town, too. And don’t forget, these folks are doing jobs that people in our town don’t want to do.”
“That’s right,” your mother chimes in. “Unless you want to start mowing the lawn again, you had better start showing some appreciation for our new neighbors, young man!”
You stare at them and realize that they are serious. Are they losing their minds? Are you? And suddenly you know that life in your town will never be the same again.
© 2013 by Doug Patton – Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.