"Character" is measured by the rate at which one discards one's values as stakes rise.The people who propose abandoning our nation's core principles - when we're in no imminent danger, no less - have no character. Like many cowards, they've mastered the trick of sounding tough while displaying their cowardice. But make no mistake about it: they're pussies. All of them.
The French, who've suffered actual losses, are accepting more refuges now, not less. To quote from an excellent editorial by author John Scalzi,
Congratulations, America. We’ve successfully wrested the title of “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” from France. Enjoy it.As usual, the salient point is being lost beneath a lot of invective. Here's the fact that counts: the perpetrators of the French attack could visit this country without the slightest screening. They're not Syrians. They're not refugees. They're Frenchmen and Belgians, and we don't screen them! The Syrian refugees, by contrast, are screened within an inch of their lives, and they're the enemies of our enemies!
And what happened to our risk assessment skills? John Oliver, as usual, expressed it eloquently and wittily on his "Last Week Tonight" show:
"As reasonable adults, we accept tiny amounts of risk baked into our everyday lives," Oliver said. "We drive cars despite knowing around 30,000 of us die in them each year. We go swimming despite the fact 10 people a day die from drowning. Twenty Americans every year are killed by cows, but no one is saying we should expel all cows from the country!"I'll gladly accept a one in ten million chance of being shot in a shopping mall by someone foolish enough to spend 18 months sneaking through the vetting process for a refugee visa (when there are far easier ways to get here) if it means maintaining our values as a country. Has everyone forgotten that people are getting shot all over the place here already? Come to think of it, those same aforementioned pussies don't seem very alarmed about that!
We need to extend open arms to the victims of our enemy (Daesh/ISIS). Duh! We need to be extraordinarily clear in delineating that this is a conflict between 7.2999 billion human beings versus a hundred thousand monsters, rather than needlessly make fresh enemies. Duh! And we need to recognize that playing into the hands of petty provocateurs by responding with bigotry and persecution against our Muslim friends and neighbors is the dumbest (not to mention most dishonorable) move we could possibly make.