I’ve always hated this scene in Schindler’s List, not because of the characters per se… but because of how polite and clinical it all was:
We give you a Jewish girl at five marks a day, Oskar. You should kiss us, not them. God forbid you ever get a real taste for Jewish skirt — there’s no future in it. They don’t have a future.
That’s not just good old fashioned Jew hating talk. It’s policy now.
Andrzej Seweryn was the actor playing Julian Scherner, and there’s something of Hannah Arendt’s observations on the banality of evil that the actor was able to portray.
Spielberg allowed that little *clink* of the tea cup to ring out. How pleasant. How delicate. How grotesque and outrageous it sounded to my ears as a teenager. How the worst possible acts could be carried out in the name of policy.
A friend mentioned this to me with regards to lawmaking in general, and I have to say it struck a chord — specifically as it deals with immigration policy.
Of course, we live in an era where there are three approaches:
Nationalists want to throw all the immigrants out.
Patriots want sensible laws enforcing sensible policy.
Globalists want open borders.
Here’s the neat trap — oppose the nationalists and you are convicted as a globalist; oppose the globalists and you are condemned as a nationalist.
Both extremes try to paint themselves as patriots by cloaking their ideology, either by insisting that the “rule of law” should be revised to mean that no one who is not fourth-generation American should have citizenship (an actual position held by nationalist groups) or that immigration reform should surrender our sovereignty entirely (positions actually held by globalist groups).
Patriots caught in between? Those of us who want the laws enforced and — once the borders are secured — find a humane solution to “red card” or otherwise implement an Israeli-style solution to undocumented immigrants — seem to have a lot of explaining to do.
…or do we?
Truth is, it’s the so-called problem solvers who have the explaining to do, especially when policy doesn’t match morality. Hyperventilate all they want… unless the solution is both moral and capable of resolving the issue? Reject it.
But for God’s sake, don’t settle on “it’s policy now” as the standard for right and wrong.
UPDATE: A reader helpfully asks if libertarians (civil or capital-L) would be considered as the patriotic middle.
That would be entirely appropriate, especially as the political extremes continue to lurch towards authoritarianism.