by Rod D. Martin
November 18, 2015

Over the past few days, there has been much online rancor regarding the degree of probability that many of the Syrian refugees might be terrorist infiltrators, sent by ISIS to carry out more attacks like the one in Paris last week. Many liberals have denied not only that this has ever happened, but that it ever could, a contention which is, in the first part, false, and which is in the second part seemingly unlikely.

From the President down, the left is insinuating or outright accusing anyone who has any concern about the situation of racism, hate and all the usual epithets. But in fact, I have seen no one claim that all refugees are bad, or that we should not have compassion toward them. What I have seen is a majority of Americans and Europeans asking a handful of very legitimate questions, questions I think the left must be able to answer if it wishes to persuade rather than merely bully.

1. Are our governments actually capable of reasonable safety precautions with these people? Would they engage in those if they are in fact capable? And would leftists allow them to do so anyway?

2. If ISIS isn’t using the refugees to infiltrate us, why aren’t they? It would be stupid of them not to.

3. If it is true — as has been widely reported — that as many as 70% of the “refugees” are military-aged single males, isn’t that incredibly odd? It certainly doesn’t track with Obama’s claim that they are all widows and orphans. It also raises the question of why we would ever want to let people benefit from coming here who are abandoning their country, their towns and their families in a time of war. (NOTE: As of this writing, the UN says the number is 62%; however, in this screenshot from early September — when there were fewer than half as many refugees — the UN placed the number at 72%.)

4. Is there really no more reasonable, less intrusive way to accommodate the refugees, presumably closer to home so that they can return there? Normally, refugees (as opposed to immigrants) want to go home.

5. Is it really morally imperative to ignore any reasonable safety concerns of our own people? Is it really morally imperative to put the safety of people we don’t know ahead of the safety of our own women and children whom we are sworn to protect? And if so, what is the basis for that imperative, particularly since most of the people claiming it also claim that there are no moral absolutes?

6. If it is in fact morally imperative that we override all safety concerns for these refugees, is there any difference between them and refugees from anywhere else? Or between them and people who just generally have a bad life somewhere else? Did these same liberals call for unlimited immigration for the Christian Nigerians attacked by Boko Haram? The Christian Kenyans attacked by Al Shabaab? (Answer: no, they did not.) Would their “moral imperative” now extend to unlimited immigration from anywhere at any time?

7. Is there any time, place or circumstance in which we may ever validly consider the interests of Americans?

These questions may sound pointed, but that’s really just because this discussion is so politically charged. I don’t think a reasonable objective person would have an issue with the asking of any of these questions, regardless of their answers.

But the point remains that, to our leaders, merely asking such questions is most unwelcome. Which is strange: these are the sorts of questions that almost anyone — anyone without an agenda, at least — would ask, and more than that, they are the sorts of questions that leaders trying to build consensus would normally seek to address before there was an outcry.

And it’s not just our leaders. I wrote these questions originally for a Facebook discussion, with normally reasonable, fair-minded people. Among them was a West Point graduate with whom I attended high school, a leftwing Mormon attorney, and several others of assorted backgrounds, none prone to ugliness or irrationality.

These questions — and others like them — seemed to make them crazy. Or at least, uncharacteristically unreasoning. I could never get a straight answer for most of this. I was, however, told I needed to pray, that Jesus requires we take all these people in without question, and that anyone who says otherwise is just trying to score cheap political points with the masses.

But even if we concede most of those points — because clearly anyone who wants to know whether these new “moral imperatives” have a basis in anything, or whether they might require us ultimately to take in tens of millions or for that matter billions of people, or whether there are adequate safety precautions in place post-Paris, must be a racist redneck hater with “an agenda” — doesn’t it strike you as odd that the concerns of a majority of Americans and Europeans simply do not matter in these people’s minds? That they are dismissed without a thought?

Post-Paris, Donald Trump has surged another 17 points to a whopping 42%. Marine Le Pen now leads the French presidential field, with 28% to Sarkozy’s 23% and Hollande’s 21%. 76% of UK voters want to scrap automatic entry for EU migrants. There is serious talk of an end to the Schengen Zone. And in crucial swing state Colorado, supposedly forever lost by Republicans to the Democrats, all four of the top Republican presidential contenders are leading Hillary Clinton by approximately 16 points.

The dismissed (and dissed) majority is likely to have its say. Perhaps that sentiment will abate with time. But one wonders: might it not be wiser for certain leftist politicians to attempt persuasion rather than hectoring?

They could start by answering these questions.