It Happened Again

“The warden said “The exit is sold”
If you wanna way out Silver and gold.” — Paul Hewson

I’m obviously late to the party with this one. As everyone knows, Governor Greg Abbott sent his own version of a Christmas gift to Kamala Harris when he sent upwards of 50 migrants in a bus to her Washington D.C. residence. I can easily go in any number of directions here and most of them are visceral emotional reactions to the story. Most of these visceral responses are the kind of responses that MAGA folks want us to say. It’s almost like a Pavlovian response. They do something outrageous and we respond with outrage, Mission accomplished.

So, where I choose to go from here is to a place where I am going to assume that one or more of them might stumble to this place and actually read these words. The regular readers already know this stuff, so you can treat this as more of a tutorial for other people. However, it is something I feel I need to say because I’ve seen the responses from both sides. Progressives respond with outrage as I suppose they should. Conservatives usually say something to the effect that Kamala Harris and Joe Biden need to solve the problem.

Let’s start with the outrage. All of us know about trolls. Essentially, mainstream conservatives are becoming an endangered species. In their place are what I lovingly call performance artists. If you think back to the scandals concerning the National Endowment for the Arts you will remember the different exhibits that caused so much consternation. There were sculptures of Jesus made out of dung or Jesus being submerged in human urine. These were all designed to create a visceral reaction. All forms of art are created to elicit a reaction. So, these maneuvers by Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis are created to elicit an emotional response. Again, mission accomplished.

Performance artists aren’t interested in solving any problems. Problems exist to be exploited. They exist for fund raising. They exist for sound bytes. They exist so that you can frighten your base by expanding and distorting the truth. Greg Abbott has no issue in solving immigration. He has no interest in helping migrants. He has no interest in adjusting policies so that the strain on our institutions and budget are alleviated. Of course, it could be credibly claimed that many progressive politicians aren’t interested in solving the problem either. They can fundraise against Abbott and DeSantis as easily as those two can fundraise themselves.

This brings us to the second point. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can’t solve this issue on their own. It’s a problem with the low information voters. This is an issue that must be addressed in Congress. So, you can send these people to the White House or to Kamala Harris’ private residence, but the stunt doesn’t provide them any additional incentive to solve the problem. Harris literally has very little real power to do anything beyond helping those exact people. This is where you call or write letters to your elected representative asking them to work with other members of Congress to actually pass comprehensive changes to our immigration policy.

Whether one considers this just performance art or an act of cruelty, the end result is just the same. Someone decided that jerking these people around was better than actually helping them. At this point, I’m not going to judge if someone decides they can’t help them. I understand. We can’t help literally everyone that needs help and it can be hard to decide where that cut off should be. They are human beings. They deserve better than this. If we can’t help them then the least we can do is not hurt them. It’s one thing to have a sculpture made out of dung to enrage the masses. It is something else entirely to use actual living and breathing human beings for your performance art.

What is particularly jarring is seeing the standard messages sent out this time of year when our elected officials wish us a merry Christmas and happy holidays. These messages are usually wrapped in some sort of sanctimonious bullshit about how we all need to be better people. Sure, you first. Whether you really are that black-hearted or you are just playing an asshole for your performance art really doesn’t matter. It’s a distinction without a difference. Our Lord and savior wouldn’t do this. Worst of all, I think deep down they know this.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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