Readers Write: What’s wrong with ‘America first?’

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I am writing this letter in response to a letter written by Mr. Hal Sobel in the Aug. 12, 2016 edition of the Roslyn Times.   
The subject was in regards to a previous letter of mine.
Mr. Sobel called my comments “ludicrous.”  
So let us see which of us is ludicrous.  
I made a number of poignant critiques of a column written by Mr. Kremer.  
Mr. Sobel chose to cherry-pick a few of them. At the same time, he also chose to evade certain uncomfortable issues.
Mr. Sobel first takes umbrage at my saying “I applaud America first.”  
He goes on to explain, in several paragraphs, that this is an unwise slogan to use, and thus, demonstrates an  “abject failure to understand our country’s history.”  
When I played football in college we often used the term “gung ho.”  
I knew what it meant.  
My teammates knew what it meant.  I doubt there was one player on the field who knew that the term “gung ho” was of Chinese origin, meant “together”, and was a battle cry in World War II.  
We do not have to know the etymology of every phrase to communicate with each other.  
Donald Trump knows what “America First “means, I know what “America First” means, and his audience knows what “America First” means.  
Mr. Trump’s usage has nothing to do with the issues regarding entry into World War II.  It has to do with the issues of today.  
Saying “American first” is not ludicrous. It is Mr. Sobel’s criticism that is ludicrous.  
So let me ask Mr. Sobel my first of many questions?  
Do you, Mr. Sobel, believe in “America first?”  
You evaded the more important context of my argument which was that I did not want to be a part of a George Soros global empire.  
Which do you prefer?  
“America first” or are you more aligned with the George Soros types?
Mr. Sobel then proceeds to criticize me for making excuses for Donald Trump being less articulate than a professional politician.  
I was not making excuses for Donald Trump’s remarks.  I was validating them.  
I clearly stated that being inarticulate  “ does not make one wrong or stupid.”  
Mr. Sobel then flexes his muscles and accuses Mr. Trump of being a bigot.  
I think Mr. Trumps’ views are not bigotry but are justifiable concerns about the security of our country.  
This subject then evolves into Muslim immigration.  
Mr. Sobel accurately quotes my concern about allowing believers in Sharia Law to enter the country.  He even says “this seems reasonable.”  
Well, if it seems reasonable, then it is obviously not ludicrous.  
He then dismisses the idea as being impracticable.  He totally evades my previous references to the fact that 100 years ago, we asked prospective immigrants if they were anarchists before being allowed entry to the country.  
Did some of them lie?  Sure.  
But, if subsequently, they were found to be preaching anarchy, this was grounds for deportation.  
I want the same procedures to apply to Muslim immigrants.
So here are some more questions for Mr. Sobel.  
Since you are such a high-minded and moral person with a strong nose for bigotry, do you think the adherents of Sharia Law are bigots?  
Do you think the adherents of Sharia law deliberately and unapologetically single out certain groups for intimidation and violence?  
Do you think they indulge their bigotry, not by refusing to bake wedding cakes, but by physical assault and murder?  
Do you think Muslim street patrols are a form of vigilantism?  Do you think Sharia law is worse than Jim Crow?  
Do you believe Christians have the right to peacefully march in Flint, Mich.?  Is there any smidgeon of an obstacle to those espousing Sharia law that you would implement?  
Or would you prefer to do absolutely nothing?  
Do you think that by doing nothing, the flowers will bloom, the birds will sing and we will all live happily ever after?
In the next section, Mr. Sobel shows an absence of elementary logic.  
He accuses me of convoluted arguments regarding Mexican immigration.  I guess convoluted was substituted for ludicrous in this paragraph.  
He disliked the fact that I used Ann Coulter as a reference.  
He then proceeds to trash Ann Coulter.  
Without making this letter to the editor a treatise on logic, I will try to be succinct.  
Aristotle formulated the laws of logic.  He also listed about two dozen violations of logic that he referred to as the “informal fallacies.”  
One of them was called “ad hominem.”  
Ad hominem fallacies are when you attack the person making the argument instead of attacking the argument itself.  It does not matter if Ann Coulter makes the argument, or Genghis Khan, or Attila the Hun.  
The argument itself must be refuted.  
As an aside, I have other references regarding the disproportionate amount of crime committed by illegal immigrants.  
Ann Coulter is not the only one.
Mr Sobel then slanders me with the broad brushed accusation that I think Mexicans are rapists, etc.  
He does not write clearly here.  Did he think I meant all?  So I will be clear.  
Yes, I believe there is a disproportionate amount of rape, kidnapping, and murder in the Latin cultures compared to our own.  
There are statistics to prove it.  
My concern is allowing illegal immigrants, not legal and vetted immigrants, into the country.  This is not ludicrous.  
He then proceeds to cite an article by the Economist magazine that supposedly refutes the idea that illegal immigrants commit more crime.  
He also says the crime statistics are distorted because the illegal immigrants have already been labelled as criminals just by their illegal entry.  
Absolute garbage.  
Illegal entry into the U.S. is a civil matter, not a criminal matter.
So I have some more questions for Mr. Sobel.  
Do you think legal immigrants, who went through the proper channels of immigration, deserve any respect?  
Do you understand that some people think you undermine the rule of law and turn decent law abiding people into saps and suckers for bothering to navigate those legal channels?  
Do you think an unprotected border is a security threat to the U.S. and a violation of our sovereignty?  Are you alarmed by the fact that Mexican drug cartels use our precious National Forest preserves as their own private marijuana farms and at the same time destroy the flora and fauna that we are supposedly protecting?  
Do the ranchers on the border of Arizona and Texas have any legitimate concerns regarding Mexican cartels, drug running, human trafficking, cattle rustling, and burglary? Do you object if we “ build that wall”?
Mr. Sobel proceeds to charge Donald Trump with having an “adversarial relationship with the truth.”  
Thirty percent of the population believes Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy?  Seventy percent do not.  In which camp do you fall?
The next issue regards the fact that I said Donald Trump never praised Vladimir Putin, but that Trump was nevertheless grateful for Putin’s attacks on ISIS.  
Mr. Sobel then quotes Michael Morrell of the C.I.A. which supposedly refutes my statement.  
Maybe my reading comprehension is deteriorating, but I see absolutely nothing in that quote that illustrates Donald Trump praising Putin.  
The charge against Donald Trump is ludicrous.  
What I do see is the fact that Mr. Morrell believes Putin is “playing “ Mr. Trump and implying that Mr. Trump is too naïve to understand it.  
Mr. Sobel seizes on this.
So let me ask Mr. Sobel another set of questions.  
Do you think Obama’s policy of not bombing the ISIS oil convoys entering Turkey was well conceived?  
Do you think Mr. Putin has successfully “played” Obama for the last eight years?  
Has Obama’s “reset’ with Russia proved to be well implemented?    Do you think Obama handled the invasion of the Crimea in a proper fashion?  
Do you think Putin’s threats to the Balkan countries, to Poland, to the Ukraine, and to Turkey are being properly addressed?  
Do you think Putin’s mockery of Obama’s “red line” in Syria was a total slap in the face to any expectation of the U.S. asserting itself?  
Do you think President Obama’s foreign policy is a total, seamless, display of chaos and incompetence?  
Do you think this incompetence has and will lead to a cascading of aggressive actions by hostile nations?
The last issue concerns remarks Mr. Sobel made regarding Donald Trump’s emotionally- challenged temperament.  
So my last set of questions to Mr. Sobel are as follows?  Does it concern you that a candidate for the presidency has not had a press conference in 250 days and has no intention of having one until after the election?  
Does it concern you that this supposed woman of heroic stature does not have the guts to go on the Sean Hannity show even when she was a Senator supposedly representing New York State?  
Does it worry you that Hillary might be an egotistical psychopath in thinking she has the fortitude to face down Putin, the Chinese, Iran,  North Korea, and Isis when she cannot even handle the above two challenges?  
Do you discount the fact that Hillary might have neurological problems?  
Do you discount the reports that Hillary Clinton has fits of rage?  Of episodes of delirium and confusion? Do you think she has violated security protocol with her private email service?  
Do you have any concern that this private server was hacked by foreign agents?  Are you alarmed by the fact that an Iranian nuclear scientist was just executed by the Iran government because his name appeared in one of
Hillary’s e-mails?  
He was an agent spying on our behalf.  
Do you worry that we will not get future cooperation in our intelligence efforts because those wishing to help us have lost confidence in our ability to keep them anonymous?  
Do you think Hillary Clinton should have a security clearance?  
Do you think someone who does not qualify for a security clearance has any business being commander-in-chief ?
I believe I have refuted all pretensions that my letter was ludicrous. I also believe Mr. Sobel swims in a comfort zone of evasion.  
I have asked him over 30 questions?  Let us see if we get any answers?
Dr. Wayne Roth
Roslyn Heights

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