Olathe, in Memoriam

By Dan Cadman, February 26, 2017

I have often in the past expressed my dismay when citizens and resident aliens are victimized by alien criminals who kill and maim without remorse, and sometimes without repercussion. It is appropriate, then, that I express my dismay about what happened in Olathe, Kan. I am horrified, and my heart goes out to the victims and the family of the man who died.

There are those who will assert that it is because of people like me — people who are steadfast in believing that the immigration laws should be enforced — that incidents like Olathe sometimes come to pass. I don't accept that any more than that moderate, law-abiding liberals should feel personal responsibility for the series of unprovoked and often murderous attacks on police that have plagued our nation in recent years. There will always be people on the fringe of either side who are willing to contemplate the unspeakable.

It is my belief that the central foundation of law is what sets our nation apart from many others. It is, after all, because I believe in law and justice, however imperfect they may be in actual practice as opposed to the ideal, that I hold the views I do about immigration enforcement.

Our job on both the right and the left is not to surrender our values, but to speak out against such vile acts and distance ourselves from them when they are done "for our side"; and to demand that the full extent of the law be exercised in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

One of my criticisms of the immediate past president was that he was sometimes slow to acknowledge great wrongs when they somehow cut across his philosophical views: the attacks on police being one such example, perhaps because of other instances in which police may have reacted unreasonably or with too much force. Such gestures of compassion count for much when they are done from the bully pulpit of the presidency.

It is my hope that President Trump will find his voice to express his own dismay, contempt, and rejection of actions of the kind that took place in Olathe. He is obviously a man capable of grand gestures. I hope he will find a way to express appropriately his own belief that obedience to the law is paramount, and that expressions of hate will not be tolerated, including against foreigners whatever their ethnic or religious background, or status in the United States. He has done so before. I hope he will reiterate this message in a clear, sustained, and direct voice.