by Harry Hart
Puppies for orphans? That sounds amazing I want that. Those orphans will totally be way happier with a puppy, right? The problem is, that puppy needs to be fed. That orphan can’t do it. Eventually they starve together or one decides the other looks delicious. We joke but we don’t. Many problems today are disagreements about giving puppies to orphans. There is one group, usually on the left, that thinks it’s a fantastic idea to give the puppy to the orphan. They are trying to be kind and “do the right thing”. If you don’t believe this – you should. There are some very thoughtful and nice people on the left – the same is true of people on the right. The other group, the right, doesn’t so much hate being kind, they just disagree with the puppy and orphan endgame. They ask – who eats who? This seems to be reasonable question and at the same time it is very reasonable to want to help everyone. Often however, helping ends up hurting, and the puppy and the orphan end up worse off because of the help. Further, decrying unwillingness to give the puppy to the orphan as evil, cruel, racist, _____phobic (insert type of phobia here), often ends up with bad outcomes and decisions, which impact not only the puppy givers but the non puppy givers. Good policy is created through good dialogue and thoughtful, longer term in nature, solutions. In this way giving the puppy to the orphan is actually the problem, even if it sounds kind and fun. After all, who doesn’t want to give a puppy to an orphan?
In no place is this “puppies for orphans” problem more evident, as it is in the plight of the average Muslim person just trying to cobble together a life for his or her family in the developed world. Stick with me on this. We have an immigration/refugee situation in Europe, that many folks, including us realized would end badly. Being kind to refugees, and letting them in en masse, without a plan as to how to deal with them was giving the puppy to the orphan. Many people wanted to allow refugees in because it does feel good to help, but as we’ve suggested, the feel good motivation is often ignoring the second and third derivative of the problem. In this case the second derivative is simply ignoring the security situation that giving the puppies to orphans might create. There are fantastic Muslim families coming from some of these war torn areas. There is no reason to doubt this or make an argument that all Muslims are ISIS members waiting to happen. That is false because nothing that extreme is really ever true. It’s easy to see this second derivative play out time and time again. We didn’t have a plan. The plan was to ignore the security situation and just hope for the best. There are countless episodes, including the one yesterday in the US, that seem to suggest the way we have dealt with the security issue regarding refugees isn’t working. We are certain there will be more attacks every week or so into perpetuity. We haven’t addressed the issue that giving the puppy to the orphan created. Think Germany NYE’s sexual assaults and random attacks FOREVER. This is good for precisely no one. If you go one more derivative further in this problem, it’s actually far worse for the average Muslim family just trying to get by like the rest of us. Every time there is a terror attack or a German NYE or anything like it, Muslims in the US, UK or anywhere else for that matter, suffer. Islamophobia is literally being cultivated by bad policies that damage not only the people already in the country from a security standpoint, but also deeply damages the families that are trying to just be accepted in the new country. The puppy actually ends up eating the orphan or vice versa. This isn’t only true of Muslims, but also very true of the US and the problems they have with their southern border and, what was, unchecked illegal immigration. MS-13? The US already has enough home grown violent criminals; it doesn’t need to import them. No one ends up better off without a strong focus on security in allowing new people into a country. In short, the good deed of allowing everyone into a country without weeding out bad people ends badly.
Considering what happens after you do the feel good thing, giving the puppy to the orphan, matters a lot. It matters most in this case to Muslims and people who are just like you and I, and just want a good life. If you don’t consider the consequences of doing something “good” you might end up with something very bad for the people you intended to help. The blow-back from bad immigration policies has taken the world down some pretty extreme paths. Brexit, any number of European elections going in more ugly directions, Donald Trump’s election, growth in the ultra-right/neo-nazi type groups – all of these can be traced back to not considering obvious human reactions to bad policies. It feels good to give the puppy to the orphan, and sure, in a perfect world people wouldn’t kill other people or become hateful of groups that kill them and vice versa. We don’t live in a perfect world clearly. Ignoring that imperfection ends with a hungry puppy, a hungry orphan, or one of them becoming dinner.