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Monday, March 22, 2021

Challenging Perspectives

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Crisis on the southern border undeniable

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki rightly referred to the situation at the southern border as a “crisis on the border,” but then quickly walked it back after reporters asked if her comments represented a change in the Biden administration’s assessment of the deluge of migrants at the border.

You see, the Biden administration has stubbornly resisted any labeling of the southern border situation as a “crisis,” even as the number of border crossings reaches their highest number in 20 years, and ironically, even as it deploys thousands of FEMA workers to the southern border.

Psaki attempted to recover by stating that what she meant was there were “challenges on the border” (and not a “crisis on the border”).

Well, no, this is not a challenge. Not in the least. But maybe Ms. Psaki needs some perspective.

A challenge is like when President Kennedy told Congress in 1961, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

A challenge was the 155,000 Allied troops who successfully stormed and held Normandy’s beaches in 1944 – against heavily fortified German forces – where small groups of American soldiers managed to make it across the beach and scale the cliffs to turn the tide toward victory. That was a challenge.

A challenge is when our police officers leave their families each day to patrol our streets, not knowing if the next traffic stop or domestic dispute call will be their last, especially since the number of officers who died in the line of duty jumped by nearly 60% last year. The number of officers who were shot rose by nearly 30% from the year before that.

A challenge is a mother or father who has lost their job in the oilfield, or in a factory that closed and moved those jobs offshore, or whose livelihood was not deemed “essential” enough this past year, and now they’re desperately trying to figure out how to put food on the table for their family and a roof over their heads.

A challenge is seeing your mother or father through a nursing home window for months on end, unable to relieve their isolation, or worse, watching them slip away forever. At the same time, bureaucrats debate the science and spend only pennies of a so-called trillion-dollar relief bill on those who need the help the most.

A challenge is wanting to understand how the Biden administration has authorized the release of billions of dollars to Iran, which is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world while turning their backs on tens upon thousands of our own veterans who are homeless.

A challenge is watching a grown man legally go to the restroom alongside our daughters and mothers. A challenge is experiencing the loss of our liberties, including the freedom of expression, amidst a cancel culture run amok.

A challenge is comprehending how politicians seemingly feign outrage at the notion of placing children in “cages” at the southern border, yet they have no objection to legislation and rhetoric that attracts even more children to the southern border, traveling alone and alongside drug cartels, human traffickers and sexual predators.

You see, Ms. Psaki, a challenge is something that makes you better.

That results in your taking the road less traveled.

That pushes you to achieve more than you hoped for.

It’s not a challenge to invite lawlessness into our country, and it’s certainly not a challenge when you have complete control over the outcome.

Words have meaning, Ms. Psaki, and for most Americans, our country is not being “challenged” at the border.

It’s under siege, and President Biden is directly responsible, no matter what words you use.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.

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