The ghost of FDR’s authoritarianism

Remember FDR's Eugenics?


WASHINGTON, November 19, 2015 – While Republicans in Congress and in the majority of governor’s mansions say they will oppose President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees into America within the next 12 months (Hillary Clinton wants to bump that number to 65,000), Roanoke, Va., Mayor David A. Bowers – a Democrat – ordered his city’s government departments to “suspend and delay any further Syrian refugee assistance until these [ISIS] hostilities and atrocities end.”

However, Bowers stirred an old ghost that progressives would like to forget, like their historic championing of race purification, Eugenics.

Open borders and suicide

“I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” wrote Bowers, “and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

That, of course, is a not so subtle reminder of FDR’s Executive Order 9066, signed on Feb. 19, 1942, saying the “Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders… may determine… the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave [a military zone]… subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.”

Nowhere in the document does it specifically order the round up and internment of enemy Japanese aliens… or Americans of Japanese descent “endowed by their Creator with certain, unalienable rights.”

It must have been implied in the word “discretion,” which means the discretionary authority can redefine words to mean whatever they want them to mean.

Oh, and the Supreme Court’s 1944 ruling in Korematsu v. United States upheld the constitutionality of Roosevelts Executive Order “because we could not reject the finding of the military authorities that it was impossible to bring about an immediate segregation of the disloyal [Japanese] from the loyal that we sustained the validity of the curfew order as applying to the whole group.”

Ready in the face of terror

Can’t the same be said of today’s Syrian refugees? One of the jihadists that perpetrated the mass killings in Paris last Friday was among the thousands of refugees fleeing Syria for Europe. It was impossible for European authorities “to bring about an immediate segregation of the disloyal from the loyal.”

The Korematsu ruling remains black-letter law.

But wouldn’t it be far better to stop all immigration from hotbeds of Islamic jihad into the United States rather than resurrect the Democratic Party’s ugly, authoritarian assault on American liberty?

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