Why Trump country is unfazed by the child separation crisis

People who are accustomed to cruelty, on the giving and receiving ends alike, are not very likely to find such a policy appalling

President Trump and immigrant detainees.
(Image credit: Illustrated | vjotov/iStock, John Moore/Getty Images, jessicahyde/iStock, Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The bishop of Tucson, Franklin Graham, and Michelle Obama agree about very few things, but the inhumanity of President Trump's "zero tolerance" border policy is one of them. The New York Times and the New York Post, National Review, Jacobin, and The Federalist all agree that detaining parents and children separately is a crude practice that should be abandoned.

To find a defense of the administration you must journey beyond civilization into the jungles of the conservative internet. Here amid the febrile light and heat you will learn from the sleek leopards of the canopy and the hideously sluglike boa constrictors in the understory that Trump's policy is, in fact, based upon the soundest principles of Christian statecraft, according to which the laws of Caesar are there to be obeyed; that, actually, this was former President Obama's policy first, not Trump's; that the administration found itself with no choice thanks to an obscure court decision; that, honestly, folks, it isn't that bad, it's practically daycare or a cozy public elementary school (and think of all the money we're spending on it that could go to natural-born Americans living in poverty!); and that, after all, the phonies and frauds in the Fake News Media don't care about children and are cynically exploiting this situation in order to score points against our indefatigable flag-respecting commander in chief.

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Matthew Walther

Matthew Walther is a national correspondent at The Week. His work has also appeared in First Things, The Spectator of London, The Catholic Herald, National Review, and other publications. He is currently writing a biography of the Rev. Montague Summers. He is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.