Well, maybe Mark Kirk isn't really the narrow-minded tool he seems to be, but a letter his office sent to the President sure makes him look like one. He's yet another Republican calling for us to exclude Syrian refugees on the grounds that a few of their countrymen are extremist criminals.
Here's my response, which I sent to his office just now:
The letter you sent to President Obama about not admitting Syrian refugees "unless the U.S. government can guarantee, with 100 percent assurance, that they are not members [of ISIS]" did not represent my views, nor the views of many of your constituents. In fact, it demonstrated not only an immoral conflation of the plight of refugees with terrorists, and not only a surprising lack of historical understanding (recall the Jewish refugees we turned away in 1938 and 1939), but also a total misunderstanding of the goals of ISIS that played right into their plans for their terror operations.
One of ISIS' strategic goals is to goad the US and its allies into knee-jerk overreaction. Vilifying the tens of thousands of Syrians who are just trying to get to safety from their war-torn country because a handful of criminals committed violent acts against one of our allies horrifies me.
We need to do everything we can to help Syrians get out of the killing zones in their countries. We also want people to immigrate here, as the US was built by people looking for opportunity and to get away from war. You know Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant, don't you? Imagine if someone had excluded his father from the US.
I think you need to explain to the people of Illinois why we should in any way change our tradition of accepting those who seek a better life in our state, just because some of their countrymen are deranged, religious nuts. We have plenty of deranged, religious nuts in Illinois already, and we're still safe.
Thank you for your time.
We need to stop doing exactly what these guys want us to do. Every time we overreact, or blame entire religions or nations for the crimes of a few people, or invade Iraq, we're helping the extremists. Why is this so hard to grasp?