In 2009, President Obama famously told Eric Cantor that “elections have consequences” and, as Trump’s victory has shown, they certainly do. That is why it’s so baffling to us that so many people voted for Trump despite his campaign promises running contrary to their own interests. The most famous example of this is probably the fact that many Trump voters are suddenly worried about losing their healthcare if the GOP repeals the Affordable Care Act.
As frustrating as those stories are, a recent piece by NBC is even more confusing. A family in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is currently fighting the deportation of their relatives who recently arrived from Syria. It’s a story that’s playing out all across the country, but, in this case, there’s a twist. This family, the Assali family, voted for Donald Trump even though he made no secret of his plan to ban Muslims from entering the country.
Sarmad and her husband Dr. Ghassan Assali have been living in the United States for 20 years and have been preparing for her the arrival of her brothers’ families since 2003. They were approved for entry in December of 2016, but were turned away at the airport and sent back to Syria.
On Sunday, Dr. Assali appeared alongside Penslvyian Gov. Tom Wolf where he condemned Trump’s executive order and compared it to the actions of ISIS.
‘America is not America. Like ISIS now, they ask, ‘Are you Christian? What do you believe?’ And if they are not saying what they believe, they kick you out and they cut your head off. So America, same thing. They ask you are you Muslim? You’ve got to change your religion. Thank you.’
For her part, Sarmad Assali said that she understands Trump’s desire to keep America safe, but believes that we need to help those in need.
‘I understand he wants to make America safe. We’re all on with this. I definitely want to be in a safe place. But people need us and we need to be there for them.’
She also had a question for the president, “Why? Where is your human side to send somebody to a war zone?”
It is a good question and one that deserves an answer. Trump’s actions are inhumane and cowardly. Thousands of innocent lives are at stake and Trump, playing on the fears of his base, is willing to gamble them in order to earn political points. We truly hope that Trump’s executive order is overturned in court so that the Assalis can be reunited with their family.
That being said, we also have a question for Mr. and Mrs. Assali. Why? Why did you vote for Donald Trump? His intentions were not a secret. He proclaimed them loudly, often and to anyone who would listen. His Muslim ban isn’t the betrayal of his campaign’s promise. It is the fulfillment of it.
As President Obama said, elections have consequences and, unfortunately, the Assali’s family, along with thousands of others, are now going to have to pay the pay the price for the choices made last November.
Featured image via Getty Images.