Gang violence isn’t new in Montgomery County. It isn’t new anywhere in the country.
It is dangerous and serious, but the federal government has never been particularly good about dealing with the problem and the Trump administration is particularly inept in its ability to deal with one particular gang - MS-13.
The gang has been active for at least a decade and a half in Montgomery County and has been responsible for some horrible crimes, particularly in the immigrant community.
John Cronan, an assistant attorney general said Tuesday the Trump administration will not protect immigrants who come forward to testify against MS-13 members - particularly otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants who fear deportation.
“We always deal with situations of cooperating witnesses and having to deal with fears by cooperating witnesses, and we address those fears as appropriate,” Cronan said when I asked the question in the White House briefing room.
The truth is the Trump administration is adding to a problem and not solving one.
Gangs work hard through fear and terror to keep people from testifying against them. Only a fool helps them out in this endeavor by threatening to deport those brave enough to step up - but that’s exactly what the Trump administration is doing.
In its zeal to rid the country of every illegal immigrant it is insuring it will be more difficult to remove the most dangerous of those immigrants - and particularly those who have no care at all for any rule of law.
It is one thing to enter a country illegally seeking a better life and another to enter then wantonly and cravenly commit murder.
But the Trump administration, while screaming about the one, actually cares more about the other to the extent that “Cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face,” is not only a cliche but an understatement.
This matters little to some, but it should matter to everyone who cares about how the poorest of us are treated - you know the Christian saying? “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brother, that you do unto me.”
Christians may be the first to ignore that sentiment, but the rest of us would do well to keep it in mind. After all it is one of the guiding principles to our own government - equal justice for all and special treatment for none - unless it helps convince a certain percentage of the population of the moral righteousness of “The cause.”
Which brings us to another lovely move by the Trump administration this week.
Though President Bone Spurs dipped and dodged from serving when he had the change, he isn’t above celebrating and wrapping himself around the American Flag of military might.
Tuesday Trump announced he was having the Department of Defense explore the possibility of a large military parade to honor our soldiers - right down the main street of Washington D.C.
He didn’t fool many veterans. The leader of VoteVets said, “for someone who has, in the past, admired the tactics of everyone from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, it is clear that a military parade isn’t about saluting the military – it is about making a display of the military saluting him."
Meanwhile President Trump continues to push the narrative of a “Deep State” threat coming from the Department of Justice and the FBI - coincidentally while the FBI is investigating him.
Our president also continues to ignore repeated calls from his own party to prepare for Russian hacking in the 2018 election.
He won’t enforce Russian sanctions and he continues to disparage the government he runs while failing to say one thing bad about the government of our biggest enemy.
Retired Major General Paul Eaton of VoteVets called Trump a banana republic strongman, but that may be an insult to banana republic strong men.
President Donald Trump would rather persecute immigrants without paperwork, pretend to target dangerous gangs when he really has no intention of doing so, threaten to shut down the government, threaten his own FBI, instigate investigations into the wildest conspiracies, call those who oppose him “traitors”, call the free press “The enemy of the people,” protect those who are abusive, disregard legitimate law and order concerns, pick fights with Third World countries and disregard the suffering of those in Puerto Rico.
From the smallest, to the largest, the President has ignored this week everyone who isn’t himself.
For those who wish for better, or pray for a change in the game plan, I certainly hope you decide to vote.
Otherwise, grab a bowl of popcorn, a good American brew and sit down to watch the new All-American Military Channel. Cheer as Donald struts his stuff with the military and see if you can remember a time when we laughed at such antics instead of participating in them.