Monday Morning Thoughts: If It’s Chaos We Wanted…

7000 people showed up at LAX to protest on Sunday. Courtesy Photo/ Erik Rodstrom

Yesterday my wife flew from LAX to the Sacramento airport – she stepped through history on the way.  Seven thousand people came to LAX to protest President Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban.  My wife happily joined in.

It took barely a week into the Trump presidency to create the first crisis and mass chaos.  Part of the problem, it appears, is that the administration officials were not sure which citizens would be banned from entering the country.  Officials from the Department of Homeland Security were left to make legal analyses on the fly.  The White House quickly pulled back by saying the ban would not apply to those with green cards granting them residence in the US.

Given that Trump had been planning this move since his campaign days, the chaos and conflict should not be seen as reassuring.  Instead of carefully crafting policy through deliberate process and coalition building, this looked impulsive or, as some are saying, “slapdash” in nature.

Still, the bigger story is the response to this.  Mass protests.  Throughout the day on Sunday, many seemed surprised that the response to Trump’s policies was as heated as it was.  From my vantage point, the response was a natural culmination of what had occurred during the election and since.

There were a lot of people who believed that the rhetoric during the campaign was just that.  In fact, many would defend Trump, saying that those were just words and that if he became president he would pivot and become more moderate.  Others would say, hey give him a chance.

The reality was that the idea of giving him a chance to enact reprehensible policies was a nonstarter for many of the millions that opposed him.  But, at the same time, we were all waiting to see what a Trump administration would look like.

The first week of the Trump administration proved that his campaign rhetoric was not just words.  He backed those words up with action.  Not just action – but poorly thought out, ill-conceived, and unvetted orders.

From the White House perspective, they blamed the chaos on the “hyperventilating news media.”  The president doubled-down to defend his order.

“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” he said in a written statement. “This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

“This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country,” Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a statement. “That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”

Fueling the belief that this was an order aimed at Muslims were the president’s words that framed this as a temporary ban on all Muslim visitors.  Indeed, part of his order gives preferential treatment to Christians who try to enter the United States from majority-Muslim nations.

In a tweet, the president mentioned the killings of Christians in the Middle East, omitting the killing of Muslims who have died in much greater numbers in places like Iraq and Syria.

“Christians in the Middle East have been executed in large numbers,” he wrote. “We cannot allow this horror to continue!”

Those who are surprised by the strong reaction are failing to understand the lessons of history.  During the lead up to the Holocaust, Hitler was able to increasingly isolate vulnerable populations and persecute them with little resistance.  This incrementalism paved the way for the mass executions of many groups, including eventually six million Jews.

The protests and legal action sent a strong counter-message that if Trump wants to carry out his policies, he’s going to have to do so in the face of massive resistance.  Indeed, one of the most poignant signs I saw this weekend was “First  They Came For the Muslims and We Said Not Today Mother F—!”

A week after the Women’s Marches brought out millions, the anger over the Trump administration’s policies is generating another surge of spontaneous activism.  This is equivalent or perhaps even surpasses what we saw back in 2010 when the Tea Party movement emerged opposing President Obama.

As the New York Times wrote, “The fury is also spurring liberal voters to demand uncompromising confrontation and resistance from their elected officials to a president they believe poses an existential threat to the country. The Democrats’ increasingly assertive base wants the party’s leaders to eschew any cooperation with Mr. Trump: They are already expressing rage at some senators for confirming the president’s cabinet appointees, and for their willingness to allow a vote on his pick for a vacant Supreme Court seat.”

“The Tea Party didn’t really become a force until it started ousting Republicans it didn’t feel represented them. That’s clearly going to have to happen here,” said Markos Moulitsas, the progressive activist who founded the Daily Kos website. “Democrats either need to feed, nurture and aggressively champion the resistance, or they need to get out of the way in favor of someone who will. The usual rules no longer apply.”

In a way this has been building for quite some time.  The aftermath of the November 8 elections were mass protests.  In early January, the Democratic Party held its normal delegate selection process and hundreds of people turned out to sweep in more progressive delegates.  Hundreds of people have turned out in Davis for various events.

What this ultimately means will depend on a number of factors – including whether the Trump administration decides to continue this fight or whether they start to moderate.  What is unusual is that, while there is normally an ebb and flow to politics and policies in this country, there was no honeymoon period for President Trump.

He started out with low ratings and he started out with massive public resistance to his initial policies.

Had Germany reacted to Hitler’s policies in this way, the Holocaust likely would have never happened.  That’s the lesson that seems to be burning bright these days – and Trump is barely in office before he has his first crisis.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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36 thoughts on “Monday Morning Thoughts: If It’s Chaos We Wanted…”

  1. Keith O

    During the lead up to the Holocaust Hitler was able to increasingly isolate vulnerable population and persecute them with little resistance.  

    False equivalency, the difference is the Jews weren’t commiting acts of terrorism on other countries where Muslims are.

    This is equivalent or perhaps even surpasses what we saw back in 2010 when the Tea Party movement emerged opposing President Obama.

    Hilarious, the left now cites the Tea Party but they hated, denounced and discredited them when they were active.

    1. Tia Will


      False equivalency, the difference is the Jews weren’t commiting acts of terrorism on other countries where Muslims are.”

      I would check out your own false equivalencies. There have been a sum total of zero attacks within the United States from terrorists from the nations targeted by the current president’s edict.  What the president has done is to equate “Muslim” with “terrorist” with no recognition of different sects and no differentiation between the vast majority of peaceful Muslims and the minority who are radicalized.

      Hilarious, the left now cites the Tea Party but they hated, denounced and discredited them when they were active.”

      While hilarity or humor is generally good, what you seem to be missing is that it is entirely possible to admire the efficacy of tactics while completely loathing the values of a group. This is my exact position with regard to the current administration. I admire the tactical strategy that managed to place the current occupant in the White House, while thoroughly loathing the hatred, fear, bigotry and disrespect for truth that accomplished this feat.


      1. David Greenwald Post author

        Also the statement he cites was not an equivalency. It was a comment about the reaction to Hitler’s policies versus Trumps, not an attempt to equate the two policies.

    2. Howard P

      Perhaps Trump did not go far enough… the order should be modified not only to ban travel by Americans to those countries, but also immediately ban all americans from returning to the US if their passports show they have been in those same countries within the last two years… after all, they may have been ‘radicalized’… effective immediately… no grace period…

      1. Howard P

        Perhaps those countries should also ban all Americans from entering their countries… using the same concepts as the first version the prez signed… again, effective immediately… there could be some justice in that…

  2. Keith O

    Obama banned refugees from Iraq for 6 months in 2011.

    ………where was the liberal outrage then?

    Have all of you Trump haters ever heard of the ‘Terrorist Travel Protection Act’ that was implemented in 2015 under Obama?  Look it up, the same 7 countries were involved.

    ……..where was your outrage then?

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Keith writes: “Obama banned refugees from Iraq for 6 months in 2011.”

      Trump claims: “My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”

      The Washington Post says otherwise:

      Former Obama administration Jon Finer denied there was any ban in Iraqi refugees admissions put in place under Obama. “While the flow of Iraqi refugees slowed significantly during the Obama administration’s review, refugees continued to be admitted to the United States during that time, and there was not a single month in which no Iraqis arrived here,” he wrote in Foreign Policy. “In other words, while there were delays in processing, there was no outright ban.”

      So where was the liberal outrage? There wouldn’t have been any – there wasn’t a ban, and “Obama did not announce there was a ban on visa applications.” and “There was certainly a lot of news reporting that visa applications had been slowed to a trickle. But the Obama administration never said it was their policy to halt all applications.” And “Obama’s policy did not prevent all citizens of that country, including green-card holders, from traveling to the United States. Trump’s policy is much more sweeping.”

    2. Tia Will


      Those two well known far left radicals ,John McCain and Lindsay Graham have both spoken out against this policy demonstrating that the opposition to this policy is not about partisan politics.

      I didn’t like the Obama slow down either and have said so right here on the Vanguard, multiple times even having written an opinion piece at one time stating that I favored a much more proactive policy which would admit many more refugees. I am sure that you could find it in the archives if you are really interested in seeing “where the outrage was then” as opposed to just throwing verbal rocks.

      This is about wanting to help as many refugees as possible, as efficiently as possible and preventing more propaganda for radicalizing additional Muslim youth thus endangering us and Europeans further. What the current administration is doing is the equivalent of proving the claims of ISIS and other radicalized groups that the US is waging a religious war. What they have done is the equivalent of waving a red flag in front of a bull rather than shooting it with a tranquilizer dart.

      1. Keith O

        What the current administration is doing is the equivalent of proving the claims of ISIS and other radicalized groups that the US is waging a religious war. What they have done is the equivalent of waving a red flag in front of a bull rather than shooting it with a tranquilizer dart.

        Not so, just your biased opinion.  The only red flag waved is in front of our Trump deranged liberals who are acting up as usual.

        I have errands to run today, even though I’d like to I don’t have time to respond further.  I’ll have to leave the blog to Tia and Jaroslaw to banter back and forth.

  3. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

    It will get worse before  it gets better.
    2.  (SBU) Suspension of entry into the United States for aliens from certain countries:  The E.O. exercises the President’s authority under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act suspending entry into the United States of aliens from the following countries for 90 days as of January 27, 2017: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, subject to some exceptions.  Accordingly, visas may not be issued to such aliens at this time.  Additionally, as such aliens will not be admitted to the United States under the Executive Order, the Department of State has provisionally revoked valid visas previously issued to any affected nationals.  Posts do not need to take any action with respect to physically cancelling visa foils, entering revocations into the system, or contacting visa holders.
    (U) Nonimmigrant Visas
    3.  (SBU) For nonimmigrant visa applicants, except those specified below, having any of these seven nationalities, posts should (1) halt interviewing these applicants immediately; (2) cease issuance and printing of NIVs for these applicants immediately; and (3) refuse under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) any of these nonimmigrant visa applicants who have been interviewed, but whose visa post has not yet printed.  The same guidelines apply to the issuance of V92 cases for these seven nationalities.  CA/EX has informed the GSS vendors to expect posts with GSS document delivery services to return un-adjudicated cases to the document delivery vendor.  Certain dual nationals of these countries are included in this policy.  This suspension of entry does not apply to those foreign nationals traveling on A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO, C-2 or diplomatic type visas, or to issuance of visas in those categories.
    4.  (SBU) Posts must cancel future nonimmigrant visa appointments for applicants of these nationalities.  CA/EX has instructed the GSS vendors to post a “red banner” message on all GSS web sites, informing applicants of these nationalities to cancel their appointments.  Non-GSS posts should post the same language on their websites.  Non-GSS posts must manually cancel appointments for applicants of these nationalities in the CST appointment system.  CA/EX has also instructed GSS vendors to directly cancel appointments for applicants who have self-identified as one of the listed nationalities, and to send an emergency email and SMS blast message with the same language to applicants with appointments scheduled in the next 14 days in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Ankara, Baghdad, Djibouti, Erbil, Khartoum, Riyadh, and Yerevan.
    5.  (SBU) GSS red banner message:”Urgent Notice: Per U.S. Presidential Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, visa issuance to aliens from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification.  If you are a national, or dual national, of one of these countries, please do not schedule a visa appointment or pay any visa fees at this time. If you already have an appointment scheduled, please DO NOT ATTEND your appointment as we will not be able to proceed with your visa interview.  Please note that certain travel for official governmental purposes, related to official business at or on behalf of designated international organizations, on behalf of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or by certain officials is not subject to this suspension.  Please contact [vendor web site and call center contact info] to inform them of your appointment time and date and request cancellation. Please continue to monitor [vendor website and TSG] for further updates.”
    6.  (SBU) MRV fee refunds:  MRV receipts are valid for one year from the date of issuance.  Generally, refunds are only permissible if the U.S. government committed an error in collecting the fee or under certain circumstances provided for in law or regulation (22 CFR 22.6, 22 CFR 42.71, 22 CFR 41.107, and 22 CFR 23.3).  If officers are unsure about whether a refund can be granted, they should contact the CA Fee Team (
    (U) Immigrant Visas
    7.  (SBU) The National Visa Center (NVC) will attempt to contact all applicants from the restricted countries with scheduled immigrant visa (IV) appointments for February in order to cancel their appointments.  In addition, NVC will not schedule nationals of these seven countries for March or April immigrant visa appointments.  For diversity visa (DV) applicants scheduled for interviews between February 5 and March 31, the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) will notify applicants to check Entrant Status Check where they will see a message notifying them that their appointments will be rescheduled.  NVC and KCC are unable to identify IV and DV applicants who may hold dual nationality with a restricted country but who are interviewing under the nationality of a non-restricted country for purposes of cancelling or postponing appointment scheduling.   For applicants whom KCC and NVC are unable to contact, or otherwise unable to cancel or postpone, post should attempt to identify them at intake before their interview and notify them that their interviews must be rescheduled.  Posts will need to cancel remaining January appointments for affected applicants.
    8.  (SBU) Post should not take biometrics or conduct an immigrant or diversity visa interview.  It is very important that posts do not interview applicants affected by the E.O.  If an applicant is not identified during intake as ineligible for an interview, but the officer determines they are affected by the E.O. during the course of the interview, the interview should be completed.  The case should be refused pursuant to 221(g) and a request for an Advisory Opinion should be submitted to CA/VO/L/A.  Please inform the applicant that the case requires administrative processing.
    (U) Dual Nationality of Visa Applicants
    9.  (SBU) The Executive Order applies to dual nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  Posts may encounter applicants who apply with a passport in one nationality but hold dual nationality with a restricted country.  Individuals should be subject to the suspension if they possess a current passport from the restricted country, have been denied ESTA based on nationality in a designated country (but not on travel to the country without being a national of that country), or have otherwise identified themselves as nationals of a restricted county including on a previous application or in an interview, including as a dual national.
    (U) Refugees
    10.  (SBU) The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is suspended for 120 days and indefinitely for Syrian refugee applicants.  This includes the processing of boarding foils for any V93 cases, since those follow-to-join cases are admitted to the United States as refugees.  Posts should halt the issuance of these V93 cases immediately.  The Department will notify posts when the suspension is lifted.
    (U) Exceptions
    11.  (SBU) The Executive Order allows for exceptions to these suspensions for nonimmigrants, immigrants, and V92 cases on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest.  For V93 cases, the exception is on a case- by-case basis and when admission is in the national interest and would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.  The Department is working with DHS and other relevant agencies to finalize guidance on these potential exceptions, and we will communicate it to posts once it is developed.  In the meantime, posts should contact their VO/F post liaison officer during business hours or the VO Duty Officer after hours, to advise of exceptionally urgent or humanitarian cases.  In addition, the Executive Order does not apply to those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas.

  4. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

    It will get worse before it gets better.

    Iraqi Man Sentenced for False Army Translator Claims
    Associated Press | Jan 05, 2017

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A former University of Kansas graduate student who falsely claimed on his visa application that he served as a translator for the U.S. Army in Iraq has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.
    The U.S. attorney’s office says 35-year-old Goran Sabah Ghafour was sentenced Wednesday for visa fraud and aggravated identify theft.
    The Iraqi man lived in Lawrence while he was a student. He admitted through his plea that he applied for a visa under a program allowing Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq to qualify for a visa. Prosecutors say he fabricated a letter from an Army officer who didn’t know him to support the claim.
    Ghafour graduated in May with his doctorate.

      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk


        I don’t know . I did not search further . It would be good to read  the U.S Attorney’s charges . I think he would be deported after he end his prison term or his lawyer get him out early with condition that he has to leave country right away .  I am not sure even if he has a  Green Card .  He is gone or if he has lot of money than he will pay lawyer and lawyer will drag his deportation for ever .  America . He is only one . If you read the criminal Ayaj Dev’s case  than is the another example to get to the USA by  the false statements to be adopted and stay in USA .  The President Trump created chaos with his executive orders but maybe it is “Wake up America  and Americans ”  alarm . You country is being taking over by foreigners  who likes to live here but they don’t like to adopt themselves to American culture and values . Personally I don’t hate anybody but I don’t like myself or my kids and grand kids to  influenced or affected by Sharia Law  and read letters from Rahim Reed that Christians are oppressors . Screw this .

  5. Richard McCann

    First, we have to call falsities posted by individuals such as Keith O. They will continue to troll and try to call into question facts that everyone else understands as valid, and we need to point out each time how they are spreading what lies (because they know that they are stating falsehoods.)

    Second, Keith O. fails to recognize the equivalency between Hitler and Trump on this matter. Hitler did say that Jews were a threat to Aryan culture (through other means than terrorism, but the same common goal). Trump has said that ISIS is an existential threat, and now made being Muslim equivalent to being an ISIS sympathizer. The equivalency is quite obvious to those who know and learn from history.

    1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

      Richard  McCann

      Watch the video: “Why did Hitler hate Jews? Rabbi Yosef Tzvi ben Porat will explain to you ”  Do you agree with this famous Rabbi from Israel or he is crazy and insane . This is not the  Keith O. post . Yosef Tzvi  is  Rabbi from Israel. 

      I am from the country where Holocaust was taking place and I visited quite few places like the Auschwitz  Holocaust Museum or Treblinka .  I found this video quite disturbing and  explantion is is completely different  than in official History Book . If it would came from the Holocaust deniers than I would not much  surprised  but this well known   Rabbi from Israel.  Any clue ?

        1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk


          Is somebody wrote the article for you  and you did not read it . This is not off topic

          Those who are surprised by the strong reaction are failing to understand the lessons of history.  During the lead up to the Holocaust, Hitler was able to increasingly isolate vulnerable populations and persecute them with little resistance.  This incrementalism paved the way for the mass executions of many groups, including eventually six million Jews.

          Had Germany reacted to Hitler’s policies in this way, the Holocaust likely would have never happened.  That’s the lesson that seems to be burning bright these days – and Trump is barely in office before he has his first crisis.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I wrote the article and while it mentions Nazi Germany, it is not about Nazi Germany.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I agree that Trump is not Hitler. The reference to the lessons of his rise and the famous alliteration “when Hitler went after… I was not… and I said nothing.” That is the nexus here and the reason why the response is so strong. In that scenario, Trump doesn’t have to Hitler in order for that lesson to apply.

      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk


        You did not mention , you elaborated and you making comparisons . This is different . I am done with further comments about . I just responded to Richard McCann  . He elaborated and I responded . You like a President Trump > My way or Highway. and you are  expecting from President Trump something different .  Selective love .

  6. Dave Hart

    Well, to return to the article at hand, chaos is only beginning.  Wonder how long it will take the National Security Establishment to take action to restore order? Or should I not say or think that?

    1. Keith O

      The left has Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      It started with a vote recount

      then trying to get electoral delegates to change their vote

      then blaming the Russians and Wikileaks

      to marching on Washington the day after Trump took office

      to denouncing virtually every appointee Trump has put forward

      to cries of impeachment

      to the chaos we have now … [edited]


      [moderator] “Trump Derangement Syndrome” etc. — Since you have the privilege of posting under a pseudonym, I will remind you that “your posts will be more highly scrutinized.” We will not accept derogatory comments, and I consider the phrase you used to be in that category. I will also remove “spoiled brat” if you use it again.

      1. Keith O

        Okay, then let’s put it this way:

        to the chaos we have now because the left can’t deal with losing an election so they have to act out in every means possible in hopes that they can somehow get their way.


        1. David Greenwald

          Sorry but I happen to agree with Tia.  I don’t think Trump is qualified to govern and I think he’s a narcissist.  I realize that doesn’t lend to a discussion, but it’s where we are.  And yes I do think that some on the left can’t deal with losing this particular election in the way that they did, others on the left sat out because they didn’t like either choice.  Anyway you look at this we lose and I think this country is in trouble because of it and I don’t think that’s an overreaction.

        2. Alan Miller

          KO:  is using the term I used directed at the left and not at any individual really any worse than: (Quote)

          DG:  Sorry but I happen to agree with Tia.

          But the POINT BP is making is not about agreement, it’s about stating one’s opinions.  I agree emotionally charged statements on the right are dumped here when equally emotionally charged statements on the left are not.  A call to step back and be objective about this.  I agree that heavy scrutiny should be made when it’s attacking an individual, but short of that — take a breath!

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