In 1729 Jonathan Swift wrote a piece of satire, A Modest Proposal: For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Publick. In it Swift argued that the large number of children in Ireland born to the poor had become a social strain. To confront this problem, Swift proposed that the children of the poor could be put to good use by offering them up as food for “persons of quality” and “Gentlemen of fortune.” Eating poor children would succeed in “advancing our Trade, providing for Infants, relieving the Poor, and giving some Pleasure to the Rich."
Ah, the good ‘ol days, when satire actually meant something.
I was thinking about updating this satire for the current nightmare involving the separation of families at the U.S./Mexico border. Because among the geniuses terrified by the influx of breast-feeding brown babies, “a big name of the game is deterrence”—and tearing hysterical crumb-hustlers from their parents is the tactic designed to achieve it.
But I immediately ran into a dilemma: How do you satirize something as absurd as holding kids hostage to attack a non-existent crisis? Satire requires an even more absurd step beyond what is already taking place. (Not to mention the fact that I have a dim view of the ability of many people to grasp satire.) And let’s be honest, how do you get more absurd than holding a bureaucratic gun to the head of a child, saying, “Do what we want, or the kid gets it?”
The hostage-taking of the Peppa the Pig set is elegant in that it allows you to kill two birds with one stone … wait, that’s a less than satisfying metaphor in this case. You know what I mean. The Trump administration can say to the parents of these children and to intransigent bleeding heart Democrats: “That’s a nice baby you’ve got there. It’d be a shame for something to happen to her.”
That’s when I had an idea: If you really want to deter parents escaping unspeakable violence from bringing their children into the country, if you really want to crack the whip on those effete liberals, all you need to do is start killing a few of those babies. Line them up under the klieg lights and shoot ‘em.
Make sure you get “real media” to cover it—not the “fake news,” which would only try to construct a narrative of humanitarian outrage. No, you need some hairy-chested, red-blooded American journalists who can look atrocity square in the face and still go home at night and coach T-ball, journalists who can connect with real Confederate flag-waving Heartlanders and tell the untold story about how MS–13 has secretly embedded itself within the deep-state and is now running the Mueller investigation, the FBI, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, journalists courageous enough to cover, you know, real conspiracies.
Then, you can send out surrogates who’re willing to absorb the outrage of the benighted and willfully obtuse, repeating your claims that all of these state-sponsored Playskool™️ executions are being done out of compassion for the children (think: War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength). Have someone else look the country in the eye and say, “We hate these executions. If the Democrats really cared about these children, they could stop them.” Get as many knuckle-draggers as you can to say that the whole execution thing was Obama’s idea. Then have the Secretary of t̶h̶e̶ ̶M̶i̶n̶i̶s̶t̶r̶y̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶T̶r̶u̶t̶h̶ Homeland Security deny that executions are even taking place (Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?).
Start whacking these tiny “crisis actors” and pretty soon a significant portion of the country will get acclimated to a fresh, new way of dealing with the b̶r̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶h̶o̶r̶d̶e̶s̶ immigration crisis. They’ll be g̶o̶o̶s̶e̶-̶s̶t̶e̶p̶p̶i̶n̶g̶ walking bravely into a w̶h̶i̶t̶e̶r̶ more American future, singing t̶h̶e̶ ̶H̶o̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶W̶e̶s̶s̶e̶l̶ ̶l̶i̶e̶d̶ God Bless America!
And the last step, the pièce de résistance? Get as many white evangelicals as possible to chime in: “This is what God wants. God put this president in office. And God is blessing his efforts. If you want a r̶a̶c̶i̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶p̶u̶r̶e̶ God-fearing country, you’ve got to be willing to s̶a̶c̶r̶i̶f̶i̶c̶e̶ ̶b̶r̶o̶w̶n̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶l̶d̶r̶e̶n̶ make some sacrifices.”
Get those folks to ground their p̶r̶o̶p̶a̶g̶a̶n̶d̶a̶ analysis in the Bible. Romans 13 is good: “We have to kill these kids. It’s God’s will.”
Surely, you can see the possibilities. We could solve our immigration problems and teach the pointy-headed liberal elites a lesson at the same time. It would be like Christmas, Easter, and Confederate Memorial Day all rolled into one!
It’s just a modest proposal, mind you. I mean, I’m not looking for any praise—well-deserved as it is. But it’s got possibilities.