·support our troops, support Bush, support Cheney, support victory in Iraq, support victory in Afghanistan,
Salute America's Heroes, support Fallen Heroes Fund, oppose Global Warming theory, oppose Al Gore, support milblogs,
support Michael Yon, support Pat Dollard, support BlackFive, support MilBlogs, support MilBlogging,
support Mudville Gazette, support HotAir.Com, support JawaReport, support PajamasMedia, support VictoryCaucus,
support VetsForFreedom, support FreedomsWatch, support DayByDayCartoon, support Foundation for the Defense of Democracy,
support polisatDOTcom video, Political Satire, Politics, News, oppose MoveOn.Org, oppose Code Pink, oppose DailyKos,
oppose ANSWER, support http://PoliSat.Com, support http://WrennCom.Com, oppose Clinton Library, support Clinton Liebrary,
support http://ClintonLiebrary.Com, support http://ClintonLiebraryBook.Com, support ICANN, oppose terrorism, oppose jihadists,
oppose energyandcapital.com, oppose justforeignpolicy.org .
Focus on News, Politics, etc.
by Jim Wrenn, Editor
(April 6, 2000 (05:30am EDT)
Gonzales and Miguel Gonzales:
Waiting for Gonzales..
As we wait to
learn whether, and under what circumstances, the father of Elian Gonzales will
come to the United States to seek custody of Elian, it's useful to try to put
the matter in proper perspective. Should we be devoting so much attention
to Elain's plight? Of course. Unfortunately, the vast majority of
Americans are probably more concerned with the activities of celebrities than
Elian's fate, but to the extent that drawing attention to his circumstances
inspires serious thought about the differences between a free society and a
totalitarian one among people otherwise not inclined toward thinking about such
matters, that's at least some progress.
Suppose a mother in an African country in which parents
practice genital mutilation on females were to have informed relatives in the
United States that she intended to flee that country by boat to seek refuge in
the United States for herself and her six-year-old daughter to protect her
daughter from her husband's demands that the daughter be subjected to such
procedure. Suppose the boat were to have sunk. Suppose the
six-year-old girl were to have survived in a life-jacket and been retrieved by a
private citizen in a boat and promptly taken to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Suppose the Coast Guard were to have taken the child to a hospital and then
notified the INS. Suppose relatives of the child in the U.S. were to have
learned the child had been recovered at sea and taken to a U.S. hospital.
Suppose the INS were to then have given such relatives temporary custody over
the girl. Suppose such relatives are kind, caring people who agree with
the mother's reasons for seeking refuge in the United States.
Suppose the father were to politically and financially able
travel to the U.S. and were to promptly do so and demand custody of his
daughter. As much as we may want to exalt parental authority over
governmental authority in our society (never mind, for the moment, that the
growing government-knows-best philosophy in the U.S. is rapidly eroding parental
authority by permitting governmental officials to give condoms, birth-control
pills, birth-control shots, abortions, etc. to minors without parental knowledge
or consent), would the INS simply return the child to the custody of the father
without conducting any evidentiary hearing whatsoever into the relatives'
contentions that it would be contrary to the best interests of the child to be
returned to a country in which her father would almost certainly succumb to
social and cultural pressure in his own country by subjecting the girl to
genital mutilation? I think not.
Should such risk of genital mutilation be the only basis for
conducting an inquiry into the best interests of a child having been brought
onto U.S. soil under such circumstances? As much as I favor parental
authority over governmental authority, I think not.
If the "best interests of the child" were to be a
proper subject of inquiry in this hypothetical, why should it not be a proper
subject of inquiry in determining whether to allow Elian Gonzales to remain in
the United States? With respect to a totalitarian society in which
governmental power over children vastly exceeds even the wildest dreams of
Hillary Clinton, should not such government's totalitarian power over Elian's
father's ability to decide what is best for his child be a legitimate subject of
inquiry? Should not our government conduct an evidentiary hearing to
determine, if possible, what would be the wishes of Elian's father under
circumstances adequate to enable him to freely express his wishes for his son?
Should not the power of a totalitarian government to psychologically mutilate a
child despite any objection by the child's parent be deemed a sufficient reason
for an evidentiary hearing into what would be in the child's best interests?
To those who oppose such evidentiary determination upon their
sincere beliefs that to conduct such hearing would violate what they consider to
be the higher principle of recognizing parental authority over governmental
authority, I say that such argument fails when the government under which such
parent lives is a totalitarian government that treats parental authority as
subordinate to governmental authority with respect to moral and political
beliefs. Awarding custody of a child to a parent who is subject to a
totalitarian government that refuses to recognize the most fundamental parental
rights of moral and political instruction makes a mockery of parental rights
rather than supporting them.
Therefore, as one who strongly favors parental authority over
governmental authority (and who strongly objects to the growing trend in the
United States continually diluting parental authority by strengthening
nanny-government authority over parental authority), I think the INS should
parole Elian to a family court to conduct an evidentiary hearing. I agree
with Gore's and Bush's proposals that Congress promptly confer citizenship or
permanent-residency status upon Elian, his father, and all members of his
father's family. Then, if the father, while on American soil with his
entire family outside the presence and control of any Cuban official, were
to demand custody of Elian, I think the court should award him custody of Elain
absence evidence clearly indicating the father would be an unfit parent. I
suspect, but have no way to know, that Elian's father preferred to allow Elian
to grow up in the United States but may now be unwilling to say so. I hope
that Elian's father would decide to seek political asylum, but if he were to not
do so, I think we must respect his request for custody of Elian.
Finally, to those would say we should not respect such choice
by Elian's father under such circumstances, I say that the conduct of Elian's
mother in fleeing Cuba and the fact that Castro's daughter defected are proof
that the desire for freedom can overcome the most powerful governmental
propaganda. Perhaps years from now, Elian will become a great Cuban leader
for freedom. Perhaps it's in the best interests of freedom for Cuba and
for Elian that Elian has become an icon for freedom. If Castro were really
smart, he probably would now change his mind. Even though Elian is
only six years old, he's old enough to always remember the kindness of his Miami
relatives and to know the difference between an atmosphere of freedom and one of
coercion and intimidation. Let's hope Elian ultimately becomes a
political pathogen for freedom as Castro inevitably fades into oblivion.
Like the Soviet Union, Castro's totalitarian system is destined for the dustbin
of history, and the actions of the Miami relatives in making Elian an icon for
freedom will ultimately be viewed as an important milestone in the ultimate
collapse of totalitarianism in Cuba.
Back to Index for Editorial