'Once Upon A Time' Shows Folly of Obama's Refugee Program

In the episode "A Bitter Draught," ABC's Once Upon a Time has a refugee crisis that in many ways reflects our own. 

The refugees are characters that fled from their original stories to the Land of Untold Stories, and now have ended up in Storybrooke. They are greeted by the mayor (Lana Parrilla), who welcomes them with open arms, explaining that everyone is in the same situation: looking for a fresh start. Her speech is met with applause from both citizens and refugees alike.

Prince Charming: Fresh clothes are by the jukebox. 

Man #2: What's a jukebox? 

Prince Charming: Lunches are by the front door. 

Hook: Your Majesty, it's about time. The rabble are getting restless. 

Mayor: As mayor, I would like to officially welcome you to Storybrooke. You fled to the Land of Untold Stories because you were afraid that whatever was in this book is going to play out. But now that you're here, I'm sure you're scared it will. But what you don't realize is... ...I'm just like you. I'm also getting a fresh start, and I don't know what the future holds either. But I do know one thing. We don't have to be afraid of anything, because whatever comes next, we're going to face it -- together. 

One can’t help but draw a comparison between this episode and the ongoing debate over bringing Syrian refugees into the U.S. The mayor, like Obama, sells the idea of taking in massive amounts of refugees as something of a positive and one that should be encouraged, without much vetting.

The folly of this is exposed when one character from the group of refugees, the Count of Monte Christo, attempts to destroy Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), only to meet his demise at the hands of the mayor. Again, this mirrors the naiveté with which Obama is welcoming refugees without knowing if they have any ties to terrorism.

The mayor in Once Upon A Time may have been able to prevent a refugee attack, but here in America we might not get that happily-ever-after.


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