The Donald – what a gift on a silver platter for the Democrats. They couldn’t have dreamed of such a gift, the best things in life are truly for free. One can’t count on The Donald for much, but he is good entertainment. His business record is sketchy at best, he’s a self-professed billionaire but several of his businesses (not him personally – you have to make that distinction or else he’ll sue you) have gone belly up and has had to declare business bankruptcy several times. Now Donald Trump will tell us in his very condescending tone that business bankruptcy is just a ‘tool’ that big businessmen like him use as a negotiating tactic and that it’s nothing we amateurs can understand. Sure, whatever.
He announced his presidential bid in style, with all of his children and some grandchildren from his three marriages on stage to support him, they range from mid-30s to about 10 years old, all of them beautifully turned out, those gleaming Trump smiles on full display cheering him on, with his eldest daughter Ivanka Trump delivering an introductory address. He was in a way, a breath of fresh air, who didn’t obsessively bang on and on about God – what a relief and very refreshing. He was after all, married three times, been caught out cheating on his first wife, it would just be a tad hypocritical (even for a Republican) to speak about God and family values. He feels that he’s been a great father as all his children are successful and have stayed out of trouble, and to him that’s a testament to his parenting and most are inclined to agree. He was going to be a secular candidate focused on the ‘business’ that is America, not the ‘values’ that created this country, not whether if ‘God’ had a say in the Constitution, just business. Balancing America’s checkbook and making it boom again, Trump style.
“They’re [Mexico] sending us not the right people,” he said, adding: “The US has become a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems.
“They’re [Mexico] sending people that have lots of problems and they’re [Mexico] bringing their problems,” he said. [Mexico]“They’re bringing drugs, [Mexico] they’re bringing crime, [Mexico] they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.”
Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, after these comments in his inaugural campaign speech, Trump’s poll numbers surged to the number 2 position, right behind Jeb Bush. Pollsters say that the ‘older angry white males’ of this country identified with Trump’s remarks and that our country is taken over by gangs of drug dealers, rapists and criminals. And that Trump spoke to the the hearts of the older angry white people who feel left behind by the country’s cultural shift away from the white mainstream culture and the demographics of America is becoming more brown and though this has been happening for decades, the election of our first black president in 2008 really sounded the alarm for these people. And the other GOP candidates, instead of demanding he apologize and drop out of the race stat as the Republican Party has no place for people like him, they’ve just issued brief statements repudiating what he said. None has called for him to drop out, none have seriously berated him for saying such racist hateful things. Trump’s defense is that he’s just saying what everyone already knows and is thinking but are too afraid to say it because of political correctness.
For all his business acumen, he should know that just because something is true and perhaps a lot of people feel the same it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for public consumption or that it should even be said. These are the types of things that are said behind closed doors, inside a private members only club and even then you have to make sure the wait staff doesn’t have a cell phone recording what you are saying or else you run into the Mitt Romney ‘47% of Americans….’ again.
It seems that the Republicans do not learn from their past mistakes and that alienating people who don’t look and think like them isn’t a good campaign strategy to get into the White House. Mitt Romney said that if we make lives so miserable for immigrants here, they’ll then ‘self-deport’ themselves back to Mexico or wherever it is they come from. What Romney doesn’t realize is that no matter how difficult conditions here are in the US, it’s still scores better than where it is they come from and that’s what all the anti-immigrant politicians fail to understand. Making immigrant’s lives miserable here in the US won’t deter them, it’s the unstable political, economic and social conditions on the ground that drive people to migrate north. Living in poverty in the US is better than scrounging and scraping for a life in their countries of origin.
Illegal immigration wasn’t always a ‘problem’ that was in need of a political solution. Illegal immigration whereby people came in from the southern border had been going on for decades, if they were not detained at the border and were able to successfully get to the US, law enforcement always looked the other way as long as the violations are not too egregious. Illegal immigrants provided the cheap labor that kept the agriculture sector going, illegal immigrants were employed under the table for domestic work such as landscapers, gardeners, house cleaners, cooks, caretakers, nannies etc., they are an underground but vital workforce for the average middle class family in America who like to maintain a certain lifestyle without paying an arm and a leg for it. It’s long been against the law to employ illegal immigrants but it’s not stopped people from doing so as it is well known that illegal immigrants work for cheaper, longer and harder all without complaint. But of course, immigrants don’t just come on their own, they have families, often large families and immigrant minorities have higher birthrates than white families, so now the number of illegal immigrants is a headcount problem in which that needs to be solved. And now politicians are playing political football with it and no one quite knows what to do about it. To deport 10 million illegal immigrants is unfeasible and near impossible if we take into consideration all of the legal due process that is required. Giving them anything that has a whiff of amnesty or ‘pathway to citizenship’ is political suicide and would ignite other problems of its own, in particular the immigrants who are immigrating to this country legally and are patiently waiting for their visas to come through in their country of origin, with some waiting 10 years or longer. It would them appear that they are being punished for following the law.
Needless to say, anti-immigration sentiment is at an all time high right now. When there is an economic boom and jobs are plentiful, no one pays any attention to illegal immigrants supposedly taking the jobs of American citizens or legal aliens, but when times are bad, like they’ve been for the past 7 years, people start to look for a scapegoat and it usually lands in the lap of illegal immigrants, they are after all easy targets. Nevermind that they most do work that no American citizen would go do on their worst day but the claim is always made that illegal immigrants take the jobs of the unskilled workers in the US, work that should go to high school dropouts, high school graduates etc., Many studies were conducted to see just how many jobs illegal immigrants take from US citizens, depending on who’s doing the study, the results are different. At best the results are inconclusive. It’s very hard to do an accurate study on people who like to stay in the shadows for fear of deportation and will most likely not tell the truth if approached by researchers or survey conductors.
So it is with this anti-immigrant and xenophobic sentiment that Donald Trump is trying to tap into for his presidential campaign. He’s not wrong that many people, white people in particular feel aggrieved at the fact that our country is turning browner and the cultural shift that comes with that, it doesn’t necessarily make them racist as that’s a very strong word and I use it carefully, but rather a discomfort a feeling what once was your country your culture may no longer be and the unease that comes with it and you add high unemployment in the mix, it’s volatile. The irony is that Donald Trump may find many Mexicans (illegal and legal) working in his hotels.
So the crazy train has arrived in full force at Grand Central Station, the other GOP candidates have a very short window to condemn Donald Trump and basically chase him out of town. They don’t have the luxury of waiting until the first debate to lambaste Trump and his words. It just never fails to amaze on how little the GOP have learned from their lessons and their hatred of Obama, Hillary Clinton and his legacy has thwarted and blinded them to everything. They are willing to become a party of racists and bigots just to counter the Obama legacy.
The old Republican values are dead. Social conservatism, against gay marriage, having children out of wedlock, too bad, it’s happening. Fiscal conservatism which today translates to punishing the poor for being poor, that won’t fly either, the electorate is smarter than that, they know that most are not poor through choice. America is by no means turning into a socialist country but the Ayn Rand social ideal is no longer, our economy doesn’t support that nor do our values. As for belief in the Christian God, America is becoming more and more secular and it no longer matters if a person practices any form of religion at all or not. For Gen X and Gen Y, it doesn’t matter to us anymore and it’s boring hearing candidates drone on and on about God. Save it for confession. Pour your heart out about the Glory of God there not at the campaign podium.