In his first Inaugural Address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to reassure a country shaken to its core by the effects of the Great Depression that they had nothing to fear but fear itself. Those words of reassurance helped to calm down a deep, abiding anxiety about America's future and helped pave the way toward eventual recovery. By contrast, the 45th President of the United States seems to want to take us in the opposite direction, fomenting and heightening fear as much as possible. In fact, from the looks of it, fear-mongering lies at the heart or Donald Trump's immigration policy.
How can I say such a thing? It's easy. All you have to do is listen to the words coming out of the President's mouth about the people presenting themselves at our southern border. Most of them are decent, law-abiding, God-fearing human beings. Almost every one of them are gentle souls seeking to escape a climate of pernicious violence in the countries of their birth. Now before I'm inundated with hateful rants about crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, I will fully admit that not everyone approaching our southern border is a paragon of virtue. There are horrible people in ANY ethnic or racial group, even if they come from Norway. But the vast majority of the people seeking asylum in the United States are just trying to find a home in a country more welcoming than their homeland. But when you listen to the rhetoric spewing forth from the President and his allies, you'd get the impression that we are facing a blood-thirsty horde of vicious barbarians intent on murder and mayhem. It's just not true. But that sort of rhetoric fits in nicely with the narrative this President is trying to sell.
The sad fact is that what President Trump is doing with his zero tolerance policy has nothing whatsoever to do with governmental immigration policy. What zero tolerance is all about is politics, plain and simple. The linchpin of Donald Trump's entire political career has been immigration. And his formula for making it as successful as possible has been to spread fear into the hearts of American voters. This has been the case ever since he marched down that escalator in Trump Tower. Even when statistical evidence was presented to him indicating that even undocumented immigrants have a lower crime rate than native born Americans, Donald Trump still continues to spread his message of fear and hate.
The human wave reaching our southern border generally consists of people looking for a better life for themselves and their families. These are people fleeing countries where the governments have allowed violent crime to get out of control. But facts and reality mean nothing to this President. He will continue to spread fear and loathing because it suits his political agenda, not because there is any reason to fear a potential wave of violent crime.
What makes this worse from my point of view is that it is all part of a cold, calculating political tactic. President Trump knows full well that violent crime has not spread across our southern border to inflict violence and death on American border cities. The FBI's crime statistics prove that. What the President and his political allies REALLY fear is an influx of potential Hispanic voters, generally prepared to vote for the Democratic Party. The sad fact is that many of these newcomers to our country may not agree with the policies and positions of the Democrats. But who can blame them for embracing a political party that at least welcomes them with open arms and gives them the benefit of the doubt? After all, at least Democrats aren't in favor of tossing their babies into cages.
Perhaps if Republicans were more inclined to treat them better, Hispanic voters would not represent such an alarming threat. And that being the case, perhaps Hispanic voters would be much more inclined to vote Republican, at which point Republicans would be happy to welcome them as full beneficiaries of American exceptionalism!
Filed under: Politics