Monday, March 14, 2016

Cruising the Web

I was starting to teach the unit on the 1950s to my AP U.S. History class and going over various words that had been used to describe the decade such as "conformity," "complacency," "anxiety," and "alienation." and making sure that the students knew what the words mean. (You'd be surprised at how students'vocabularies have shrunk in the years since I started teaching 25 years ago as students have so many other options for entertainment other than reading, but that's a subject for another day.) As they discussed the word "alienation" as feeling detached and isolated from a group to which one belongs, I was thinking of how that describes how I feel more and more. I just can't relate to college students who are so upset by certain words or pieces of literature that they need a trigger warning before they can read it. I don't understand how every little thing that someone might say or do is now called a "microaggression"necessitating all sorts of training seminars. I never did relate to all the people who cheered on Barack Obama as some sort of messianic figure to come save the country. Maybe my sense of alienation began as Bill Clinton was defended by feminists who decreed that he was entitled to one free grope or affair with an intern since he was pro-choice. I love history and read it and teach it. Increasingly, I felt that the country was a place I just didn't recognize or relate to. Briefly, after 9/11, I could feel connected to the country and sensed that bond among us.

But more and more, that feeling dissipated. And now with the rise of Donald Trump to being the front-runner of the party that I had felt affinity to since the late 1970s, I just have trouble relating to all these people who see him as some strong man ready to "take the country back"and channel all the anger and resentments that have been brewing for so long. I get the anger; I just can't understand believing that this one man, this arrogant charlatan, is the guy to save us. And as I stood before the class last week talking about the sense of "alienation" some people felt in the 1950s, I was thinking that that described the way I feel so often now. I don't feel that way about my own community of friends and family and the students and teachers I work with, but I see and read the news and I just feel like too many people out there have a mindset that is just so alien to me.

I watched this video of a press conference that Marco Rubio did a couple of days ago talking about the violence at Trump rallies and I agreed with Allahpundit, that this was the "best 13 minutes of his campaign."
Perhaps the sense of anguish that Rubio has here is that he is seeing his presidential dreams fade away, but it seems that he really believes that something terrible is happening in our country. And he just doesn't recognize what it means to be conservative any more if this guy Trump is the one that conservatives find appealing.
Rubio said that the violence at Trump rallies — which Rubio called a "pattern" — means that America is regressing to an uglier time.

"You saw those images last night of ... police officers bleeding from the head, reminiscent of images from the 60s ... We're going backwards here. This is a frightening, grotesque and disturbing development in American politics."

....The substance of Rubio's comments centered around repeated violence at Trump events, which the senator said will result in America being "ripped apart at the seams and we will be incapable of solving any of the issues we have."

"The great thing about our republic is that we settle things in this country at the ballot box, not with guns or bayonets or violence," Rubio said. "Now protests become a license to take on violence, to take on your opponents physically."

Rubio said Trump was firing up the anger of his supporters to get their votes.

"A Donald Trump supporter sucker-punched a man the other day at an event. Donald Trump has yet to condemn him," Rubio said, concluding that Trump doesn't want to "turn off" his supporters....

Rubio also lashed out at a favorite villain in this election cycle — the media, which he said has to bear some blame for Trump's rise.

"I think the media has to bear some responsibility. For too long, those comments were ignored. Some people thought they were cute ... Every time Donald Trump offends someone, says something ridiculous, says something offensive, it's wall to wall coverage and that has elevated him more."

The appeal of Rubio's remarks appear to be the Senator's visible frustration at reconciling the Trump campaign with what he describes as his own loyalty to the principles of the conservative movement.
Perhaps if we had seen this Marco Rubio earlier in the campaign, he would be doing a lot better in the polls. He certainly seemed a lot more admirable than when he was making a crude joke about the size of Trump's ... hands.

The "hecklers' veto" has become more and more a feature of our public discourse. That is what won out when Donald Trump had to cancel a rally because organizations like Black Lives Matter and decided to crash the rally and disrupt it so that he had to cancel it. But that has been going on for years now on college campuses when conservative speakers come to give talks to students. It was the method most valued by Code Pinkers while liberals cheered them on. In 2011, Time Magazine celebrated "The Protester" as its person of the year while regarding protesters in the Arab Spring on a par with Occupy Wall Street. The Occupiers were celebrated throughout the media and on the left. It was only this past year when some liberal professors were shouted down that liberals suddenly started to worry about how such actions threatened public discourse. And all those cheering while Donald Trump's rally has to be shut down should realize that this sort of power given over to the protesters will not stop at Donald Trump. The Democratic candidates will face the same pressure, because protesters have seen that it works. We've already seen Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders!, have to give up his podium to Black Lives Matter activists. Do you think this won't happen to Hillary Clinton or other Democrats? Look to college professors who are suddenly realizing that they don't have control over their own campuses. Perhaps they're feeling a little bit alienated themselves. And when Bernie Sanders'supporters brag about infiltrating Donald Trump rallies, do they not realize that Trump supporters can do the same to Sanders and Clinton rallies? Certainly, that is what Trump is threatening. Are we now going to see an arms race among political campaigns for disruption of political speeches?

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Of course, it's possible to strongly condemn protesters disrupting political rallies and to still see how Donald Trump has fed into and encouraged a sense of violence among his supporters for those with whom they disagree. And now he blames the guy who sucker-punched a black protester at his rally by falsely indicating that the victim was a follower of ISIS. When asked about it, Trump's response to the fact that the video purporting to show the guy was a ISIS was "All I know is what's on the Internet." Allahpundit comments, "As a motto for America in 2016, that can’t be improved upon."" And he has no regrets for telling people to "knock the hell out of people who might be throwing tomatoes, because, as Trump explains it, people can be seriously hurt by thrown tomatoes. And he continues to offer to pay the legal fees for those who take it into their own hands to knock out the protesters. He is also thinking that he might pay the legal fees of the guy who punched out someone at his rally because the guy was holding a "certain finger" in the air. Apparently, in Trump world that's enough to justify punching the guy. And this man is the leading contender for the GOP nomination. I just can't relate.

Here is some more Trumpian calls for violence against those who protest against him.
Trump — Saddam Hussein to the ayatollahs of political correctness on the other side — is of course far from blameless in all this. That is not to say that Trump’s irresponsible, wild-eyed, and meat-headed rhetoric, which has included explicit calls for violence against his critics, is responsible for having provoked the protests. Rather, Trump’s rhetoric has been unworthy of a presidential candidate — and unworthy of an American — in and of itself.

In case you are in need of a refresher: When members of the audience violently attacked protesters, Trump said this was “appropriate” and something “we need more of.” A shortcoming of American politics is that “nobody wants to hurt each other anymore,” he insists. He longed for “the good old days” when vigilantes would stop protesters and “treat them very, very rough.” He has offered to pay the legal bills of allies who commit criminal assault against protesters. He has fantasized about committing violence himself: “I’d like to punch him in the face,” he said of one protester. (Trump’s manicurist must have winced a little.) He called for protesters to be “carried out on a stretcher.” His instructions to audience members included “Knock the crap out of them.” There is much more.

Civil discourse requires civil people. The Black Lives Matters protesters and the others who rioted and burned in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other cities are not civil people. Neither is Donald Trump, who as a public figure and a political candidate bears a special responsibility to lead by example. There was a time when men of Trump’s station understood civic responsibility, though that time seems to have passed with the rise of the Kardashian culture of which Trump and Trump-ism are an integral part. In that culture, the basics have been forgotten: Free speech for you means free speech for others, too; political violence is illegitimate in a liberal society that offers many other avenues of redress; and, as a better man than any of these miscreants once put it, political passion may strain the bonds that join us together, but “we are not enemies.”

Among the reasons that Donald Trump would be a bad president is the fact that he is a bad citizen, as he has demonstrated spectacularly in recent months. Those who would deny him a public platform through violence and the threat of violence are equally poor citizens and should be kept far from the levers of power — as should opportunists who associate with them.

There is a difference between enjoying liberty and taking liberties. This isn’t Bull Run. Trump, and those who despise him, both have a right to make themselves heard, in peace. The childishness and stupidity on both sides is shameful, and decent people on both sides should say as much and insist on better.

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Jonah Goldberg is also feeling anguish and alienation from the conservative movement. His metaphor is Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Ironically, I was just summarizing that movie for my students since many had seen the original movie as a metaphor showing the support for communism sweeping the country in the 1950s. And now Goldberg is sensing something out there as one-by-one respected conservatives are being replaced by pod people who have come to admire Donald Trump and think that he is the answer to the nation's ills.
I’m losing the will to rebut Donald Trump’s “arguments” because he really doesn’t make any. First of all, most of his interviews are rapidly becoming as journalistically adversarial as the infomercial host asking, “Mr. Foreman, is it really true I’ll lose weight and save money by using the George Foreman grill?”

But more importantly, if you listen to Trump’s answers to almost any question about how he will fix a problem, he uses up the first 95 percent of his time explaining, re-explaining and demagoguing about how bad the problem is. (That is, if he’s not talking about polls.) Then in the last few seconds, he says we’ll fix the problem by being really smart or by winning or by hiring the best people.

In other words, he has no idea how to fix it.

Before Trump gelded him, or before he went to sleep and awoke from his husk with a strange, new, Renfield-like respect for his master, Chris Christie was very good at pointing out how Trump can’t explain how he will do anything. Now no one seems to care.

What I can’t get my head around is how other people can listen to this stuff and hear something substantive or serious. I truly don’t understand it. Or maybe I do understand it, and I just don’t want to because I don’t like what it might say about a lot of people I respect.

Among the commentariat, the first signs of creeping Trumpodism take the form of anti-anti-Trumpism. The argument usually starts off by grudgingly and bloodlessly conceding that Trump is imperfect — who isn’t? Wink wink. Then comes the extended and passionate diatribe about how the real nuts are the ones who are making a big fuss about how awful he is. Sometimes, they talk of “Trumpophobia” without the slightest acknowledgement they are buying into the left-wing crutch of attaching the suffix “phobia” to delegitimize arguments they can’t or won’t deal with.

Politically, anti-anti-Trumpism, as Orwell could have told you, amounts to being objectively pro-Trump, even if it doesn’t sound like it.

Often, the next stage is to lock into a face-palmingly stupid logical fallacy: People said Reagan was awful, therefore people who say Trump is awful must be wrong, too.

In part because I think the word “meme” should be banned, I suspect this argument is an earworm....

I shouldn’t have to explain this, but you could replace “Reagan” with “Charles Manson” or “Carrot Top” or “Bud Gretnick the narcoleptic plumber of Muncie, Indiana” and it would have exactly as much logical power. Just because some people were wrong about one politician nearly 40 years ago, doesn’t mean completely different people are wrong about a completely different politician four decades later.

....It’s a weird kind of stupid to say that Trump is like Reagan because liberals said Reagan was a fool — in response to conservatives who say Trump is a fool.

The next stage of conversion is the power-lusting gaze at Trump’s popularity. “He’s tapping into something real,” is repeated endlessly as if tapping into anger justifies pretty much anything.

I understand the anger. I understand that political junkies are likely to marvel at anything that arouses such political passion. I also understand that politicians have a weakness for anything that inspires the masses....

But what bothers me is the way that this admiration or appreciation bleeds into power-worship. One of the most illuminating aspects of this entire sorry chapter in American history — and it’s not even done yet — is how so many smart people reply to criticisms of Trump with declarations about his popularity and his success. This form of argumentum ad populum is more fit for ancient Rome. The people want blood sport! Give them blood sport! I get that people are legitimately hurting from the effects of globalization and Obama’s ridiculous policies. That doesn’t make protectionism any more advisable.
After outlining the stages he has detected in what he terms "Trumpodism," Goldberg goes on to discuss those conservatives who have fully embraced the Trumpian model.
Driving home from the airport on Wednesday, I happened to hear part of Sean Hannity’s interview of Newt Gingrich on the radio. Gingrich, whom I like and respect, said something along the lines of “Trump’s waging a campaign of high policy” or “He’s winning voters over with policy at the highest level.” I can’t give you the exact quote because when I heard it, I almost crashed into a mailbox. Gingrich added, more plausibly, that Trump is running perhaps the most nationalist campaign since Andrew Jackson....

Now, again, I like Gingrich. But this is flim-flammery. It would’ve been nice if Sean had asked Newt to explain how that answer reflects on Gingrich, given that the former speaker almost single-handedly got NAFTA passed.
What really upsets Goldberg is that Bill Bennett the guy who has written on virtue and outrage against Bill Clinton and the moral state of our society and several books of stories for children to learn about historical and real-life heroes. And now he's expressing admiration for Donald Trump. Goldberg has a long list of the repugnant things that Donald Trump has said. Yet bennett seems to have bought in to the argument that, if liberals criticized Reagan for being stupid when he was actually a great man, and they criticize Trump, then Trump must be a great man.
I know I’m being glib and jocular as I criticize Bill and other friends. That’s basically how I argue. But let me be clear (as Obama likes to say too often): I hate this. I hate it. I hate attacking people I respect. I hate hearing from former fans who say they’re ashamed to have ever admired me or my writing. I hate being unable to meet fellow conservatives half-way. One of the things I love about conservatism is that we argue about our principles; as I’ve written 8 billion times — more or less — we debate our dogma. I love our principled disagreements. But I honestly and sincerely don’t see this as a mere principled disagreement. I see this as an argument about whether or not we should set fire to some principles in a foolish desire to get on the right side of some “movement.” I have never been more depressed about the state of American politics or the health of the conservative movement. I hate the idea that political disagreements will poison friendships — in no small part because as a conservative I think friendship should be immune to politics. I certainly hate having to tell my wife that my political views may negatively affect our income. But I truly fear that this is an existential crisis for the conservative movement I’ve known my whole life. And all I can do is say what I believe. If Donald Trump is elected president, I sincerely and passionately hope I will be proven wrong about all of this. But I just as sincerely and passionately believe I won’t be.
I can relate, Jonah. I can relate.

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Suvy Boyina said...

I think a large part of the appeal of Trump is that he's discussing issues that, for the longest time, were pretended to be neutral. The classic examples are trade and monetary policy. Trump is just politicizing the hell out of the trade deficit and I actually think he can fix it. I trade these markets all the time and he's one of the only ones on that stage (except maybe Cruz) who really gets what's going on in international trade. We are getting KILLED on international trade. The worst part is that we call this "free trade" when other countries can put up all sorts of trade restrictions, engage in trade diversion, manipulate asset markets, and use cheap financing for export companies that we can't (won't and also really shouldn't) do which puts our firms and businesses at a disadvantage.

If the "mainstream" GOP candidates don't pick up on these issues and seriously start to shift their positions, these "extreme" candidates will do well. This is an even bigger issue in Europe where the Parliamentary system means there's no primary election required to fend off the extremes. So you end up with a system that has total gridlock until some crazy fascist or leftist gets in charge. Of course, the situation is a lot different here considering that the political system is completely different.

Also notice that when you were talking about stuff like "political correctness", this is a large part of the reason why people are voting for Trump. There's this idea that all Trump voters are racist white people, but I don't think that's accurate. I think he's actually appealing to a much more diverse group of people than we may first think. Think about how many Asian or Indian or other similar demographic group have been screwed over on affirmative action or some other event of that kind. Now if we speak up about it, we get called "racist" or a "bigot".

On something like Islamic immigration, I come from a hometown that's half Muslim where some of my best friends are still Muslim to this day, but I don't think we should let large amounts of Muslims here unless Islam begins to moderate RAPIDLY. If I say anything on this issue publicly, it's like I get called a racist or a bigot and I'm really not.

Simply put, Trump is giving a voice to the downtrodden even though I'm of the belief that most of his supporters still have serious personal qualms about him specifically.

I'm not sure who I'm voting for yet, but as of right now I'm leaning Trump. I agree with Trump on trade, I agree with him (mostly) on immigration, I agree with him on the budget, I agree with him on most economic issues, and I like a good amount of his foreign policy. When he came out and attacked Bush for being a liar when he took us into Iraq, I liked that he did that. I actually agree with Trump that someone lied when they took us into Iraq. It may not have been Bush, but it was someone in his administration (and maybe several in his administration) that wasn't being forthright.

elbogz said...

There are a lot of people standing at the window screaming "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore"!

Being pushed into the closet of political correctness, where even serving peanut butter sandwiches is considered racist. Being told that if I object to a man in a dress using the same bathroom and locker rooms as our young girls do, I'm a homophobe. Being told I can't even think such things by the LBGTSTFU crowd. Saying Bruce Jenner might be a man with a mental illness is enough to get me fired. Dare to say "All Lives Matter", is an invitation to be destroyed and attacked. Dare to serve tacos on Tuesday is sure way of getting booted from college. ENOUGH!

As the previous commenter so elegantly put it ...."Trump is giving a voice to the downtrodden....."....and the voice is saying....let it burn.....

Sue said...

Thank you for your wonderful blog. I love the perspective of the teacher and that of someone very familiar with the constitution and the founding fathers. When Trump first came on the scene, I was horrified. I could not imagine him as president. I was a passive supporter of Ben Carson. When Ben Carson endorsed Trump, I had to reevaluate my position. Carson says there are 2 Trumps – the reality show person and the private Trump. One of the links below presents what Carson said when he was endorsing him. Rev. Darrell Scott also talks about the 2 Trumps. A 2nd link below presents Scott's speech about Trump. I like that Trump is not owned by donors or the Washington establishment. This, of course, is the main reason the establishment are against him. They are worried about losing their jobs and influence. I am now considering voting for Trump. I do hope that he will become more presidential. Perhaps that will come out in the coming months. For your information, I am an older white woman with 2 college degrees. I am a critical thinker.

P. Aaron Jones said...

WHY? Do the militant leftists get to invade a Trump (they'll do it to Cruz rallies too) and disrupt in some righteous attempt to be heard? The crowd went there to see Trump (or Cruz). There's a Hillary or a Sanders rally for the interloping left.

WHY when an Ann Coulter or a Milo Yiannopolis speaks at a university is it interrupted by similar people who act in absolute righteousness not just to stop the event but inflict mob violence upon the speaker & its audience if it continues? Who says the left has the sole moral authority to dictate what's proper or acceptable speech to the rest of us? Especially considering most of these people are of college age and barely adult and not even paying their way?

The people hearing Trump are simply sick of this having their Sunday restaurant breakfasts interrupted by BLM protesters, their author's book signings cancelled and their college commencement speakers vilified and cancelled. ALL with the assistance of the media looking for blood & fire in order to sell soap.

I don't feel alienation from Trump or his supporters. REMEMBER: RUBIO did this to himself EMBRACING the Gang of Eight and it's principles of comprehensive immigration reform...against the principles that he ran on for his senate seat. Marco may have potential but, he's got a lot to live down.

Trump mentioned Kate Steinle, who was murdered by an repeat offender illegal who was protected by the CA government. THAT pisses any hard working LEGAL American off. Finally! Someone sticks up for the anonymous citizen and not criminal (alien or otherwise) that the left holds up a more virtuous person than the taxpaying, working, citizen of even soldier.

That's what pisses a lot of us off and heck, I'm a Cruz guy!

Lee said...

> Of course, it's possible to strongly condemn protesters disrupting political rallies and to still see how Donald Trump has fed into and encouraged a sense of violence among his supporters for those with whom they disagree.

Sorry, I'm not going to fault someone for wanting to hit back when he's been hit.

> And he just doesn't recognize what it means to be conservative any more if this guy Trump is the one that conservatives find appealing.

I find myself explaining this to every GOPer I meet, and the look of befuddlement shows they don't get it. I'll try once more: what *this* conservative finds appealing is Trump is not one of the Republicans who have been cynically playing conservatives for years, only to surrender when we sent them to Washington to fight.

I read their lips, and I don't need Republicans to raise my taxes.

I don't need Republicans to start expensive wars without an objective in mind.

I don't need Republicans to spend our country to the brink of financial disaster.

I don't need Republicans to install a huge new bureaucracy.

I don't need Republicans to pass grossly expensive and ineffective federal education bills, while singing Ted Kennedy's praises.

I don't need Republicans to help liberals ridicule conservative women, the way Palin has been ridiculed.

I don't need Republicans to appoint justices like Andrew Kennedy and John "Obamacare Boy" Roberts.

I don't need Republicans to open our borders.

I don't need Republicans to help make the business climate in America so bad, China seems like an improvement.

I didn't want any of those things, but Republicans didn't consult with me on any of it. The only time they say anything to me is when they want my vote.

And *now*, all of a sudden, the GOP is concerned that a GOP candidate isn't conservative enough?

John Sullivan said...

You wrote repeatedly that you think Trump is a Conservative. He is not - he a life-long liberal Democrat running as a Republican, and Republican is not the same as Conservative. The Republican Party has long been controlled by big business and has pushed policies not too different than the establishment Democrats. The Conservatives would like it if the Republican Party was actually fighting for limited government. Trump taps into peoples anger over being betrayed by big-government - Rs & Ds both. Personally, I do not trust him. If you want an actual conservative, vote for Cruz.

hadley said...

Ditto what Lee said. I don't expect Republican elites and pundits to get it. I want the Republican and Democratic Parties taken down, busted up and reshuffled. Call it the Sampson Option. Trump and Bernie are doing the country a great service.

Lee said...

> You wrote repeatedly that you think Trump is a Conservative.

If you're talking to me, John... no, I didn't say that. But Trump has made a very specific promise or two. If he delivers on one of them, that's more than what I've gotten from the GOP up to now.

Acad Ronin said...

Trump is a left-of-center bully. I see no reason to vote for someone who says, "Buy from whomever the State says you may buy from, or the State will fine you." Furthermore, I am an immigrant, the US has benefited from my presence, and I am not pulling up the ladder behind me.

submandave said...

"The Black Lives Matters protesters and the others who rioted and burned in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other cities are not civil people."

And, yet, they are celebrated as heroes by the Media, Academia, and even the President and his entire party. Anyone who can recognize this disconnect but still fail to understand the frustration of the average Trump supporter is either myopic in the extreme or willfully ignorant. Unfortunately, as long as the left continues to lionize those who "get in their face" and "punch back twice as hard" I see little hope of a peaceful resolution.

Dantes said...

Well, the conservative movement was hijacked 20 years ago by politicians claiming to be conservative, but were not. Liars and charlatans from Bush to Rove to McConnell to Boehner to Ryan assumed the conservative mantle only to cast it off after election. Goldberg and all the other establishment types who keep lamenting this election seasons tawdry destruction of their minds...keep failing to recognize and acknowledge it. I don't feel very sorry for any of them, and the GOP establishment is still blaming Trump and the voters instead of itself. It must be destroyed. I would prefer Cruz, but if Trump wins, I'll take him.

Jack_DeWalt said...

I despise Trump and completely agree with Jonah. That said, the rush by some on the anti-Trump side to blame him when anarchist thugs threaten a riot to shutdown a speech is reprehensible. The emotional reaction of conservatives who are now supporting Trump is terrible. There's no reason for those on our side to resort to similarly shrill behavior.

Martin said...

So, why are you taking the side of the rioters and disrupters who want to shut down one side of the political process?

Trump was wrong wrong wrong to encourage his people to physically fight back, BUT let's keep sight of who was disrupting whom, versus who just wanted to have their even proceed.

Rubio's piece is not noble, it is scandalous... a thoughtful encouragement and rationalization of mob violence for political purposes.

Since last Friday, the ONLY question this campaign is now about is whether you want free elections or mob rule. And except fro Trump, EVERY other candidate, most of the media and pundits, and you, Ms. Newmark, have come down in favor of mob rule.

I forget who first made the analogy, but this is like one person shoves an old lady to the ground and steals her bag, another shoves an old lady out of the way of an onrushing bus. They both shoved old ladies, but they are NOT morally equivalent.

Lee said...

> Trump was wrong wrong wrong to encourage his people to physically fight back...

When did self-defense become wrong?

Jim Lion said...

I suggest you come at this alienation you're feeling from another angle. Try to take the long view of history. What do I mean? Well, look at the 30 Years War that decimated Germany for, well, thirty years. It was followed by the Peace of Westphalia, and ever since various denominations of Protestants and Catholics have lived in peace, for the most part ever since. Sometimes the fight must be fought, and the gloves must come off. Recognize the times you're in, and only after the proverbial ground is littered with metaphorical corpses, will the world you long for have a chance of living and growing.

Jack_DeWalt said...

"Sometimes the fight must be fought, and the gloves must come off."
But what are we fighting about? Trump is not a conservative in any sense of the word, and those who seem him fighting for them and their values are fools. To use your German analogy, this isn't the Catholics vs. the Protestants -- this is an internecine battle within the Protestant faction, and both sides are led by self-serving idiots. Does that sound like the foundation for a long-term peace, especially when the larger enemy (donks) are not being harmed in any of this?

Lee said...

It's not idiotic to search for a different outcome when electing the people who say the right things once every two years gets you nowhere.

tfhr said...

Acad Ronin,

Are you a legal immigrant? If so, congratulations and welcome to America. I'm glad you made it and not just because I can see we have the same opinion of Trump's opinion on single payer.

I'm not a Trump supporter and I really doubt his bluster about a hard line against illegal aliens but borders are what protect us from the excesses of governments we do not wish to be governed by. I'd say a citizen of the United States deserves to be protected from the excesses and failures of the governments of Mexico, China, Honduras, Russia, etc.

Whether these countries are sending troops or hoards of refugees, our sovereignty is fragile and must be defended to the utmost. Obviously a border is meant to protect against more than illegal immigration or other physical threats. For example, a border is a physical restriction against the taxes of a neighboring state. People in Virginia are really glad that Maryland or the District cannot tax them as they do their own.

Nobody is talking about "pulling up a ladder" to deny legal entry for people that have followed our processes and laws and have shown themselves to be of good character. Whether Trump will really try to curb illegal immigration and make the effort to improve border security is a big question. I'd be happy if he would even enforce the laws we do have.

Most Americans understand that decades of unchecked illegal immigration have hurt the United States. Trump understands that and has used the issue effectively. I think above all other issues, his purported stance against illegal immigration created the ground swell that has brought him this far. His "build the wall" rhetoric has effectively hidden him from closer examination of his previously held views and activities but it doesn't change the fact that it is THE critical issue of this election.