Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Does Trump's mania about immigrants suggests dementia?

As mentioned a few days ago, a Donald Trump spokesperson on CNN  was asked to explain Trump’s repeated juvenile attacks on Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife, which Cruz reacted with  predictable (but with a tad overblown) indignation.  Naturally, Trump’s stooge waxed outrageous at this attempt by the media to make an issue of the salacious rather than the substantive. But of course it is a legitimate topic of conversation when it comes to Trump. We know from what “insiders” have revealed about Hillary Clinton that her use of abusive and vulgar verbiage is little different than Trump’s, but at least she has so far had the good sense to keep her dark place “private.” That is not the case with Trump. One can legitimately ask if he is suffering from the onset of some form of dementia, the kind where one loses all sense of control over accepted behavior, thoughts and words, often punctuated by grotesque displays of wildly unstable emotions. 

No, Trump’s flunky would rather have us focused on a real “winner” with certain sectors of the public, one where ignorance intersects precisely with bigotry; Americans are getting “killed every day" by illegal immigrants and other such myths expectorated from his pores, mainly the one located in his fundament. When it isn’t a political campaign issue to rile up the racist base, Americans have “accepted” the unspoken “bargain” of an itinerant pool of labor in exchange for them not issuing a peep when their human rights are abused since at least the time when California and the Southwest were “purchased” from Mexico with the “promise” that Mexicans who chose to stay would be given full citizenship rights per the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; but of course this promise was seldom honored. Complaints about “illegal immigration” was always something that sprung up from time-to-time when whites sought convenient targets when the need was felt to strike—either verbally or even physically—at a vulnerable demographic which had no rights anyone who called themselves a “real” American was bound to respect. The media, of course, is as complicit in this as any neo-Nazi.

I can tell you from personal experience that there is no delineation between “legal” and illegal” in the minds of the racist looking for a target to act out their hate on. It is no longer merely “illegal” immigrants that are anathema, but both legal immigrants and U.S. citizens who are not identifiable as “Caucasian.” In fact, that is what this “illegal” immigration always was about at its core, as a convenient excuse to vent hate at a particular group. Any and all people regardless of ideology can be guilty of this, even “progressives.” Some employers have an “unspoken” policy of discrimination against anyone who is deemed Hispanic because of their political belief that only “real” Americans should have “American” jobs. I once worked at a job that didn’t have anyone else there who “looked” like me, and I recall people making sick jokes about “Mexicans.” When I had enough of it, I told someone engaged in this that what he was saying was racist, and he defended himself by saying “nobody else” thought that it was “racist,” to which I responded that “I” thought it was, and that is all that mattered; I never heard anyone make the same racist cracks in my presence again, but it is unlikely that was due to a change of perspective.

Immigrants of all stripes are attacked for “depressing” wages, but this would be no different if only “real” Americans were hired. NAFTA has received a disgraceful amount of bad publicity (admittedly from the Sanders camp as well), when the U.S.’ trade imbalance with our own neighbors in our own hemisphere isn’t even a fraction that with Pacific Rim and European countries; the U.S.’ trade imbalance with China is by a factor of 10 to 1. So why is China, which is a potential enemy to this country in “superpower” terms, hardly mentioned as a reason for the lack of electronic and  apparel manufacturing jobs? Because people here are bullies and cowards? 

And why are we not placing additional blame where it belongs—on the obscene distribution of wealth where a corporate executive sitting in his or her cushy chair “earns” 1,000 times or more what a laborer doing the “dirty work” makes? But no, all of blame and the hate is aimed at those at the very bottom of the social and economic scale. 

We are of course seeing what fascism looks like. It may be in its embryonic form compared to that of Nazi Germany, but the outlines are all there: Extreme nationalism, contempt for democratic principles, and arousing divisions in the population, particularly along racial lines. These things are always present, but rise from the sewers when given a “mainstream” media forum in which all “moral” authority abdicates all responsibility. Both the corporate media and the Republican Party have so used the hate of the extremist to advance their particular agendas that they have neither the credibility nor the power to stop it. Even law enforcement which looks the other way at violence perpetrated by Trump-inspired thugs have twisted the line between “lawmaking” and lawbreaking. Only the voters can stop it, and one wonders if even they can rise above it.

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