Archive - Jul 9, 2015

A Moment To Reflect

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Memo to GOP hopefuls and others: SAYING IT DON'T MAKE IT SO.

The tide continues to turn against Donald Trump. Thanks to his comments about all the immigrants from Mexico being sent over to America because they're murderers and rapists, people are running away from Trump like he was some kind of toxic racist nutball in a bad toupee.

Like other public figures and icons in the past few weeks who've triggered rapid societal divestment - Bill Cosby, the Confederate Flag, etc. - it's not like Trump wasn't awful before he said that and became awful after. It just became politically and socially untenable to be seen with them.

And this has led to an interesting argument by many prominent Republicans. See if you can find the common thread.

"Let me say, I do not think Donald Trump's remarks reflect the Republican Party." - Rick Perry.

"He doesn't represent the Republican Party or its values." - John Ellis Bush Bush.*

"And I certainly think that it doesn’t reflect on Donald Trump as a man who is a very charitable and a good man." - Rudy Giuliani.

"He doesn’t represent me, and he doesn’t represent my party.” - Carly Fiorina.

Candidates, and Giuliani, are welcome to say that they don't agree with Trump. But claiming he doesn't represent the Republican Party? Please.

First and foremost, Trump's polling second. Among Republicans. In the Republican primary. Where they poll members of the Republican party. So Trump's comments are certainly reflective of a certain percentage of the Republican Party. How big a percentage? Only time will tell.

But beyond that, there are candidates and ideas who you can say aren't part of the Republican Party. Some of Rand Paul's more honestly libertarian stuff, for example. But shitting on immigrants? Especially Mexican ones? Remember when Lou Dobbs insisted that Mexican immigrants were bringing leprosy across the border, even after everyone told him he was wrong?

And then there's the persistent zombie lie that unlike other immigrants, Mexicans refuse to learn English and assimilate. Studies have shown that across the board, immigrant populations assimilate at essentially the same rate. And of course, that particular criticism gets repackaged and repurposed for whatever immigrant population you want to demonize. In the Twin Cities, you hear it a lot about the Somali population. The fact that it's so easily and obviously portable is a big hint that it's bullshit.

Steve King's "calves like cantaloupes". All the horrible reactions to last year's surge of child refugees from Central and South America. Decades of the "Southern Strategy" applied even further south. The entire career of Joe Arpaio. The old saw continues to be true. Not all Republicans hate Mexicans, but most of the people who hate Mexicans are Republicans. And they vote.

You're all just mad at Trump for being a clumsy oaf about it and making you all look bad. But when a bunch of you say he's "raising the important issue of immigration", you're just cleaning up his language and hiding behind socially acceptable words. Reflect on that.

*Taking a cue from Tom Tomorrow, I think it's a moral imperative to call Jeb by his full name from here on out. He's the ATM Machine of presidential candidates.