President Trump only yesterday announced a nearly unconscionable pardon of former Maricopa County, AZ sheriff Joe Arpaio, unwise on a few levels.At first glance and thought, this is awkward and odd timing, especially for a blog ostensibly of the left Upon further review, however, the timing is neither odd nor awkward. First, wisdom from the August 6, 2017 segment of "Fareed's Take." in which Fareed Zakaria (though wrong about the late Robert Casey and abortion in 1980) explains
Look at the Democracy Fund's voter survey done in the wake of the 2016 election. If you compare two groups of voters, those who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and then Hillary Clinton in 2016 and those who voted for Obama in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016, the single biggest divergence on policy between those two groups is immigration.
In other words, there are many Americans who are otherwise sympathetic to Democratic ideas, but on a few key issues, principally immigration, think the party is out of touch.
And they are right. Consider the facts. Legal immigration in America has expanded dramatically over the last four decades. In 1970, 4.7 percent of the American population was foreign-born. Today, it's 13.4%. That's a large shift in a small period of time. And it's natural that it has caused some anxiety.
And the anxiety is about more than just jobs. In his 2004 book, Who Are We?, the Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington asserted that America had more than just a founding ideology. It had a culture, one that had shaped it powerfully.
Would America be the America it is today if, in the 17th and 18th centuries, it had been several not by British Protestants, but by French, Spanish or Portuguese Catholics, Huntington asked. The answer is no. It would not be America. It would be Quebec, Mexico or Brazil.
[10:05:07] Democrats must find a middle path on immigration. They can battle Trump's drastic solutions, but still speaking the language of national unity and identity. The company's motto after all is Out of Many, One, not the other way around.
If you are tempted to believe this bears any resemblance to Donald Trump's perspective, don't. This is as alien to Trump's approach as the lifestyle of Louise Linton (Mnuchin) would be to, say, that of the Dalai Lama. Even before he was President, Trump condemned immigrants because, in his view, they are criminals. In Phoenix this past week, he claimed
The people of Arizona know the deadly and heartbreaking consequences of illegal immigration, the lost lives, the drugs, the gangs, the cartels, the crisis of smuggling and trafficking. MS-13 -- we're throwing them out so fast, they never got thrown out of anything like this. We are liberating towns out on Long Island. We're liberating.
Illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico and in a moment's notice, showing up on the eastern end of New York State. Only in America, I guess. He continued
Can you imagine, in this day and age -- in this day and age in this country, we are liberating towns. This is like from a different age. We are taking these people. They don't shoot people, because it's too fast and not painful. They cut them up into little pieces. These are animals. We are getting them out of here. We're throwing them in jails, and we're throwing them out of the country. We're liberating our towns...
In 1996, at the tail end of the cocaine crisis, Hillary Clinton referred to "superpredators" and never heard the end of it in 2016. Illegal immigrants, however, are in Trump's telling "animals" holding our towns hostage. Back to the gangs:
One by one we are finding the gang members, the drug dealers and the criminals who prey on our people. We are throwing them out of the country or we're putting the hell, fast in jail...
And to the "wall," without which our existence as a nation is questionable:
Let me be very clear to Democrats in Congress who oppose a border wall and stand in the way of border security: You are putting all of America's safety at risk. You're doing that. You're doing that...
And that wall is also going to help us, very importantly, with the drug problem, and the massive amounts of drugs that are pouring across the southern border....
It wouldn't be Trump without conflating immigrants, crime, and refugees, who are terrorists. Therefore, he contended
So you put pressure, but believe me, one way or the other, we're going to get that wall. Immigration security is also a matter, remember this, of national security. That's why we're implementing tough new vetting and screening protocols to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country.
This is not about one nation with a unifying culture forged with contributions from many cultures throughout the world. It is a view of The Other untethered to reality, geared to dividing the country further. It is not "out of many, one" but "this is our land, not your land and it neve will be, so get lost."