Americans never used to have “national conversations” — we only used to call for them. But, now thanks in no small part to President Trump, we get to have real national conversations — passionate, messy, even angry ones — all the time.
Though he is without doubt the most prodigious liar in American political history — The Washington Post’s Fact Checker has counted over 2,000 false and misleading statements he made in his first year in office — Trump can’t help but engage in his own brand of bracing straight talk. Not possessed of the filter of caution and sense most politicians work hard to maintain, Trump is unable to keep the contents of his brain from pouring out his mouth. When it happens, the media reports it, everyone reacts in shock, and before you know it, Americans across the land are having a vigorous debate on some vital social or political issue, like sexual harassment or immigration.
That’s the silver lining of Trump’s remark in a recent meeting with congressional leaders that we should stop allowing in immigrants from “shithole” countries in Africa and instead bring in people from places like Norway. He also made a point of objecting to the idea of letting Haitians remain here under the Temporary Protected Status they were granted as a humanitarian move after the 2010 earthquake there.
Some of Trump’s defenders, thinking they’re oh so clever, have been asking liberals, “So would you rather move to Haiti or Norway? Huh? Huh?” But that, of course is beside the point. The question isn’t the relative merits of the bookstore/cafe scenes in Oslo and Port-au-Prince, it’s about the people moving here. Trump has said he wants “skills-based” immigration, but in the heat of the moment he reveals himself, saying not that we should have more engineers but that we should have people from places like Norway.
No one seriously doubts Trump’s racial agenda. Just last month The New York Times reported that in another White House meeting on immigration, he complained that Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS” and that once Nigerian immigrants had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts.” Just for the record, Nigerian immigrants are one of the most highly educated groups in the United States.
None of this is a surprise, in both Trump’s personal views and the policies his administration is pursuing. The agenda is clear: …read more
Source:: The Week – Politics