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FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, AUG. 21, 2015
BY BOB FRANKEN
It’s always easy to dwell on the negative, but let’s not. Let’s look at what’s positive about the Trump immigration plan. First of all, Sarah Palin likes it. Her exact words on Fox News were that it’s “a real shot in the arm to constitutionalists and conservatives who want America to be put first.” What more needs to be said? If Sarah is for it, it’s a winner.
But there’s more: Donald Trump has put some flesh on the bones of his campaign platitudes by providing a few details of a policy for dealing with those millions of illegal immigrants who are here or want to sneak in. Unfortunately, the flesh is rotting, so rancid with hatred that any thinking person should be gagging in disgust.
Of course, it’s not put out there for thinking people. It’s for those in his base who only know that they’re angry at everything and want scapegoats. The Donald speaks for them. They love his sound bites to the extent that when he offers a few specifics -- in this case, six pages’ worth -- they simply support them, no questions asked. There’s no need for examination.
But let’s take a look anyway. He explains how he’d force Mexico to build the wall on our borders. He’d seize millions in financial commerce and charge onerous fees for those who want to come in legally. Most striking of all is his insistence that those who are here and undocumented must be rounded up and kicked out of the United States. “They have to go,” says Trump.
Imagine how that would look: Millions upon millions presumably taken into custody and forcefully removed. Even those who were born here to outsider parents, the “birthright” children, would no longer have their constitutional right to be citizens if Donald Trump had his way.
At best, the plan is “gibberish,” as Lindsey Graham put it. Of course Graham is in the pack of GOP presidential candidates trailing far behind Trump, so he wouldn’t be inclined to be laudatory. It’s interesting to note, though, that many others in his party are approaching the proposal veerrrry carefully. They don’t want to antagonize the base, but worry about the millions of Hispanic voters who might be just slightly irritated.
But is it too early to take any of this seriously? Should we see how things shake out, in both parties? On the Democratic side, the news is still dominated by Hillary Clinton and the relentless controversy over her email practices, perpetuated by the usual severe clumsiness of those around her in handling the issue. Maybe there’s time for her and them to sort this out, assuming there’s no real wrongdoing on her part. Frankly, most of us have no idea. Instead we are left with impressions, which are pretty dismal.
Then again, it’s not too early for everyone to be disgusted with the candidate choices our political system has produced. How many of them might just decide they’ve had it with the broken promises of the U.S.A. and simply leave?
I’ve pondered before where they’d go. The quick answer is usually Canada. But it’s cold up there, barely habitable for at least half the year. For those who hate shivering, maybe the better choice would be ... wait for it ... Mexico!
Maybe that’s Trump’s secret plan to pay for a wall. The Mexican government suddenly would be overwhelmed by those trying to flee to their country and need to do whatever it would take to stem the flow of immigrants from north of the border.
Yes, that may be a little facetious. But what’s going on in this country is not funny at all. We can be forgiven if we look at our choices and say, “This can’t be serious.” However, it’s possible we’ll be asked to choose between a demagogue and someone we don’t trust. That is serious.
© 2015 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.