mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“What Latinos Know About America And Trump Doesn’t”: The Problem Is That This Has To Be Explained

News from the campaign trail has Latinos across America cringing.

It happens every time a scene like this splashes across the news: Protesters went plumb loco outside a Donald Trump rally in Albuquerque, N.M. Waving Mexican flags, they lobbed rocks at police, set fires, pushed aside barriers and generally acted like little hooligans.

The outburst was followed by the inevitable. Cable news talking heads, as they always do, wondered why the protesters were so angry.

Really? The United States is veering shockingly close to electing as president a man whose version of “making America great again” includes scapegoating some of the very people who helped make the country so incredible  — Latino immigrants.

That’s the problem. That this has to be explained. And, no, this is not an excuse for the riotous behavior of a few.

Most Hispanics know such out-of-control displays of emotion will not help. Decapitating a Trump piñata might feel good — a symbolic display of cultural fury. But when it’s televised, such an act merely lends credibility to Trump’s innuendo that Latinos are interlopers intent on mayhem and criminality.

Nothing could be further from the truth — even for those who arrive here without all the legal paperwork. If you want to find someone willing to literally die to become an American, find a recent Latino immigrant. Talk to the Central Americans who risked their lives to cross through multiple countries, hoping to gain asylum in the U.S.

They can tell you about yearning for the dignity and freedoms of America, privileges that so many third-, fourth- or nth-generation Americans take for granted.

Latinos have some of the highest rates of service in the U.S. military. They are highly entrepreneurial, creating businesses wherever they settle.

In a nation that so prides itself of being created from immigrant stock, an awful lot of Americans are naive about migration. Many of Trump’s supporters are unaware that their own forefathers did not arrive here with documents in hand, not like what is required now, a system that didn’t even exist until recent decades.

Nor did their ancestors instantly master English. Rather, they followed the same patterns of language assimilation that we observe among Latinos today. Adult immigrants rarely become proficient in English, but their children become bilingual. Following generations are monolingual — in English.

The process of assimilation is a blessing and a curse. It helps bind us together as a nation: one people from many sources. But as we lose our accents and the stigma of origins in another country, we tend to lose contact with a certain historical truth: Not everybody is welcomed in America. America might admit them for their cheap labor, but if these immigrants want to get a piece of the American dream they’re going to have to fight for it.

When you’re ignorant of what previous generations went through to become Americans, it’s easy to believe the sort of isolationist screeds that Trump preaches.

Following the New Mexico melee, Trump headed to the heavily Latino Anaheim, Calif., for another rally. The Los Angeles Times reported that warm-up speakers told stories about loved ones who had been murdered by immigrants not legally in the U.S. Trump followed up by leading his supporters in a chant of “Build that wall!” the Times reported.

Never mind that much of border control is better managed by drones and high-tech sensors and the dull monotony of paperwork. Also ignore the fact that so many of the workers who keep California’s agriculture and restaurant industry humming crossed that border at some point. Trump has a simple, effective message for the ignorant of America: Immigrants are murderers and rapists, and my wall will keep you safe from them.

By the week’s end, Trump had reached the threshold of enough delegates to clinch the GOP nomination. Latinos have taken notice. Reports from around the country are of an increase in Latino migrants moving from legal permanent residency to full U.S. citizenship. They are registering to vote. And many cite Trump’s obnoxious anti-immigrant slogans as the impetus.

Wouldn’t it be rich if these new Americans proved to be the voting bloc that shut Trump out of the White House?

These novice voters embody a truth: Donald Trump not only lacks presidential credentials; he fails to understand what makes America great. Latino immigrants do, and that’s why so many proudly become Americans.

 

By:Mary Sanchez, Opinion-Page Columnist for The Kansas City Star; The National Memo, May 28, 2016

May 29, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Immigrants, Latinos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“A Rational Outcome Can’t Be Taken For Granted”: Democrats, Don’t Celebrate Trump’s Nomination. Fear it.

I know the polls say Donald Trump cannot win. But what if we are looking at the wrong poll question?

What if Trump’s overwhelming negatives don’t matter? Or, to put it another way, what if the country’s negatives matter more?

Right now, about 6 in 10 Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump, and only 36 percent view him positively.

But the country is faring even worse. In the most recent average of polls calculated by RealClearPolitics, 26.9 percent of Americans think the nation is headed in the right direction and 64.9 percent think we are heading down the wrong track.

So what if even voters who respect Hillary Clinton’s competence reject her as the embodiment of business as usual? And what if even voters who do not like Trump’s bigotry or bluster care more that he will, in their view, shake things up?

Sure, these voters might tell themselves, he may be crude, or inconsistent, or ill-informed. He may insult women and Hispanics and other groups. But it’s part of a shtick. He probably doesn’t mean half of it. He’s just an entertainer. The desire to send a message of disgust or disapproval, in other words, could lead voters to overlook, discount, wish away or excuse many Trump sins.

Meanwhile, Clinton cannot shake free of the status quo. You may remember how this bedeviled Al Gore when he asked voters to give the Democratic Party a third straight presidential term in 2000. The vice president managed to achieve the worst of both worlds, alienating Bill Clinton and his most ardent supporters without establishing himself as an entirely new brand.

Unlike Gore, Hillary Clinton is not an incumbent. But she is no less associated with the establishment, having served as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state over the past quarter-century. Even if she were inclined to do so, she could not afford to distance herself from President Obama, whose backers she will need to turn out in large numbers.

I know there is an element of irrationality in these fears. I understand that not every dissatisfied American will vote for Trump.

About two-thirds of the country may think we are on the wrong track, after all, but Obama’s approval rating is 51 percent and rising.

Meanwhile, only 4.7 percent of eligible voters have actually cast a ballot for Trump in the party nomination process so far, as an analysis by FairVote shows. Many of the remaining 95.3 percent, no matter how unhappy most are with the performance of their government, will take their responsibility seriously enough that they will not vote for someone who casually threatens the faith and credit of the United States, breezily posits the merits of nuclear proliferation and cheerfully espouses torture as an instrument of U.S. policy.

Republicans are divided, the economy is improving, the demographics are increasingly in Democrats’ favor. The likeliest result of a Trump nomination is a Republican washout up and down the ballot.

I do get all that.

Still, when I hear smart people explaining why Trump cannot win, all I can think is: Aren’t you the ones who told us that he couldn’t top 30 percent, and then 40 percent, and then 50 percent in the Republican primaries? Weren’t you confident that he was finished after he called Mexicans rapists, and insulted prisoners of war, and dished out a menstruation insult?

Did you predict his nomination? If not, we don’t want to hear your certainty about his November defeat.

Nor is it reassuring to read how happy the Clinton camp must be to be facing such a weak opponent. They need to be running scared — smart, but scared — now and for the next six months.

I do have faith in the American voter, I really do. But when two-thirds of the country is unhappy, a rational outcome can’t be taken for granted.

 

By: Fred Hiatt, Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Post, May 8, 2016

May 10, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, Donald Trump, General Election 2016 | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“The Landscape In Tiers”: Facing Headwinds, McCain Feels Uneasy About His Re-Election

Looking at the 2016 Senate elections, Democrats have an obvious goal: a net gain of five seats would give the party its majority back. And as things stand, Dems feel they have a credible shot.

It’s probably best to think about the landscape in tiers. There are several states in which Dems are optimistic about flipping red seats to blue seats: Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. The second tier features seats currently held by Republicans that could be quite competitive if the prevailing political winds shift in Democrats’ favor: North Carolina, Iowa, and Missouri.

And then there’s John McCain, whose lock on his Arizona seat has been a foregone conclusion for decades, but who’s feeling quite a bit of anxiety right now about his 2016 odds. Politico reported overnight:

Publicly, John McCain insists Donald Trump will have a negligible effect on his campaign for reelection. But behind closed doors at a fundraiser in Arizona last month, the Republican senator and two-time presidential hopeful offered a far more dire assessment to his supporters.

“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life,” McCain said, according to a recording of the event obtained by POLITICO. “If you listen or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump. The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I’ve never seen in 30 years.”

According to the Politico report, McCain made the comments at an April 8 event. Despite his public confidence, he conceded when talking to supporters behind closed doors, “[T]his is going to be a tough campaign for me” – largely because of his party’s presidential nominee.

Two weeks after the event, McCain announced he will skip this year’s Republican National Convention, insisting he’s “always done that when I’m up.” (Unfortunately for the senator, that claim is plainly untrue.)

All of which leads to a dynamic in which it’s hard to know just what to make of McCain’s chances, and what “tier” he belongs in.

On the one hand, the longtime incumbent has never faced a serious re-election challenge; he has plenty of money; and his relationship with Arizona’s Latino population is vastly better than Trump’s.

But on the other hand, as we discussed a month ago, the senator is not nearly as popular in Arizona as he once was, and there’s at least some evidence that Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) is prepared to give the incumbent the toughest race he’s ever seen.

Before he can even reach a difficult general election, McCain also faces an Aug. 30 primary. Odds are, he’ll prevail, but the fact that he’s facing a challenge at all is a reminder about his vulnerability.

Is it any wonder the Republican senator is telling supporters how worried he is?

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, General Election 2016, John McCain | , , , , , | 1 Comment

“He’s Eliminated Any Margin For Error”: There Aren’t Enough White Dudes In America To Elect Donald Trump President

It’s not a secret that Donald Trump is not very, and is not likely ever to become, popular among minority voters. He’s also given women a lot of reasons to dislike him for his porcine ways, and they have reciprocated with some terrible favorable/unfavorable ratings. A recent ABC News–Washington Post survey showed Trump at 29/68 among white women, a demographic group that only one Democrat (Bill Clinton in 1996) has carried since the 1960s.

Yes, of course, Trump is reasonably popular among white men, and some would argue that his piggy-piggy baiting of women could help him push his margins in his honky-bro base even higher, especially in a race with Hillary Clinton where the Democrat would likely self-identify strongly with the offended. But there are only so many voters, and when you write off too many of them you eliminate any margin for error.

Ron Brownstein shows how narrow Trump’s path to a general-election victory will be unless something fundamental changes:

[I]f Clinton matched the usual Democratic performance with non-white voters and also carried even half of white women, Trump would then need to win more than three-fourths of white men for a national majority, a daunting prospect.

“A daunting prospect” is one way of putting it. “Impossible” is another. Ronald Reagan won two-thirds of white men in his 1984 landslide victory over Fritz Mondale. Is Trump supposed to beat that? Seriously?

No, Trump’s not going to carry all of the white men in America, particularly since he strikes many of the younger bros as a cartoon-villain representation of everything they dislike and fear about the baby-boom generation. So he’d be wise to explore ways to kiss and make up with the majority of Americans he’s disrespected.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magazine, May 5, 2015

May 6, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Election 2016, White Men | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Donald Trump’s Ethnic Cleansing Program”: Openly Campaigning On Moral Atrocities

After a prolonged spell of missteps and atrocious press coverage, Donald Trump has regained his commanding lead in the Republican presidential primary. A week ago he swept five states in the Northeast by giant margins, and he leads every recent poll of Indiana, whose primary takes place Tuesday. The state is probably the last place for the anti-Trump faction to prevent him from winning the primary outright, and it doesn’t even look close.

It’s worth remembering what a grim development this is. Not only will his combination of open bigotry and utter lack of political or military experience be historically unique in a major party candidate, he’s also openly campaigning on moral atrocities — in particular, a plan of what amounts to ethnic cleansing.

Now, most people think of mass murder when they hear ethnic cleansing, but that’s not necessarily the case. Creating an ethnically homogeneous state can also be accomplished through deportation.

This brings me to Trump’s plan to put together a “deportation force” to remove the 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, an idea he justifies by reference to a somewhat similar program called “Operation Wetback” carried out in the mid-50s.

Perhaps the best way to begin to grasp what a horror this would be is to consider the sheer logistics of such an operation. First, one has to find the unauthorized population — no small task, as such people are understandably not keen on being rounded up and deported, and doubly so given the wide adoption of cell phones and internet service.

Though there isn’t a complete database for unauthorized immigrants, demographic estimates find that over 70 percent are from Mexico and Central America. That means a titanic amount of law enforcement rooting around in mostly poor Latino communities — probably starting with checkpoints demanding immigration papers from every brown person stopped along highways in states with high Latino populations, dragnet electronic surveillance, and huge pressure on employers. Absent a brutal secret police, it would be nigh-impossible.

But suppose the Trump Troopers manage to root out every unauthorized immigrant, with a mere few thousand U.S. citizens caught up by mistake. Then they would need to transport them back to their places of origin. Even if we assume that he wouldn’t bother to figure out where people came from, even just dumping them in Mexico (1.5 million Asians and all) would be extraordinarily complicated and expensive. Forcibly packing up 1.3 times the population of New York City, holding them while they’re processed through some sort of legal bureaucracy, and moving them thousands of miles would take thousands of trains, trucks, planes, or ships.

Any method would cost billions in fuel, food, and logistics, and grotesque abuse would be an iron certainty. Here’s how that turned out back in the ’50s:

The boatlift operations back to Mexico ended in September 1956 after seven workers drowned in an apparent attempt to escape, sparking a riot on the vessel known as the Mercurio. There were conflicting reports of what led to the drownings and the riot, according to New York Times accounts of the incident. Congressional investigators later said the boat resembled “an ancient penal ship” and that some 500 Mexican nationals were crammed aboard a boat that was equipped with two lifeboats that could only hold 48 people, according to an August 1956 Times article. [CNN]

Let’s not mince words about why Trump and his followers support this idea: anti-Latino bigotry. In U.S. discourse, the general assumption is that all unauthorized immigrants are Mexican (in reality only 56 percent are), and Trump has been railing against Mexicans for the entire campaign — asserting that the Mexican government is deliberately sending “criminals, drug dealers, rapists” over the U.S. border. It’s not a coincidence this is just when he rocketed to first place in the GOP primary. Deporting millions of Latinos, immigrant or no — and thus restoring the white demographic majority to some degree — is basically the point.

Trump’s Operation Wetback II would be an ethnic cleansing on par with the post-World War II “population transfers” in Eastern Europe, when about 30 million people, half of them Germans, were hastily and often brutally shuffled across borders so as to create ethnically homogenous nation-states. Those too were heinous crimes, but one can sort of understand why Germans might be a bit unpopular in the region. Proposing such an operation in a peaceful and basically prosperous nation, where the target population is quite well-integrated (indeed practically model citizens) is grotesque.

 

By: Ryan Cooper, The Week, May 3, 2016

May 4, 2016 Posted by | Bigotry, Donald Trump, Ethnic Cleansing, GOP Primaries, Immigrants | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: