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Turning the Trump Debate Back to Real Issues

August 20, 2015

Donald Trump’s “rude” and “vulgar” manner – as disdainful Fox News Sunday panel member George Will insists on labeling it – means he can’t can’t possibly win the Republican nomination, let alone become president. That‘s the conclusion of a fairly significant majority of recent political commentaries I’ve read – despite his increasing popularity as measured by the crowds he draws when he makes a personal appearance and the spike in TV viewership whenever he is interviewed.

On this topic, William Sullivan didn’t mince words: “[U]ltimately, if we can continue to do no better than elect a guy who loves the media limelight, who is all the while being given airtime by the media for its own purpose of promoting his celebrity, the republic will be truly lost.”

In addition, Trump’s critics are fond of looking back over his political “backsliding,” the way he’s changed his mind, how he’s contributed to causes and candidates no self-respecting conservative would dare to approach. To this point, early as it is in the electoral process, J.R. Dunn issued a warning about the 2016 election that dramatically misrepresented Trump’s politics: “Don’t kid yourselves: if you support Trump, you are supporting the Democrats, you are supporting liberalism, you are supporting the elite.”

It may, though, finally be starting to become a bit clearer to Trump’s denouncers that Americans are fed up with the Republican establishment, the same group of politicians that have given up every gain made during the Reagan years in a go-along-to-get-along performance that has not only alienated conservatives, but affected the way even political moderates are looking at the current presidential campaign. They might be closer to understanding that Trump is speaking not just for conservatives, but for a significant majority of the American people on many issues.

I’ll keep the focus here on illegal immigration, an issue Trump brought to the forefront of America’s collective consciousness, and one on which his campaign has spoken officially.

Here’s what polling firm Paragon Insights found the people of America think about one aspect of the immigration issue:

When asked about President Obama’s “executive action allowing as many as four million undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation and seek jobs in the United States,” 58% of registered voters say they oppose this measure, while only 36% are in support of the measure. . . . Even further, more than seven-in-ten respondents are in support of Congress passing new legislation that would strengthen laws making it illegal for businesses in the United States to hire illegal immigrants.

Recently released data – the most disturbing I’ve ever seen about what American immigration policy is doing to the citizens of our country – provides background as to why so many feel this way:

Since 2008, in Texas alone illegal aliens have committed more than 600,000 crimes. Nearly 3,000 of those crimes were murders.

It doesn’t stop there.

Since 2008, illegal aliens committed and were convicted of 38 percent of all murders — a total of more than 7,000 killings — in California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and New York. Illegals make up less than six percent of the population in those states.

The statistics were overwhelmingly ignored by network news media. Only Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly cited the Texas data in one of his broadcasts, as far as I’m aware.

In the wake of the Trump campaign’s publication of its Immigration Plan, Rasmussen Reports published some enlightening poll results indicating how Americans feel about the issue of illegal immigration:

Among all likely voters, 51% favor building a wall on the border; 37% disagree, and 12% are not sure. Eighty percent (80%) support the deportation of all illegal immigrants convicted of a felony; only 11% are opposed. 70% of Likely Republican Voters agree with the GOP presidential hopeful [Trump] that the United States should build a wall along the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigration. Seventeen percent (17%) of GOP voters disagree, while 13% are undecided. Ninety-two percent (92%) of Republicans agree that the United States should deport all illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a felony in this country. Only four percent (4%) disagree. (Italics mine.)

It’s all well and good for his critics to trumpet generalities about how Trump’s immigration policies are too expensive to implement and how it would be impossible to actually round up all those illegal immigrants and herd them out of the country, as if that’s how it would be done. His political and journalistic opponents are fond of spouting such absurdities, perhaps in the hope of making people think that the author of The Art of the Deal is not smart enough to understand that implementing his immigration policies might not happen overnight, but might actually take some time. His critics may well be whistling past the political graveyard if they think Americans are going to listen to such nonsense as they’re currently hearing from all too many public commentators.

Trump is redefining what the term “mainstream” means. It’s my sense that his adversaries are about to discover that in fact it’s they who are no longer in the mainstream, and they’re going to have to swim like hell to catch up.

What they – and all of us – need to do is to take Trump seriously. His instincts are dead on. The issues he focuses on are the very issues that are important to the American people. The way he expresses himself resonates with the American electorate in a way that most politicians, entrapped as they are in a collective political-speak cocoon, simply can’t understand, let alone come close to matching.



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