Nel's New Day

February 11, 2019

How Long Will GOP Radicalize Conservatives

Republicans seem to have grown increasingly tired of pandering to Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) after he broke the law in giving Congress a report on the torture and dismemberment of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. After DDT said that he could refuse the demand under the Magnitsky Act to report on the responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last October, several GOP congressional members threatened to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led civil war in Yemen.

DDT’s cavalier attitude toward congressional and constitutional law may be part of the impetus for Republicans stating that they may have a compromise with Democrats to forestall this week’s impending government shutdown. The deal offers less money for DDT’s wall—only 55 miles in proscribed places—than what DDT turned down last year. The term is “border barrier” for “wall,” not DDT’s “beautiful” concrete wall.

Tonight, DDT went on the campaign trail to El Paso where he lied to his audience about how much safer they are with the wall and how he’s already building a wall in the middle of the Rio Grande River. Occasionally he wandered off to encourage chants about Hillary Clinton of “lock her up” and question whether he should have a dog in the White House. His accusations came after both the city of El Paso and El Paso County passed resolutions criticizing DDT for his claims about crime in the city. In 2005, before the government decided to build a wall in El Paso, the murder rate in the city across from drug violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was one-half the national rate. Violence increased after the decision to create a wall between the two communities and continued to be worse for two years after a wall was installed. The city resolution stated that “Donald Trump has continuously made inaccurate claims about the United States’ southern border, including El Paso” and noted that data from Customs and Border Protection showed that “no crisis exists” on the border. DDT said that El Paso’s GOP  mayor, Dee Margo, is “full of crap.”

A counter-event led by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) was attended by about 7,000 people, more than attendance at DDT’s rally.

DDT persistently inflates his immigration figures. A bizarre tweet from late January:

“We are not even into February and the cost of illegal immigration so far this year is $18,959,495,168. Cost Friday was $603,331,392. There are at least 25,772,342 illegal aliens, not the 11,000,000 that have been reported for years, in our Country. So ridiculous! DHS”

After paying interest on the growing debt, mandatory expenditures on Social Security and health care, and the $700 billion for the military, the U.S. has less than $600 billion left–less than the money that DDT claimed was spent on “illegal immigration” in one day. Instead of using figures from the government, he got the tweet from watching television during his “Executive Time”—this time the far-right One America News Network. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said he doesn’t know where DDT gets his numbers.

Jonathan Blitzer cited the history of immigration for the past 40 years. In 1980, the U.S. accepted more than 200,000 refugees displaced by war and other violence. The number has greatly lessened since then, with President Obama’s 110,000 in 2017 because of Syrians fleeing civil war.

Despite objections from his advisers, DDT has dropped the cap on immigration to 45,000—objections from everyone except Stephen Miller, DDT’s neo-Nazi immigration adviser, who wanted the number to be far lower. Miller is suppressing studies showing that revenue from refugees through local, state, and federal taxes exceeded resettlement costs by $63 billion. According to witnesses, he told the Department of Health and Human Services:

“The President believes refugees cost more, and the results of this study shouldn’t embarrass the President.”

A State Department official said about Miller, “He shut down the U.S. government’s democratic approach to decision-making.” Miller cherry-picked statistics in studies, changed them and then wrote his own paper, often using falsehoods from the anti-immigration group Center for Immigration Studies. He successfully quashed Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner because he was the only one with government experience and found it easy to create his process because no established set of procedures existed. The conservative Cato Institute called DDT’s immigration reforms “the most severe restriction on legal immigrants since the 1920s.”

While DDT talks about keeping undocumented immigrants, who he calls rapists and criminals, from endangering everyone’s life, he hired them for his businesses, including resorts, because he can pay them less and have more control over them. Many of his employees were illegally brought from one Costa Rica town where a person said, “Many of us helped him get what he has today.” DDT has a long history of employing undocumented immigrants: in 1998, he paid more than $1.3 million for his illegal hiring of undocumented workers to build Trump Tower in 1980.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) echoed DDT’s call to be afraid of immigrants from Democrats who, DDT claims, “want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!” The senators ignored the rationale that ICE should concentrate on violent undocumented immigrants and keep the level of detentions in recent years.

In the time-honored tradition of bullies, DDT and Republicans want to terrorize anyone who disagree with them. According to a 2006 study, conservatives thinking about personal mortality increased their call for military intervention to kill thousands of civilians overseas. A 2017 study determined that encouraging death-related thoughts directly increased support for DDT. The same study found that these participants viewed immigrants moving into their neighborhood as a threat to their existence because the participants have been inculcated with fear.

Fear and aggression are circular: each creates the other with a feedback leading to mass hysteria and collective anger. From that manipulation of fear and aggression come bigotry and racism inflamed by the white supremacy movement. In that way, DDT radicalizes his loyalists into a fearful cult-like following, brainwashing victims much like the radicalized ISIS members by a fundamentalist ideology. DDT is continually radicalizing conservative people in the U.S. by describing immigrants as predatory creatures who threaten safety. Four academic studies disagree with his lies that undocumented immigration increases violent crime.

  • Michael Light, University of Wisconsin, Madison in Criminology: “Increased undocumented immigration since 1990 has not increased violent crime over that same time period.”
  • From the same researchers: The dramatic influx of undocumented immigrants did not increase rates of drug and alcohol arrests or the number of drug overdoses and DUI deaths.
  • The libertarian Cato Institute: In 2015, criminal conviction and arrest rates in Texas for undocumented immigrants were lower than those of native-born Americans for murder, sexual assault, and larceny.
  • U.K. journal Migration Letters: Youthful undocumented immigrants engage in less crime than do legal immigrants or U.S.-born peers.

The Texas side of the southern border has less crime than the state’s larger cities and is much safer than Washington, D.C. and Chicago. El Paso is the safest city in the United States for its size.

DDT stopped trying to radicalize his base with his graphic descriptions of women being silenced with duct tape—a fantasy taken directly from the movie called Sicario: Day of the Soldado, but not until a Border Patrol official, following orders from  Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, emailed agents urgently seeking “any information that you may have (in any format) regarding claims ‘that traffickers tie up and silence women with tape before illegally driving them through the desert from Mexico to the United States in the backs of cars and windowless vans.’” DDT has a pattern of looking for evidence to back up his fabrications.

Evidence of women and duct tape on the border exists, but DDT would probably not want to use it. Border Patrol agent Esteban Manzanares took three women seeking asylum to a wooded area outside McAllen (TX). Manzanares tied the 14-year-old girl to a tree and covered her mouth with silver duct tape before he sexually assaulted another girl. Then he twisted her neck and the neck of the girl’s mother before he slashed their wrists. Manzanares, father of two, was also a pedophile.

At least ten people in South Texas have been victims of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and/or rape by Border Patrol agents since DDT was inaugurated. One stabbed and killed his girlfriend and their one-year-old son. Another Border Patrol agent fatally shot four women working as prostitutes and tried to kidnap a fifth to kill her. While DDT wants to hire thousands more Border Patrol agents, records show hundreds of agents and CBP officers arrested or charged with corruption-related crimes—embezzlement, human smuggling, theft, bribery, breaking and entering, money laundering, providing false statements, and using firearms during drug-related crimes. Border Patrol agents Raul and Fidel Villarreal made $1 million for smuggling about 1,000 undocumented immigrants into the United States.

In radicalizing his base, DDT touts every violent crime of an undocumented immigrant as proof that Mexico needs to be walled off, but he never mentions the crimes of his own employees who cause a humanitarian crisis on the border.

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