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Bashing Immigrants: Trump’s Scapegoat or Red Herring?
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Bashing Immigrants: Trump’s Scapegoat or Red Herring?

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One thing that is most predicated about the American political landscape these days is how there is always a newest diversion of the week. It is like war drums, whether it is allegations of weapons of WMDs in Iran or North Korea, or the ills of fake news, spies-for-hire, the agendas of CNN, or the Washington Post, etc. 

The economy right now is good … so it’s immigration.  All the above have been beaten like a dead horse. As one lady, an immigrant who thought she would be living the American Dream, married to an American, and that didn’t work out recently wrote me.

And they fired me accusing me of making discriminatory comments against Muslims—which is not true.  I worked there only four months,  I was fired while I was on vacation; I received a phone call from HR,  and they accused me of saying that Muslims are not allowed in Jerusalem, which is not true, and I didn’t  say it. 

She continues, in her disgruntled rant: “They were praising my work days before and suddenly this; and what is this?”

Welcome to America

It is not about right or wrong. When times are tough it is often the immigrants who are first to go, and under the most flimsy of excuses, as anyone, especially one with US graduate degree in diplomacy and international relations would not be bashing Muslims on the job, especially in the heartland of America, Chicago, and definitely she did not claim that Muslims are barred from Jerusalem.

BTW, the alleged Muslim basher is mostly Armenian with Jewish roots.  Battling immigrants in the workplace gives us an interesting twist.  

You be the judge: “I think they were looking to let me go because the client was not supplying enough work. Also very possible, that Muslim guy knew I have Jewish roots and decided to retaliate.  He was from Jordan. In my place they hired two from a temporary agency, so not to pay full benefits.”

When I asked her how he knew that, she told me that they had asked her on the job, and naively she had told about her origins, ethnic Armenian with Georgian passport, dual citizenship and Jewish roots.

Immigrant Debate

Even the Washington Post is getting in on the act, at least in its commentaries, with articles how the highest office holder is fueling the immigrant debate.  “How Trump’s immigrant bashing feeds white supremacists’ obsession with Jews.”

The Post article long-winded but it does say it best in one sentence, as to what is going on in America these days over immigrants: “Trump’s entire strategy for midterm elections has revolved around ginning up hysteria about immigration.”

And he had really done a good job at it, starting with the call to build a wall with Mexico to restrictions on visas and making it sound as if all immigrants are welfare cheats and potential hardcore criminals.

It does not end there.  By executive order, Trump wants to announcement end birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants. He fails to mention that that would require a change to the 14th Amendment and that would require the states to agree, as a person is both a citizen of the country and the state.

The Republican Party’s wide embrace of white nationalist rhetoric on immigration feds the core of the party, hyping up the language of “invasion,” of infectious diseases, of the need for violent retribution — has clearly emboldened white supremacists and other xenophobes.

It reminds me of the rhetoric of Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister under Hitler, who claimed Jews, would destroy German culture. Much like Trump, albeit not targeting Jews, compares immigrants to the downfall of America as we know it.  We can replace the words in some of his speeches with those of Donald Trump.

Instead of a Jewish conspiracy, we have in its place an immigrant conspiracy, which naturally could not be possible without the support of the Democratic Party and liberals and others of ill repute. 

 Arguably the most gifted of Hitler's henchmen, Joseph Goebbels was an enigmatic genius whose successful manipulation of mass political opinion was unprecedented. His rise to power, and that of the Nazi Party itself, will forever stand as one of history's most terrifying examples of the reach of propaganda, a tool with which Goebbels's name is virtually synonymous.

Goebbels--a fanatic anti-Semite--linked Bolshevism with international Jewry and warned Nazi party members of an alleged international Jewish conspiracy to destroy western civilization. Goebbels led the purge of Jewish and other so-called "un-German" influences from the cultural institutions of Nazi Germany.

I just wonder from where Trump and his minions get their inspiration. It is as if all effort is being made to show immigrants as something inherently anti-cultural, anti-American. It is as the same script is being used as by Nazi Germany, [the cause] of “the absolute destruction of all economic, social, state, cultural, and civilizing advances made by western civilization for the benefit of a rootless and nomadic international clique of conspirators, who have found their representation in [immigrants] Jewry.”

I highly doubt if Trump actually believes his own rhetoric; it’s hard to really tell. But he does portray himself as having a conspiratorial mindset, at least for the purpose of catering to his base of support—and he does this with the expertise and passion on the level of Joseph Goebbels.

One thing is for sure, Trump is keeping up the rhetoric, and it is like “do or die” and it is a hard sell at times.

As Trump wrote in his most recent email volley: “You've seen what the liberals have done to try and sabotage our Administration but what would they do if they seized control of our House majority? The truth is, we don't want to find out.  That's why we need you to vote for conservatives the President's majority.”

This bashing of immigrants right before elections makes sense.

Author: Jeffrey Silverman