Kai Chang and Sherman Forrest delve into the details of Donald Trump’s DACA deal. Will the so-called “Dreamers”—children of illegal aliens—get amnesty? Is that a betrayal of his #MAGA base? Listen to the discussion and read an excerpt of the conversation below.
Kai Chang: All righty, well, welcome back to our … Well, depending on what you number it, X episode for Shock Therapy. I’m Kai Chang.
Sherman Forrest: I am Sherman Forrest.
Chang: We have … Wow, a lot of news, both in public as well as the massive online reactions to it, and so let’s just start off at the top of the hour with DACA and the Dreamers. As someone who was very excited about one of the promises that Trump made in terms of bringing on and taking a hard line on immigration, on line-cutters and whatnot, it’s very black-pilled to me and a lot of other conservatives felt the same way. Online, you see a bunch of people burning their MAGA hats, extremely angry and seeing this as a cave-in, he’s been compromised, the deep state got to him, all the … It’s a very, very bleak responses. Does he have idiotic cheerleading on the other side? I’m sympathetic more toward those who feel black-pilled, but you have it in perspectives, so talk to me. What’s going on?
Forrest: Well, I think, as with a lot of these issues, there are a lot of different balls in the air with this, a lot of different factors in play, and what Trump is doing, as we’ve talked about in our past episodes, he’s maneuvering for position. Trump is deal making. That’s what he’s doing here. I think it’s really important that everyone maintain a sense of perspective about what that means when Donald Trump is deal making. He wrote a whole book about this 30 years ago, The Art of the Deal, that talks all about how he does deals, how he loves to do deals and his whole strategy for doing deals.
I got a quote from his book right here, Donald J. Trump says, “My style of dealmaking is quite simple and straightforward, I aim very high and then I just keep pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases, I still end up with what I want.”
Chang: Yeah, and I hear that, and this is the thing, but I feel like this whole DACA thing is a capitulation. The whole point is to make a very aggressive ask, meet in the middle and then still get some of what you want. Here, it seems like it’s a path to citizenship. Right? I’m not quite hearing exactly where it’s a bold ask of which he’s going to get half or whatever. There’s a, “Oh, we’re just going to mend the fences on the wall, and then the people that are here, that were brought here by their parents, well, you can hang out here and then we’ll make you citizens a couple years down the line.” I don’t know how you can walk to a harder line, walk me through, in what way is this part of the deal? I want to believe it’s true, but how is that 3-D or “Art of the Deal”? God.
Forrest: I totally get that. I understand that. One of the things to keep in mind here is that part of how Trump does deals with these things, when he’s aiming high, when he’s making his opening offers, he’s dangling options in front of his counterparties, he likes to focus on crystallizing attention on very specific attention-getting things. A great example is The Wall, so he makes a promise, we’re going to build a wall and we’re going to get Mexico to pay for it. It’s a brilliant opener. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s visionary, it’s very, very concrete at the same time, a wall, that’s something everyone understands, it’s something that’s very simple and symbolic power is extremely strong. He has continued to assert that he is going to build the wall, and on various
A great example is The Wall, so he makes a promise, we’re going to build a wall and we’re going to get Mexico to pay for it. It’s a brilliant opener. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s visionary, it’s very, very concrete at the same time, a wall, that’s something everyone understands, it’s something that’s very simple and symbolic power is extremely strong. He has continued to assert that he is going to build the wall, and on various levels he’s also continued to assert that he’s going to get Mexico to pay for it. That’s an example of an anchor that he’s throwing out there into your mind. It’s a symbolic anchor that’s very easy to latch onto.
Another thing that Trump made very clear throughout the campaign is his desire to fix immigration in the United States and to remove the illegals, they have to go back. Very, very clear. The symbolism of that is strong and there is tremendous support for it, 63 million people voted for it. Well, in all of that, did Donald Trump specifically say I am going to do away with DACA? No, he didn’t say that. The reason he didn’t say that is because he’s focused on the big picture, he’s focused on what he wants and he’s not going to make a promise that he can’t fulfill if there’s something on the table. Now, why would he not make that promise about DACA? Because DACA is a pretty obvious candidate for an immediate result of voiding that program and sending all of its beneficiaries home, because there’s 800,000 of them, give or take a few, why not focus on that one thing? Because it might potentially be an easy game. I think a lot of the people, Trump supporters who are getting upset about the maneuvering going on around DACA, the exact reason they’re getting upset is because in their minds, they’ve immediately jumped to that as a way to get an easy win.