Why This Immigration Psychodrama Will Also Pass

By | 2018-06-25T23:57:04+00:00 June 25th, 2018|
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Why is this man smiling?

A month from now there will be a new manufactured news story that Donald Trump is savage, represents an existential danger, or is unhinged. We will hear of another Trump official cornered and driven out from a liberal-owned Beltway or New York City restaurant. An unhinged Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) will rant some more about impeachment.

And then the current hysteria over the border detainments will be filed, and go the way of the “s—hole countries” frenzy or Melania’s jacket melodrama.

We’ve already been through the dizzying odyssey of legal suits in three states over supposedly fraudulent voting machines, the nullification of the Electoral College effort, the meltdown on Inauguration Day, the Emoluments Clause tizzy, the 25th Amendment con, the various Russian collusion hysterias, the leaked phone call to the Australian prime minister, the Michael Wolff Fire and Furyfantasies, the Dudley Do-Right James Comey pre-indictment book tour, and all the surreal assassination chic stories, from Kathy Griffin’s beheading photo to the Shakespearean troupe’s ritual stabbing of Trump.

One day the president is supposedly going to blow up the world by calling Kim Jong-un “little rocket man,” and the next he is a partner in genocide for not blowing up the world but reaching out to Kim.

One moment Trump will tank the economy and wreck the stock market, the next the undeniable Trump boom is not really his own but Obama’s. Give the media credit: it found a way to explain why 3.8 official unemployment and greater than 3 percent GDP growth is a bad thing (it will heat up the planet, lead to a crash, mask Trump’s crudity and make impossible impeachment, etc.)

Almost every Hollywood grandee has after 500 days weighed in on Trump to showcase his unique talents—the periodic “F–k Trump” rants from Robert De Niro, the Jim Carrey paint-by-numbers kindergarten drawings, the doped-up Johnny Depp hope of a John Wilkes Booth redux, or the Madonna foul-mouthed dream of an exploded White House. We cannot get much creepier than Stephen Colbert’s reference to “Putin’s c—holster” or Peter Fonda’s call for Baron Trump to be caged with pedophiles. The ossified Democratic grandees have had their say, from Joe Biden’s adolescent threat to beat up Trump and Eric Holder’s inane talk about a knife fight to Senator Kamala Harris’s “joke” about exiting an elevator alive, leaving a dead Trump behind in it.

NeverTrumpers have called for the GOP to lose the midterms, have castigated an “oily” Mike Pence, have called for the deportation of “contemptible Republican cowards” and the welcoming of illegal aliens in their place, and have suggested crazy theories about why Melania Trump was out of the public eye for weeks. Nothing they say on MSNBC or CNN shocks anymore.

Over the Top . . . and Beyond
So last week’s Holocaust/Japanese Internment hysteria narrative at the border will soon fade, too.

In particular, the charge that the border holding areas are akin to Nazi extermination camps does not resonate well with the public, even as Trump polls on illegal immigration better than do his critics.

Second, the fake news epidemic has discredited much of the attack on Trump, the supposedly cruel-hearted nativist restrictionist—from the “fake but accurate” Time magazine cover to using Obama-era photos of “cages” to impugn ongoing Trump policies. What is going on in the United States is akin to the popular pushback in Italy and Germany to the insanity of elites opening up borders, virtue signaling, smearing their critics, and then ensuring themselves the influence, power, and money to navigate around the consequences of their own policies.

Third, once Trump recalibrated the policy to allow illegal alien parents to stay with their kids as they pursue their mostly falsely constructed amnesty pleas, progressives have fallen back to the essentially nihilistic position that no one should be detained. That is tantamount to a call for the destruction of the border itself and an end to national sovereignty. The call to abolish ICE, and to expose their agents to harm, is not a winning issue. If Trump was still winning a majority of support in clumsily following the law, the Democrats will not win majority support by smugly breaking it.

Fourth, the tactic of storming restaurants to shout down and expel government officials in their off-hours, and the media screaming and crying on the air is rich fuel for a Trump reelection, not repudiation. Once Black Lives Matter started pouring into restaurants, or immigration activists shut down freeways, or a few of the #MeToo accusers went back 30 years to redefine as rape an unwise, unpleasant, and creepy act of coitus with current repugnant Hollywood and journalistic grandees, the public began to become confused over means and ends.

In general, nothing hurts a cause more than going full French Revolution.

Fifth, Mexico is certainly not a sympathetic player. The likely upcoming election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador will crystalize the absurdity of a supposedly aggrieved Mexico, as the beneficiary of a $71 billion trade surplus with the United States (such imbalances were not supposed to happen according to the architects of NAFTA 34 years ago).

Americans are not in sympathy with the $30 billion in remittances sent home to Mexico by its expatriate community in the United States, knowing many of them are beneficiaries of America’s generous local, state, and federal social welfare aid that frees up such cash. Americans do not like the idea of a would-be foreign leader boasting that the United States has no rights of sovereignty inside its own country. In the midst of a contrived transit of Central Americans across Mexico to the U.S. border, Obrador is calling for more Mexican citizens to crash into the U.S. For a country, a people, and a leader who feign to dislike their neighbor to the north, they certainly do not seem to be able to live without it.

Sixth, too often an old photo of the same detention centers used in the same way, or a quote from President Obama (“Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back.”) or Hillary Clinton (“We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”) pops up that makes even the best efforts at mock outrage pretty much just mock.

Distractions from the Coming Storm?
Finally, there are some bombshell stories coming up on abuses of the Obama Justice Department and FBI relating to the fraudulent information used to obtain FISA warrants, the planting of FBI informants in the Trump campaign, the unmasking and leaking of names of surveilled Americans by the Obama national security apparat, and likely indictments of some former FBI officials for their illegal behavior relating to the Clinton email scandal.

Various hearings, lawsuits, and IG reports likely will confirm the Obama Administration “knew” Hillary was going to win the 2016 presidential election and therefore did not worry much about breaking the law to ensure she did. In other words, the Obama Administration systematically used the agencies of the federal government to interfere with a U.S. election campaign in order to help the candidate of its own party win. That fact marks one of the most sordid political scandals in U.S. history and explains both why these anti-Trump hysterias will continue to be contrived to deflect attention from Obama’s own culpability in such government-wide abuse, and yet why eventually the sheer magnitude of such wrongdoing will overshadow all of these melodramas.

Glossing over the attempting to destroy a free and open election will force the Left into a position of supporting the idea of government surveilling U.S. citizens, planting spies into the campaigns of political opponents, peddling opposition research dirt to federal courts to deceive them into granting warrants to spy on U.S. citizens, and weaponizing federal bureaucracies to pursue political enemies. Even fake news cannot make John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Peter Strzok into sympathetic Time magazine cover victims of Trump.

Progressives do not praise anymore, as they did a year ago, Robert Mueller’s “All-Stars” or “Dream Team” of Ivy League whiz kids who were supposed to draw and quarter the uncouth Trump in a matter of weeks. Now some of the dream teamers have left under a cloud of bias, and more may soon follow. Mueller himself has gone from the dreaded Inspector Javert to the comical Inspector Clouseau. According to his absurd mandate, Mueller was asked to investigate a crime that did not exist, while ignoring plenty of crimes that most certainly did.

The American people know that there was not a Holocaust on their border and that their often slandered border patrol officers are not the Waffen SS, that Mexico does not act like a particularly friendly power, that illegal aliens will do almost anything to enter a country illegally, which, otherwise, many do not seem especially fond of once they make it in, and that the progressive movement must somehow abort Donald Trump’s presidency before a booming economy and a more secure world abroad make that impossible.

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Photo credit: Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images

About the Author:

Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He was a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars – How the First Global Conflict was Fought and Won (Basic Books).