|Nurse in Distress, by Gordon H. Coster (Metropolitan Museum of Art)|
Let’s say I want to convince you that most dogs are German shepherds. So I buy a pair and parade them around the block, and pepper my conversation with tales of police K-9 units and Rin Tin Tin.
Does it work? Or at some point do you reflect back to your own experience and think, “Gosh, you know, most dogs actually aren’t German shepherds. Most dogs are other breeds.”
It’s an important question, because the logic above, so easily seen as flawed — well, easy for some; others just don’t get it — is what elected Donald Trump president. He tarred Mexicans as rapists and criminals with his first words as a candidate, and rode the deep fears and hidden hatreds — and not-so-hidden-hatreds — of half the country right into the White House.
This cracked reasoning permeated his first State of the Union speech Tuesday. Lauded for lacking the malice and pettiness of his endless tweets, it was also a thinly-disguised appeal to racial hate. Frankly, I prefer when he’s candid.
Trump spotlit the weeping parents of youngsters murdered by immigrant gangs. Exhibit A and the last word in his argument to slam the door on immigration so we can all live in the white country club country where Trump and his ilk feel most comfortable.
He mentioned the word “safe” or “safety” 11 times, four attempting to justify barring immigrants.
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