The recent overreaction to what Donald Trump said about illegal immigration is a good illustration of what is wrong with our society as a whole and our political discourse in particular. We’ve lost the ability to use reason to make an argument.
Now the focus is no longer on what was said, but whether our progressive elite deems it as offensive.
What Trump Said
In Trump’s presidential candidacy announcement he said the following:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Trump also said that if he were elected he would build a wall across the US-Mexico border, and that he would make Mexico pay for the building of it.
Illegal immigration was not the only topic Trump addressed. He also talked about making better trade deals and bringing more manufacturing back to the United States. He talked about the need for the United States to actually start winning wars again, and about defeating Islamic terrorism.
But the press, fellow republicans, and the democrats ignored all of these other points. They were totally fixated on Trump’s transgression: he violated the Social Justice Warrior (SJW) rules of what can and cannot be said. He had the balls to say aloud what a lot of people are thinking in private.
The Social Justice Warrior Reaction
The SJW response to Trump’s comments was swift and unprecedented. The difference from the usual SJW faux rage was that it was not limited to social media. This time large companies and city governments have mobilized to punish Trump for speaking his mind even if it means exposing themselves to breach of contract lawsuits.
The first strike was the Spanish cable channel Univision’s refusal to broadcast the Miss USA contest, which is owned by Trump. In doing this, Univision showed no concern about dashing the hopes of the young women, several of whom are Latinas. Trump responded by slapping Univision with a $500 million breach of contract lawsuit. He also found a new home for the contest on the Reelz channel.
Shortly after the Univision incident, NBC announced that it was “firing” Trump from Celebrity Apprentice. The announcement was more of public relations gesture than a true firing because Trump had already given the network notice that he was no longer able to participate in the series because of his commitment to run for president.
The next move was by the department store Macy’s, which decided to stop selling its line of Donald Trump ties. According to Trump, the line only generated token revenue for him, but the meaning of the gesture was clear.
It gets worse for Trump. Both Washington D.C. and New York City announced that they were reviewing their contracts with Trump’s companies to see if they could punish Trump for his politically incorrect statements.
The Republican Reaction
Most of the other republican candidates have treated the Trump campaign as a joke, even though he quickly surpassed all of them in the polls. When asked about Trump, Jeb Bush simply chuckled as though Trump’s comments were so outrageous that they didn’t even bear being acknowledged.
The only GOP candidates that have admitted that Trump may have a point are Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina who said that Trump, “taps into an anger that I hear every day. People are angry that a common-sense thing like securing the border or ending sanctuary cities is somehow considered extreme. It’s not extreme, it’s common sense.”
Why this is a problem
What’s missing in all of this is any rebuttal of what Trump actually said. No one has come forward to argue that illegal immigrants commit crime at the same rate as middle class American citizens. Instead all the rage is aimed at silencing Trump without answering his objection.
I suspect that the reason that no one is making the argument is that there might be some truth to what Trump said.
The problem with not permitting free discussion on uncomfortable topics is that we will be forced to accept the SJW position on all issues without dissent. But the very reason that the founders of the United States placed such a high value on free speech was so that all ideas could be widely circulated and freely debated.
SJWs have foisted a tyranny of feelings upon the American people. If someone can say they are hurt “because feelz,” no further debate on a topic is permitted.
It simply isn’t possible to govern a large, highly diverse, multicultural nation without offending some group at some time. I am sure that Japanese Americans were offended by how the Japanese were portrayed during World War II. I have a Muslim friend who is offended by the fact that Christian Americans associate terrorism with Islam. I also know Serbians who were very offended by the US bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War in 1995.
It is the same with the US-Mexican border. If the US starts enforcing border controls again, certain people will feel hurt, but if it keeps the border wide open other people will suffer. Why are Americans forbidden from discussing this issue?
I was a fan of Trump long before he announced his presidential campaign. For me, his alpha male swagger captures the American spirit of the past. A time when Americans felt bold, dreamed of great accomplishments, and didn’t have to walk around with their tails tucked between their legs for fear of triggering someone.
I can see how what Trump said could be offensive to Americans of Mexican descent, especially if they have relatives who have moved to the US illegally. There are several good reasons for restricting illegal immigration that do not involve implying that many immigrants are criminals, but they are more difficult to explain.
By focusing on a visceral issue such as crime, Trump made an effective appeal directly to voters’ emotions. It strikes me as being an astute political strategy and Trump’s poll numbers confirm that it was.
Trump’s candidacy also brings out an uncomfortable fact—there is really little difference between the republican and democratic parties. The fighting between them is simply elaborate kabuki theatre to keep the proles busy arguing amongst themselves. As soon as you get a person who freely speaks his mind, both parties attack him.
Ultimately, as The Black Swan author Nassim Taleb points out, Donald Trump reminds us what it is like to be a free man. Not too long ago, any man in the US would have been able to say what Trump said without fear of retribution. Those days are gone. It leads me to ask, are we really free anymore?
By the way, I disagree with Taleb on Trump’s intelligence. Morons rarely amass a nine billion dollar fortune.
Before he was banned from Twitter by SJWs, blogger Heartiste tweeted that if you don’t know who to vote for, vote for the guy with the hottest wife because, despite his flaws, he is doing something right. I concur.
As I write this, both the progressive left and the republicans have stepped up their efforts to push Trump out of the race. Every mainstream “conservative” commentator I have read thinks that Trump candidacy is over. I hope “The Donald” proves them wrong.
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