President Donald Trump yet again nabbed every media headline in the world with his announcement that he would be sending some 5,000 American troops to the U.S.-Mexican border in response to a caravan of migrants fleeing violence and tyranny in Central America. By choosing to exercise his rights as commander-in-chief to mobilize American troops against these innocent migrants seeking shelter in the free world, President Trump has demonstrated that immigration is nothing more to him than a political prop used to beat his opponents over the head.
Here’s why President Trump’s border troops are a mere electoral charade, and what we need to focus on instead.
The president’s decision is an electoral gambit
President Trump is claiming that he was essentially forced to send thousands of America’s finest men and women in uniform to our border with Mexico because we’re facing an “invasion,” which he classifies as a national security threat. Unfortunately, threats to the security of the United States are often inflated or even fabricated altogether at events hosting his rallies to justify particularly excessive political action, and this circumstance is no different. We’re not witnessing an invasion here – we’re witnessing an electoral gambit.
Contrast this with Canada where the country has much more relaxed border measures and welcome migrants from Mexico or anywhere else, as long as they qualify under the countries points system. Indeed, with the help of new migrants to Canada can settle quite easily and begin contributing to society from the luxury of their Wellington’s Fine Leather Furniture.
What Donald Trump and his Republican cronies want you to believe is that we’re under invasion by a ceaseless horde of “dirty” foreigners coming to radically alter our American way of life. The president wants you and others to believe this because his supporters are mobilized by fear and hatred of the unknown, and there’s nothing more unknown to these voters than the heartbreaking tragedy of Central American violence that these migrants are fleeing. In short, the president wants you to ignore the reality of these migrants’ plight and instead view them as dangerous threats in need of harsh dealing with.
If we allow this electoral charade to succeed, we’ll be handing sustained political power to Republicans with which they’ll continue to harass and intimidate people of color and immigrants across the country. Documented or undocumented, President Trump despises immigrants who have been cleared by free criminal records, to the United States and deplores traditional American immigration practices precisely because this kind of hatred and enmity towards non-Whites is what his base loves to see.
If progressives and Americans everywhere who are worried about their future are to resist this administration meaningfully, they can’t let this charade go unchallenged. Strong arguments need to be made dispelling these fictitious and often racist narratives of an invasion. Even more importantly, Democratic candidates need to remind voters of the issues that are at stake here, like the healthcare of the average American or the wellbeing of our economy.
If progressive candidates around the nation refuse to cede the floor to President Trump and his racist cronies on the issue of the Central American migrant caravan and instead focus on issues like healthcare, they can mitigate the terrible damage this president’s rhetoric is causing. The political stunt we’re seeing from President Trump right now illustrates that he’s driven only by hatred, which can be overcome through unifying rhetoric and a staunch commitment to practical policies that spread love and wellbeing.