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Why Does Clint Eastwood Love Trump
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
September 7, 2016 ~ Lisa Lindo
Dog Whistling in the Dark
Since day one Donald J. Trump has centered his bid for President around Making America Great Again - or what he has been calling MAGA. Trump's number one plan to do that is to remove the immigrant problem from our cities. Not all immigrants, sure, not the good ones. But the bad ones and the ugly ones, they're outta here.
Using that language has helped Donald rise to the top of the GOP ladder and those who agree with him have aided and abetted in his ascension to the throne. We like to refer to Trump's surrogates and handlers as dog whistlers, because they pepper all of their on-air comments with racist and xenophobic overtones meant to attract the scent of the more bigoted wildings among us. In an effort to deflect questions about Trump's past and present behavior, the dog whistlers mix in half truths and urban myths at every opportunity as if they are actual factoids.
They Gotta Go
Immigration is a buzz word of the Right. The mere use of it strikes fear and emblazons bellicose behavior. When Trump blames immigrants and refugees for all the world's ills it is kerosene thrown on the dripping wet rag of racism, and Trump uses it hamhandedly - throwing a match over his shoulder as he flies off on his personal plane to his next hate rally destination.
Like everything else he's injects into mainstream conversations throughout his scampaign, there is a little truth worth discussing behind all the bigotry and fear mongering. We do need immigration reform in this country. Desperately. There has been bill after bill proposed, but every single one has been blocked by Congress for well over a decade. Simply "getting tough" is not any sort of implementable action plan, and deporting 16 million people at once won't do our country any good at all either.
Although it is undeniable that we do have people who live in this country without having legal citizenship, that makes them undocumented, not illegal, so even the language Trump uses in approaching the issue is otherizing and dangerous. We need more green cards and work visas to be processed in a timely mannor and to do that we need more courts and judges. Trump never talks about needing more courts or judges or upgrades in technology. We need to get better at processing, vetting for the 21st Century, and all that that entails. That's really what we need.
He Didn't Start the Fire
We can't only blame Trump for all of this as anti-immigrant rhetoric has been a popular GOP theme for some time. Trump just chose to establish his power position by peddling fictitious information about the very people we are speaking of vetting. Trump decided to paint all Mexicans and Muslims and refugees as the bad guys, and in so doing has created an atmosphere of hate and distrust making the whole assimilation process more difficult. In his path to greater world domination he is purposefully climbing on the backs of immigrants, and in so doing pushes that community farther apart from law enforcement's reach - a base security officials count on to help weed out the really bad guys, recruited ISIS loyalists.
We need these people to love America. We need them to care about our future. The way Trump has gone about blaming them for absolutely everything from the economy to ebola, we just can't imagine how he expects to be their President as well.
First let's dispel with the myths that he and his team spin on the issue.
1. Are refugees dangerous?
No, the chance of a refugee actually being a dangerous terrorist is one in over 3 billion.
Not All Immigrants & Refugees Are Terrorists
2. Do Immigrants Cost Us More Than They Pay Into the System?
No. In fact, without our immigrant population Social Security would already be insolvent. American immigrants, who pay in but can't benefit themselves, have helped keep the system alive.
Illegal Immigrants Do Pay Taxes
Follow the Money
Trump's speeches usually go something like this: “illegal immigrant households receive far more in welfare benefits than real Americans, they're smarter than us, they're killing us, they don't pay in, they just take and take and take." That assertion was so off-base it has even been disputed by the conservative Cato Institute, which actually found that undocumented people are less likely to use welfare benefits than citizens—both in terms of frequency and dollar amount. In reality, undocumented immigrants actually do not qualify for food stamps or Medicaid or most other public benefits, while at the same time paying an estimated $13 billion in payroll taxes a year to fund public benefits they’ll never be able to receive.
3. Are Immigrants Streaming Over the Border Like Rats?
No. Actually, over the last 10 years, travel from Mexico into the United States versus travel from the United States into Mexico has been equal. If anything, more Mexicans have moved back to Mexico than have moved into the United States in that same time period.
Some Truth about Who's Crossing the Border
4. But immigrants all work under the table so they pay no income tax, right?
No. Of the undocumented immigrants in the United States with no legal status to be here, more than half of them still have income taxes deducted from their paychecks.
Now we know there's this stereotypical idea that undocumented immigrants are all paid for their work 'off the books' — that workers are quietly paid low wages in cash in exchange for not exposing their legal status. But a number of studies estimate that at least half of undocumented immigrants pay income taxes out of paychecks they receive. In the real world, both income tax and payroll tax are withheld from the salaries of more than half of these undocumented workers and have become a source of government revenue. When you look at a ledger with those entries, the United States actually sees a net gain in the tangible financial contributions of our less papered friends and neighbors.
The Truth about Social Security
A report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that undocumented immigrants contribute to local and state government revenue in three main ways: sales taxes, property taxes and income taxes. The most obvious way is sales and excise taxes, which are collected any time someone purchases goods and services. Every time undocumented immigrants spend money on items like clothing or toilet paper or gas, a portion of that's going into local and state government coffers. Unauthorized immigrants also contribute property taxes, either directly if they own a home, or indirectly through their rent checks which are padded to cover those taxes.
Trump's Not The First One to Use Immigrants as Scapegoats to Rise to Power
There is no real existing ideology that encompasses all the incoherent and ever-shifting views of Trump. Donald has never developed a real ideological platform and has been inconsistent on core issues – from pro-choice to anti-abortion, from pro-universal health care to anti-Obamacare, and the list goes on. However, he does seem rather consistent about this immigrant thing, building a wall, keeping out muslims, and blaming most of our problems on the existence of 'others' in our midst. Trump's current popularity seems to be based on a combination of features that has also defined Europe’s contemporary populist radical right: nativism, authoritarianism, and populism.
Using immigrants as an excuse for the world's woes is nothing new, and Trump is not the first one to use the tactic. The recent U.K. decision to leave the European Union - also known as BREXIT - was largely based on an anti-immigrant movement that swept the country depositing a far right Nationalistic candidate in the office of Prime Minister in its wake. Just like politicians like Geert Wilders in the Netherlands – whose main campaign poster reads: “More Security. Less Immigration” – Trump links immigration and crime in his speeches. He just plays on widespread beliefs that illegal immigration is causing an increase in serious crime, even though there are no facts to support that, and his supporters eat it up, feeling validated for the existence of their unfounded fears. Finally, someone is saying out loud what they've been thinking all along.
We can ignore the fact that Trump has repeatedly retweeted some racist misinformation from Neo-Nazi tweeters with white supremacist twitter accounts and just call it a sloppy latenight guffaw. We can dismiss Trump's refusal to denounce David Duke's support, and his pretense of not knowing what white supremacy means as just a man hiding his latent prejudices. We could do that. What we find harder to do, what we cannot do, is forget the account of Trump's first wife who shared that Trump slept with Hitler's speeches on his side table and read from the Hitler collection titled My New Order frequently as a method to get to sleep.
As a 1990 Vanity Fair profile on Donald Trump reported, "Ivana Trump said that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist." From the interview:
“Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.
Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”
“I don’t remember,” I said.
“Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)
Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”
GQ magazine has noted, "now, maybe you read this differently than I do, but from where I'm sitting that's a guy who totally has those Hitler speeches and has definitely read them. You'd be hard pressed to find a quote in any article about anything that is a more obvious lie than “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.” Remember that this is the guy who may very well be sworn in as the leader of the Free World next January.
Weekly Standard says, "Of all the crazy revelations about Donald Trump, arguably the one that seems most alarming, is that he has a fondness for reading Hitler speeches. Now the charge was made by his first wife Ivana relating to his divorce proceedings, but when asked about it, Trump's denial was less than reassuring."
After looking up some of the readily available facts on the true problems with immigration in the United States, and the reality of the tax dollars we would lose in the wake of an 11 million person exodus from our soil, it might be worth taking a look at the man saying it, instead of taking his rhetoric for anything other than the repeated ravings dead dictators.
Let's Compare Our Candidate's Positions on Immigration Reform Side by Side
Trump's Speech on Immigration from August 31, 2016
Hillary Clinton Speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus September 15, 2016