The evil immigrant! This is a trope that unfortunately has been used for years. Why is it working now, when in fact the truth is that many of those arriving have a right to seek asylum, unauthorized migration is near historic lows, border communities have among the lowest crime rates and there are CERTAINLY no “middle easterners “ (aka terrorists) in the caravan. In addition, unauthorized migrants commit crime at a lower rate than lawful residents and United States citizens.
So what can be done? Surely when presented with the facts folks will see the truth? Unfortunately our current political climate is detached from the truth. There is a daily onslaught of lies from our president along with his attacks on the media’s effort to correct his untruths. We can’t reason folks out of beliefs that they were not reasoned into. As Jennifer Rubin wrote in the Washington Post, “…logic and facts are no match for irrational resentment.”
Kesha Ram, a class mate of Stephen Miller (Trumps immigration adviser) at SAMO High School in Los Angeles, has sage advice. “If we write everyone off who is part of the alt-right as a sociopath, then we’ll probably miss something really critical in our effort to stop it.” This is the way out of our bubble. These folks exist in numbers and must be taken seriously despite our anger and frustration with their perceived ignorance.
Jennifer Rubin goes on to say, “One can understand why logic and facts are no match for irrational resentment. Trump captured, stirred and magnified the animosity these voters feel about their laundry list of villains (immigrants, elites, urbanites, the media or any other sources of information that undercut their irrational views, etc.) As a political matter, it is hard to figure out how to wean people from the grip of an irrational sense of persecution and racial resentment. They are unmoved by data showing that immigrants are not harming them.”
These folks conflate our countries values – freedom, individual rights and democracy – with the white race and Christianity. Our values are available to people of all races and religion. Until the folks who are under the spell of resentment and rage come to their senses what can be done? VOTE. Outvote Trump’s hyper-powerful base, thanks to the Electoral College and the senate’s imbalance, out of office. There’s a lot at stake.