We’ve already been over this, so I will not belabor anyone with statistics, but there really isn’t a giant immigration problem in this country. It is a smokescreen; always has been and always will be. This kind of ridiculous shit has been going on since the mid-19th century — hell, even before that, and this isn’t to say that the current immigration laws and policies of previous administrations and congresses should not be rationally discussed and debated and even overhauled. They should, but it is certainly not an issue that results in the shut-down of the federal government or ratcheting up this insane level of rhetoric to the degrees in which the current house, Senate and our president is trying to sell.
Not to say that the looming idea of illegal immigrants, or more to the point, foreigners, did not ignite the Donald Trump candidacy. It did. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an ignorant, ill-informed, easily-duped, frightened jingoist in this country. We were built and founded by them. They vote. And they exist in crazy numbers for 2018, even 1918, but that is not where we’re at today.
Trump was elected because of trade. Period. He won by a total of around 77,000 votes throughout the Rust Belt to tilt the Electoral College in his favor. This was discussed here as a measure of dissection after the election by myself and my former colleague here at the Aquarian Weekly, Bill Roberts, whom I bequeathed half of my space to for his prescience in seeing the Trump Train as a real possibility for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., which I, and most anyone who pays attention to such things, thought was pure madness in the fall of 2016. The outcry against American jobs going abroad in the industrial portion of this country is what turned the election, the off-shoot of the jingoistic fervor mentioned at the top.
Further evidence of this is the post-election polls that showed that had Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent and admitted socialist, won the Democratic primaries fair and square, which apparently was not available to him, he would have had a better shot at beating a painfully flawed idiot, whose only appeal was that he was not Hillary Clinton, who openly favored trade (including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership) and whose last name is associated with NAFTA, considered by those who abhor such things and consider it an attack on the American worker. Later, Clinton tried to sell some nonsense about not being for trade, but no one bought it, like no one bought nearly everything else she said.
The infamous, “We’re going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it,” stupidity, which only the spectacularly dumb believed, was a symbol for the Rust Belt, since none of their disappearing factory jobs were ever taken by Mexicans or even the Chinese that Trump was obsessed with but seems not to possess the balls to even address after a year in office. Those jobs weren’t predominantly the victim of trade either. Those were mostly replaced by progress and technology, which, if you think about it, created them in the first place — another subject covered extensively in this space for two decades and backed by mounds of statistical evidence.
The latest hubbub on immigration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Trump’s $70 million wall that you and I are paying for, and the last time I checked I am not a citizen of Mexico, the politically-motivated shutdown of the government on Jan. 20, and the half-assed “continuing resolution” slapped together to save face for this mess is all frankly bullshit. The greatest bull-shitters in this, beside Trump, who never disappoints in this arena, as he first talked about “bill of love” and supporting DACA, and then flipped when the sociopath whisperer, Stephen Miller told him to, are the Democrats.
Minority leader, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, way overplayed his hand when he tried to piggyback his cause in the wake of yet another in a long series of racist lunacy blurted out by our game show president during a bi-partisan meeting earlier this month. The public outcry against calling African nations “shitholes” and preferring white nations’ immigrants was horrifying for a president to utter, but it is not political capital. Polls clearly showed Americans are now fully convinced Trump is a racist and that DACA kids should be supported, but an overwhelming number did not want this to be an issue large enough to close down operations.
Now, to the smokescreen portion of this frolic.
Since taking office, the purported populist president has been touting the soaring stock market, which is certainly undeniable but has been rising exponentially since 2009, and the lowering of the unemployment rate, although it is dipping at the same rate — as is job-growth — that it has for the past six years. The one thing you do not hear, and why Republicans are glad for suckers like Chuck Schumer, is that a record number of jobs were outsourced to other countries in 2017.
Considering what was discussed days after the election of the anti-trade, bring-jobs-back populist Trump, more than 93,000 jobs have been certified by the Department of Labor as lost to outsourcing or trade competition, slightly higher than the average of about 87,000 in the preceding five years under the former president. You remember that guy, who was so weak a stupid he couldn’t stop it, but this guy was going to fix all that.
Far more egregious is in the same study from this past December, federal contractors, a segment of employment a president can directly halt with no major legislation or grandstanding, made up ten-percent of that number. That is up from the previous average of four-percent. General Motors, Boeing and United Technologies (which owns Carrier that Trump crowed was keeping jobs after the election, but moved hundreds more overseas by Christmas) have basically told Donald Trump to go fuck himself, and moved their workers out of the country at a record pace.
Worse still, the huge tax overhaul that gave cover to corporations last month actually makes it easier for companies to outsource jobs. According to Quartz, an international media concern that mostly covers foreign trade; “One consequence of the law will be making it easier for companies to shift jobs overseas. The bill would stop taxation on U.S. companies’ routine foreign earnings, but experts say it is has not put in sufficient guardrails to prevent jobs from moving overseas.”
So, when Democrats try and use DACA to make a stand on their weak opposition to “standing up to Trump” and Republicans try and act like they have any interest in anything to do with why their president was elected, and Trump continues to mock the concept of reality in telling you the sky is green when you know better; that, my friends, is a smokescreen.
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey,” “Fear No Art,” “Trailing Jesus,” “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y.” “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”
And coming in June 2018; “Accidently Like a Martyr – The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”