I saw a post on Facebook today – and yes, I know I spend too damn much time there – where someone is holding a sign that says: Without immigrants, Trump would have no wives. Cute but hardly relevant to the current debate. It was the comment below that riled me up. It essentially said Trump has no problems with immigrants but with illegal aliens, which the commentator then compared to the difference between invited guests and people who break and enter.
That seems reasonable, right?
One should never confuse a grammatical sentence using a well-constructed metaphor for reason.
To say that Trump has no problem with immigrants is to ignore everything he has said about Muslims. Of course, he doesn’t just fear immigrant Muslims, he fears American-born Muslims, too. And I use the word ‘fear’ rather than ‘hate’ because I’ve finally concluded that, above all else, Donny Trump is a coward, right down to his lily-liver, his rubber spine and the stains in his underwear.
I put that out there so you know where I stand. But if you want to know where all that anger comes from, you know who to blame — and it’s not Obama. But I digress.
If you notice the shift from legal immigrant to illegal alien, you might not be surprised to know that it is a deliberate semantic distinction. When you call someone an ‘alien,’ you are, especially in the 21st Century, implying that they aren’t human – and therefore don’t have to be treated as such. Moreover, you are implying that, like all invading aliens, they are DANGEROUS. See, there’s that fear again.
And then there is that metaphor. Immigrant equals invited guest. Except that the United States (and Canada) let people buy their way into the country. Pony up enough investment dollars and the door swings wide. From now on, the next time I throw a party, I’m going to give preferential access to people who buy a ticket.
Then there is the other side of metaphor. Illegal aliens are all criminals. Well, in a sense they are since they broke immigration law to come to the country. One estimate says that 11 million did that. But so what? Somewhere between 30 and 45 million Americans deliberately evade their taxes – which is also against the law.
And studies have shown that other criminal behavior is no more likely among illegal immigrants than among legal ones or for that matter among natural-born Americans. In fact some show quite the opposite.
And what constitutes an invitation anyway? Maybe a job offer? Don’t want to think about Mexicans? Then take a typical Maritimer in Canada. There is a shortage of decent jobs in eastern Canada. Meanwhile, in Toronto (back in the 60s and 70s) and in Alberta and Saskatchewan more recently (well until a year ago) are begging for workers. Maritime lads move there for the work and the locals accuse them of stealing their jobs – jobs they themselves won’t take because they are dirty or don’t pay as well. Oh, yeah, and they call them lazy, too.
Like Tea Party radicals who simultaneously accuse Mexicans of being lazy and stealing their jobs. Pick one. Because really, if Trump (or Cruz) throws out all the Mexicans (and, by the way, he won’t), who will clean his pool, look after his kids, build his hotels or cook the meals in them? The Bundys? Yeah, right.
And that’s ten minutes.