At this point, does anyone actually believe that Donald Trump cares about the fate of Kurds who he betrayed in Syria? If Trump did not hesitate to order measures that have separated families at our own border, or imprison refugees in inhumane conditions, or consider shooting them in the legs to stop them from attempting to cross the border, why the hell would Trump care about Kurds thousands of miles away? Trump doesn’t even know the history of the United States, what could he know about the Kurds and the fact that they have been U.S. allies?
Since the inquiry into a potential impeachment began, it was expected that Trump would start erecting smoke curtains to distract attention. International conflicts have always served this function for more than one leader, although in this case everyone is scratching their heads wondering exactly why Trump ceded to all of the demands of his autocrat buddy Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President, and ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria aided by Syrian Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State, ISIS. Since Trump’s announcement, Turkey initiated an offensive displacing the Kurds, and already persecutions and executions of even Kurdish civilians have been reported.
Trump is an expert at mixing public policy decisions with his political future. He showed this when he apparently conditioned foreign aid to Ukraine on the exchange of a “favor” from the president of this nation, to assist in muddying up a potential Democratic challenger in 2020, Joe Biden. This act provoked the impeachment inquiry. In the past, and without a doubt in the near future, Trump has seized and will seize upon immigrants in order to win the support of his blind base if he thinks his political future is in jeopardy. He did it in 2016, he did it in the 2018 midterms when he declared the migrant caravans were invading the United States, although the trick didn’t function as anticipated, since the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives.
However, his assault on the immigrant community and minorities goes hand in hand with his political future, in such a way that Trump will not stop his attacks even if his draconian measures are stopped in the courts. Whether we’re talking about migrants at our borders or in the interior of our country, or the Kurds in Syria, Trump’s level of cruelty will continue to rise as the fence closes in.
Upon reading, listening to, and watching the media coverage, the common denominator is the same as always: analysts and politicians still in a state of “shock” after three years of the Trump presidency, declaring that he is not presidential; that we have never before experienced something like this; that he has trampled on “U.S. values”; that he is an affront to good manners; that he is undermining laws and our very democracy. Others, poor things, still hope that Trump will show a bit of decency and conscience, and “apologize” for his most recent barbarity or “condemn” the barbarities that others commit in his name. And there are others who question his mental state.
Despite all the Democratic attempts to investigate Trump and potentially initiate a process of impeachment, I do not have the least bit of confidence that the Republican Senate will prosecute him, much less convict him. Something really big has to happen that makes them, like for example that he suffers a public meltdown and has to be carted off in a straitjacket at one of his rallies.
On the contrary, the only opportunity is avoiding his reelection in 2020. To do this requires a voter registration and mobilization campaign like never before. Here the responsibility is shared. The voters that complain so much about Trump have a vital role to play: vote; and the Democratic Party, while it works through the impeachment process, also has to invest like never before in registering and above all mobilizing the sectors they always look to at the last minute, including Hispanics, and where they do not invest as they should.
At the Democratic Party convention in Florida this past weekend, the Democratic Congressperson from that state, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, said the following to the press: “The Latino community cannot afford another four more years of Trump’s attacks against our families or his hateful and racist policies toward our communities.”
If the possibility of another four years of Trump is not incentive enough to mobilize voters, I don’t know what would be. And if Trump wins, this alone merits a profound analysis of the state of U.S. society, because as the saying goes: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.