America's Voice En Español »

America's Voice

 

Intolerance roams free in the era of Trump

 

By Maribel Hastings and David Torres

In this era in which nothing matters, the same seems to be true for President Donald Trump’s principal advisor on immigration issues, Stephen Miller, even though his ties to white nationalist groups only confirm the racial motivations behind his list of discriminatory and even illegal proposals on immigration.

Yet he continues there, with a sinister look and smile, dictating guidelines that affect thousands of human beings who do not matter to him at all, transgressing the most elemental human rights in order to see his xenophobic agenda fulfilled, as if nothing were wrong, as if this were all OK for the simple fact that he is part of the power structure.

And these excesses, which history has already shown how they ended up in other times by crushing human dignity above all, also seemed to be reinforced by followers and commentators-—even in Spanish— that, just listening to them, one would hope that the law also in some moment would hold them accountable as accomplices of an obvious barbarism, when all of this had been finally reviewed by the highest standards of justice, both national and international.

But judging by the times in which we live, nothing seems to have any importance, the rules have no value, and apparently the Constitution is out of style. “Today it turns out that being decent or being a traitor is the same,” the famous tango from Discépolo repeats and repeats, whose lyrics accommodate to perfection the new “Trumpian” model of exercising politics in the 21st century.

If the reader has followed the hearings about the potential impeachment trial of President Trump for abuse of power and authority after requiring a foreign nation, Ukraine, to investigate his political rival, Biden, or see U.S. military aid to this nation frozen, you will have heard various reasons about why the shameful conduct of Trump does not merit his impeachment or why, supposedly, the Democrats are committing a mistake by proceeding with the hearings.

Impeachment is a constitutional remedy precisely for addressing improper conduct like that of Trump, who is driving the destiny of this particular democracy that still continues to breathe —thanks to the efforts of those who do not want this nation to end up being a footnote in the failures of human history.

But it seems as though the Constitution doesn’t carry the same weight as before, since for the Republicans, this president has not done “anything bad,” while for other sectors fulfilling this constitutional duty to investigate and, if necessary, impeach a president if the evidence merits it, must be done carefully. This, above all in an electoral time period, so as not to disrupt the sensibilities of some groups of voters who may find the process extreme. Or, worse yet, “boring,” as one of those analysts indicated, who seems to forget that the Constitution is the Constitution and the “bored voter” incapable of reading more than a paragraph or paying attention for more than thirty seconds also should understand this.

This is precisely another of the strategies of this new facet of doing politics and campaigning in a way that favors today’s leader, betting on the dogma that has been created around Trump and his personal way of governing to serve himself, without permitting any questions at all among his henchmen, a strategy that luckily does not work for the rest of the population that realizes what an insane interest it is to unbalance public opinion in order to turn the United States into a puppet of increasingly obvious foreign interests.

The bombardment of “information” that in many cases is disinformation on diverse social platforms impedes the analysis and comprehension of the hard facts since the headlines change every second. The effect —whether adverse or positive— of this information lasts some hours and is rapidly substituted with something else. This bombardment is so intense that it contributes to a type of desensitization, where something provokes a momentary sentiment that disappears with the next Tweet or blog.

And in this scrambled cyber river, the dialogue is truncated, ideas become insults, the evil against minorities is justified by those who feel empowered by the supremacist discourse, and the principal pusher of this historical anomaly that is eating the American social fabric remains resident in the White House.

Perhaps that is why there is no follow-through. Since Miller entered Trump’s circle, ironically through the figure of the ex-Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who now wants to be reelected to his old Senate seat in Alabama, his affinity for ideas outlined by white supremacist groups and his anti-immigrant and the anti-minority agenda has been more than evident.

Miller continues to be the architect of Trump’s racist immigration policy, based precisely on extremist ideas and conspiracy theories that abound on the portals of white supremacist groups. The big difference is now they are public policy. But in this era when nothing matters, racial intolerance is no longer relegated to the back room and has become something normal.

To read the Spanish-language version of this article click here.