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The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
President Trump remains undeterred and unrestrained in his attempts to stoke hate and spread racial terror — all in service of scoring political points and competing in the midterms. He will let nothing stand in the way of his deeply cynical and deeply dangerous moves.
Recall that Trump tried to dismiss the importance of the largest political assassination plot in American history as “bomb stuff.” A bloody massacre on Saturday didn’t interrupt his nationalist rally that evening. He reads perfunctory remarks written by others, all the while itching to get back to attacks, ugliness and demagoguery.
Every one of his desperate immigration moves needs to be seen through the lens of Trump’s willingness to rip the country apart in hopes of clinging to political power. Talk of overturning the Constitution’s 14th Amendment by executive order seems to be today’s stand-in for the fiery speech on immigration he decided to delay. The deployment of 5,200 active-duty troops to the border to look tough as a group of poor refugees from violence and people seeking a better life walk towards America is a wasteful and cynical political ploy. He calls those who look to America as the land of the free and the home of the brave “a national security threat.”
Make no mistake. These ideas have long percolated in the fever swamps of the white nationalist and anti-immigrant movements. But they’ve never been embraced before by serious elected officials, let alone the President of the United States. Trump and Stephen Miller may think they can use race and racism strategically and for their political advantage, but most Americans know that it’s cynical and dangerous, especially at a moment when America wants and needs to come together, mourn and heal.
For those asking about the electoral impact of Trump’s “closing argument,” are pundits so sure this is a smart strategy?
This is what veteran Democratic pollster Geoff Garin tweeted: “Trump drops in the polls when his lack of personal decency is most manifest, even to Fox News viewers. That happened with family separation and after McCain died. And it is happening now … Showing up in Pittsburgh, unwelcome and unwanted, will be another proof point for voters of Trump’s lack of decency.”
And former George W. Bush political strategist Matthew Dowd tweeted: “This immigration strategy the President is engaging in is a big political mistake. 75% of country thinks immigration is a good thing. Majority oppose border wall and separation of families. For every base voter who might be motivated, at least 2 independents are offended.”
We’ll soon learn how “successful” Trump’s deployment of racism and hate “works” in the midterms. But what we do know with certainty at this moment is that President Trump is deliberately sowing division and discontent in a manner that is unprecedented, un-presidential and unAmerican.