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President Trump’s closing argument for the midterms is clear: lie, stoke fear, and whip up a race-baiting frenzy over border security, immigration and a caravan of Central Americans seeking safety and opportunity.
It’s almost as if he’s a bystander and a carnival barker who has no responsibility for addressing the problem.
But he does. He’s the President of the United States. He’s been in power for two years and yet all he does is bark, bully and lie. Republicans control the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, yet Trump is blaming Democrats.
In fact, over the past two years, Trump and his immigration advisor Stephen Miller made sure to blow up every serious effort to enact bipartisan immigration legislation. Instead, the centerpiece of Trump’s border policy has been to rip thousands of toddlers from their parents — a practice both immoral and ineffective. Now the Trump administration is gearing up to restart this dehumanizing and cruel policy. It won’t work. It will stain America.
President Trump owns Washington and he owns this problem. And he has failed.
A serious leader would be developing a multi-pronged strategy that combines a serious effort to promote safety and economic opportunity in the northern triangle nations of Central America, a regional approach to refugee protection and processing, and a fair asylum process with case management practices that integrates the need to protect refugees and the need for an immigration system with integrity.
But Trump isn’t serious. Trump isn’t a leader. Trump is only interested in doing whatever it takes to feed his malignant narcissism. Trump thinks the ends justify the means, and if it that takes spewing racist lies, spreading racial terror, and further polarizing the nation to win an election, so be it. He wants to divide us, distract us and hang onto power.
This is not normal. This is outrageous. This is cynical. Instead of moving us forward together, Trump is ripping us apart. He’s doing violence to the foundational values of the American experiment. He’s refusing to take responsibility for governing. He wants to win — at all costs. It’s about him, not us. It’s about Trump getting what he wants, not about America flourishing.
Election Day provides us with the chance to check this monster and his ugly selfishness, and put us back on a path towards that more perfect union. Let’s take full advantage of that opportunity.