The American people aren’t against it actually….
But the word has become a political ‘hammer’ by Donald Trump and other Republicans to use against Democrats…
President Biden, like his old boss, President Obama , IS getting a beat down on the subject. and seems unable to handle, touch and rally those who support the way ALL of familes got to this place…
The 2016 presidential election was a crucial pivot point in American history, not only because of Trump’s unexpected victory. It was a period in which the extreme right gained new power and prominence — again, not only because Trump won. That included extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric.
In 2014, there was a surge in immigration to the United States, driven by young people seeking safety from violence in Central America. The Obama administration scrambled to contain it and Republicans were eager to exacerbate the Democratic president’s difficulty.
But this didn’t occur in a vacuum. It happened as violence in the Middle East pushed immigrants into Europe, stoking anti-immigrant sentiment there. It came at a point when the Republican Party was already facing backlash from its base in the form of the still-potent tea party, a backlash focused on undermining the party’s establishment. It also came as the establishment, trying to figure out how to respond to President Barack Obama’s unexpected 2012 reelection, was exploring taking a more lenient approach to immigration.
All of this occurred as Americans were newly cognizant of how the country’s demography was changing. The Census Bureau’s determination that White Americans would lose majority status in future decades “lit the fuse” on concerns about immigration, in one demographer’s description — a determination that overlapped with Obama’s election in the first place.
Trump didn’t generate hostility to immigration from thin air when he announced his candidacy in 2015; he was echoing and elevating what had already been burbling in right-wing media. Immigration was a clear dividing point between establishment and fringe Republicans, and Trump’s rhetoric was a clear message to that growing, powerful fringe. Post-election analysis determined that the news outlet that earned the most shares from Republicans and those on the right during the 2016 cycle wasn’t behemoth Fox News, which had long been closely allied to the establishment. Instead, it was Breitbart News….
Trump’s election marked the end of the battle between the establishment and the right-wing fringe. The fringe had won. The establishment fought to demonstrate its fealty to Trump’s base, which meant the most-right-wing elements of the electorate….
Then the issue of immigration became more salient. After a pandemic-related lull in 2020, Trump lost reelection. Joe Biden became president. The number of people seeking to come to the United States soared, though the numbers are often exaggerated (including by Trump). Fox News began covering immigration breathlessly. The channel has already mentioned immigration, immigrants or the border 6 percent more often than it did during the entirety of Trump’s time in office; after mentioning immigration less than CNN and MSNBC under Trump, it has mentioned it 75 percent more often than its two competitors combined since Biden became president in 2021.
Just as he did at the outset of his 2016 campaign, Trump quickly leaned into anti-immigrant rhetoric as his 2024 bid began to gear up. But now that rhetoric has shifted dramatically to the right. His 2015 disparagements of criminal immigrants coming into the country have become entirely unabashed. His extreme White-House-era claims offered in support of building a wall, like the threat of terrorist incursions, have become background noise. He’d occasionally described immigrants in dehumanizing terms as president; he seemingly has no qualms about doing so regularly now….
Trump fought tooth and nail to constrain and demonize immigrants as president but hit walls both internally and externally. Now he knows how to get around the internal barriers more easily, and the external debate is now unfolding on much friendlier, more extreme terrain.
It’s that, not simply the comparisons to Hitler’s rhetoric, that’s worrisome…..