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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Trump really is making my head spin

Pic of the MomentAfter meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (and lying about what was discussed), Donald Trump flew back to Phoenix, Arizona to deliver a 10-point plan on how to fix America’s broken immigration system.

As pointed out by the Hillary Clinton campaign, the speech was overwhelmingly applauded by the alt-right, including white nationalists David Duke and Richard Spencer, and closeted white nationalist Ann Coulter (who is apparently back on the Trump train).

In typical Trump fashion, the immigration “proposal” was laced with lies, deceit, and rank xenophobia, with outright lies regarding President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s determination to tackle the issue of illegal immigration.

Once again, Donald Trump claimed that illegal immigration is as high as 30 million, saying, “honestly we’ve been hearing that number for years. It’s always 11 million. Our government has no idea. It could be 3 million. It could be 30 million. They have no idea what the number is.”

Considering Trump has been fact checked on this claim multiple times — with Politifact rating it as Pants on Fire — one would think the Republican nominee would have the sense to stick to what is fact. But then again, it is Donald Trump. 

The Department of Homeland Security, along with several independent groups, put the number anywhere between 11 to 12 million, give or take. Not one serious organization, meaning one with credibility, has published a report showing the number to be anywhere near the bloated 30 million Trump and his surrogates are pushing.

It’s much easier to convince people there’s a bigger problem than there really is when you conflate the statistics to suit your political purpose, and no one understands this better than Trump — he conflates the statistics on America’s tax rates, crime rate, terrorism rate, and unemployment rate.

If there’s one thing Trump is better at than inflating statistics, it’s letting his supporters know that he, and only he, cares and can fix it. At the Phoenix rally, Trump used the opportunity to slam his opponents, saying “President Obama and Hillary Clinton have engaged in gross dereliction of duty by surrendering the safety of the American people to open borders…”

Ah, yes, the “Obama doesn’t care about America” shtick. A popular and sometimes effective rallying call of the right, Trump and his surrogates certainly know how to play into the hands of their rabid base, and they certainly knows how to play into the hands of their latent racial hatred of the President.

If only it were true though.

See, if the Obama Administration (which included Hillary Clinton his first term) really had a gross dereliction of duty of the kind Trump speaks of, it wouldn’t have overseen the largest deportation force in decades, while simultaneously seeing illegal immigration numbers fall, very dramatically.

Perhaps Trump should answer for the illegal immigrants he’s hired to work here in the United States before he accuses anyone of “dereliction.”

In a speech that was really rhetoric and not all that much fact, Trump managed to get even that wrong when Trump claimed President Obama said climate change was a bigger threat than ISIS, China, Russia (which is ironic), and the 11 million illegal immigrants.

First off, it was Senator Bernie Sanders who said climate change is the biggest threat to American security. Second, while President Obama has said that tackling climate change was an urgent threat to the United States, fighting terrorism and keeping Americans safe was the top priority.

In fact, President Obama said, verbatim, “I’ve got a lot of things of my plate, but my top priority is to defeat ISIL.”

What say you, Donald?

Wednesday’s speech in Phoenix was classic Trump — fluff, lies and fear mongering. A trip to Mexico that ended up being an embarrassment turned into a speech that fell on deaf ears (except for the white nationalists). This is the man Coulter compared to Churchill.

Republicans have themselves a real winner.