Skip to comments.Trump’s ‘Sh**hole’ Comments Double Down on Identity Politics
Posted on 01/12/2018 10:08:41 PM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
Once again expressing hostility toward entire groups of immigrants, he further damages American political culture.
The president of the United States should not, by word or deed, communicate that he is hostile to or disdainful of entire classes of the American population. It doesnt matter if such divisive rhetoric helps him win elections, nor if the reaction of his opponents is often overblown. As president, his obligation remains the same: Make your case without demonizing whole groups of people.
This shouldnt be difficult for conservatives to understand. Its an argument theyve been making against Democrats for the better part of a decade. Its the argument against identity politics.
Virtually every engaged conservative knows the term bitter clinger. When Barack Obama spoke at a San Francisco fundraiser in 2008 and offered his amateur sociological assessment that some Americans become bitter about social change and cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who arent like them, conservatives didnt hear dispassionate analysis. They heard contempt.
Among the terrible effects of negative polarization is the widespread perception often created by presidents and presidential candidates themselves that a president governs for the benefit of his constituents alone. Thus, in a very real way, voting becomes an act of self-defense rather than a positive expression of ones values: Win the election or face the consequences. Indeed, in the aftermath of Hillary Clintons deplorable comment and her declaration that Republicans were her enemies, millions of conservatives were motivated to go to the polls. (Remember charge the cockpit or die?)
With all that in mind, how should a conservative react to President Trumps alleged comments about immigration from sh**hole or sh**house countries?
First, if youre spending your time defending the notion that some countries are truly bad places to live, youre missing the point entirely. Of course some countries are worse places to live than others. But Trump wasnt talking about which countries hed most like to visit or retire to. He was talking about which countries immigrants should be most and least welcomed by the United States.
Second, these comments must be understood in the context of Trumps relatively short history as the countrys most visible political figure. From the opening moments of his presidential campaign, Trump has made sweeping, negative remarks about immigrants from third-world nations. Even when he qualifies those remarks (Theyre bringing drugs. Theyre bringing crime. Theyre rapists. And some, I assume, are good people) the qualification is weak. Isnt it reasonable for a Mexican American to assume that when Trump says Mexico is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States, he is expressing a negative personal perception of Mexican immigrants?
Moreover, time and again, Trump has engaged in actions and rhetoric that inflame broader racial tensions and betray possible racial bias. As my colleague Ramesh Ponnuru pointed out this morning, the presidents businesses have been credibly accused of racial discrimination, he claimed that an American judge couldnt do his job fairly because of the judges Mexican heritage, he delayed condemning David Duke as long as he possibly could, and after the dreadful alt-right rally and terrorist attack in Charlottesville, he went out of his way to declare that there were very fine people on both sides. One doesnt even have to delve too deeply into Trumps alleged comparison of Norway with the sh**holes of Africa to understand why a reasonable observer would believe that he has problems with entire classes of Americans, immigrants, and citizens of other nations.
The fact that modern debate has become extraordinarily stupid does not excuse us from understanding and recognizing the core problem with Trumps comments. Yes, its ridiculous to see a parade of progressives take to Twitter to argue that desperately poor and often terribly corrupt third-world nations are really just lovely and amazing places. Yes, its even more ridiculous to see a different group of progressives argue that, wait, America is the true sh**hole.. But its just as ridiculous for conservatives to pretend that the outrage over Trumps comments truly centers around his assessment of Haiti and Africa when it clearly centers around his assessment of Haitians and Africans. His remarks came amid a discussion of immigration policy, after all.
At this point I simply cant see how a conservative could look a concerned third-world immigrant (or descendent of a third-world immigrant) in the eye and assert that this president judges them fairly and without bias. The intellectual and rhetorical gymnastics necessary to justify not just Trumps alleged comments yesterday but his entire history and record of transparent hostility to certain immigrants are getting embarrassing to watch. Some of his comments may work politically divisive comments often do but that doesnt make them any less damaging to American political culture as a whole.
For all too many Americans, Trump once again got personal. My youngest daughter is an African immigrant we adopted her from a desperately poor region of a country that has suffered in the recent past from terrible corruption and oppression. Yet shes been a delightful addition to our American family, and her story isnt unique. There are millions of Americans and lawful immigrants who hear comments like Trumps and understand that hes talking about them. Why shouldnt they be angry? Why shouldnt conservatives unite to ask the president to do and be better?
No one can credibly argue that political discourse before Trump was healthy and virtuous. No one can credibly argue that hes the first American to intentionally divide Americans by race, class, or religion, either. But a president can make our political culture better, or he can make it worse. And Trump seems determined to make it worse.
The president of the United States should not, by word or deed, communicate that he is hostile to or disdainful of entire classes of the American population
So, are the people of Africa, Haiti, New Zealand or Norway citizens of the U.S.?
Quibbling, Equivocating punk...
Good, it is about time the Big Lies are exposed.
We want any Sh** from you,Davey, we’ll squeeze your head.
I really wish you would cease posting crap from national review.
It is the same old sh!t, day in and day out.
What BS. Is Haiti or Mexico heaven on earth? Is there any 3rd world country that is? No they are he** holes or sh##holes - that’s the truth.
If they weren’t, the people wouldn’t be so desperate to come here.
According to UNICEF: Prevalence of female genital mutilation
Sierra Leone 88%
Burkina Faso 76%
Yes, Virginia, there are shithole countries.
One can (and should) safely ban from entering the United States any person from a place where this barbaric practice is a cultural norm for 90% of the population.
Honestly, if Trumps’ alleged comments inspire any of these countries to stop from being such #&%#&%holes in the future, then I’m good with it. If the shoe fits...
Here we go with more distractions from real news and attempts to manufacture something bad regarding Trump.
Meanwhile people in Venzueala are starving, and the USA still has a “Ministry of Truth” where in the government gets to determine what the “real” news is, and Project Veritas has tapes of liberal goof offs bragging about “shadow” censorship.
Not to mention the plethora of treason at the highest levels and coverups that make Watergate look like a harmless prank.
Enough with the distractions.
French is a big time NeverTrumper and is very proud of it. He tries to rationalize his brand of NeverTrumpism by calling himself a NeverTrump/NeverHillary conservative. Sheer nonsense by another globalist pansy Repuke like David French.
We could say that National Review is a s###hole publication, and that wouldn’t be racist!!
He was criticizing their government. Not their people. These people may be decent, but their governments have failed them. Poor education. Poor values. Poor government. The Deep State is the one insinuating that these people are the problem, not their state.
So, Davey, you had to rescue her from her sh**hole of a country via adoption.
Well, good for you. Are all of her relatives and neighbors coming to live with you, too?
Everyone can adopt all the children from third-world sh**hole countries they want. It is the uncontrolled chain
immigration invasion of potentially dangerous (or merely worthless) people who Trump wants to slow down.
David French once again doubles down on stupid.
The pedantic smart-arse in the media is getting ridiculous.
David French is a traitor to his people.
David, we are more likely to find a nuclear scientist to emigrate here in first world Japan than third world or colloquially speaking, shithole, Haiti. I don’t think they do nuclear science at University of Port au Prince.Oh, that’s right there is no University of Port au Prince.
Here’s one for Jeff Foxworthy: When the sight of a toilet seat is as rare as the sight of a nuclear scientist living in your country you know you’re living in a shithole.
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