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Letters of the Week: February 22 - February 26

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    This letter has been revised and expanded as of 8:15 am on February 23.

    Update: February 22, at 11:30 pm

    For a courageous, timely, comment on Donald Trump's irrational hate and poison, see the February 22 Washington Post Editorial:

    Republican leaders' silence on Trump is inexcusable - and irrational

    (Link not available.)

    The Post Editorial Board writes:

    "[Winning] cannot and will not be an antidote to the moral poison of Mr. Trump's campaign. Party leaders who support and celebrate his victory will be accomplices to an attack on the fundamental values of American democracy. Winning will not wash away the stain."

    My original letter appears below:

    Hardly a day goes by without new evidence of Donald Trump's parleying hatred against Latino and Muslim immigrants into what could be a full-blown attack on American democracy, just as another popular politician used prejudice against Jews in order to destroy democracy more than 80 years ago and set up a fascist dictatorship in Germany.

    First let me make clear that I am not using these harsh words merely to engage in name-calling against anyone who disagrees with me about immigration policy. Trump's two main Republican presidential opponents, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, have also expressed extreme proposals regarding unauthorized immigrants, especially ones from Mexico and Latin America, that in some respects, even outdo Trump.

    The Huffington Post, for example, reports on February 23 that Ted Cruz has now endorsed Trump's proposal to round up and deport every single one of the estimated 12 million unauthorized immigrants in America.

    Cruz, in particular, has also made proposals to limit legal immigration which in some respects go beyond Trump's. Neither of these two Trump opponents has a record of having sponsored over a thousand immigrants, mainly from Mexico, for legal visas. Trump does have such a record.

    While neither Cruz nor Rubio has engaged in Islamophobia to the extent that Trump has, their opposition to Trump's reliance on anti-Muslim bigotry has been muted.

    But I have never accused and I am not now accusing either Cruz or Rubio of trying to undermine America's basic freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution. I have never alleged that either of them poses a danger to America's democracy.

    Then of the three leading Republican candidates, all of whom have expressed views on immigration which I consider extreme and I profoundly disagree with, why am I focusing only on Trump as a potential clear and present danger to democracy in America? What is the difference between him and his two Republican presidential opponents?

    No one would argue that everything that Cruz and Rubio have said in the campaign is necessarily polite, or even true.

    The difference is that only Trump is using threats and intimidation against his opponents and critics to a degree unheard of in modern American history, at least not since the days of Richard Nixon with his burglars and enemies lists. But Trump's threats are even more open and brazen than Nixon's. Consider the latest one, as reported by The Hill on February 22 in its article: Trump threatens mega-donor family.

    What did this family do that was so terrible and what was Trump's reaction? The donor, according to the story, was Marlene Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs. It seems that she has spent some $4 million on a Super-Pac running ads against Trump, in contrast to other GOP Super-Pacs which have used their money to attack Trump's opponents, thereby making it easier for Trump to stay out in front.

    Don't get me wrong - I am not a fan of Super-Pacs or of Citizens United. But there is nothing illegal about Super-PACs or about making contributions to them.

    So what did Trump actually say about Marlene Ricketts and her family's contributions against him? The Hill quotes Trump as saying:

    "They better be careful, they have a lot to hide."

    A source speaking for Marlene Ricketts' Super-Pac justifiably made the following reply:

    It's this kind of brazen social media scare tactic that makes one wander what Trump would do with the power of the White House, the IRS or the FBI".

    Or, one might add, with the power of torture, which Trump has endorsed and even praised far beyond anything that his GOP rivals have said.



    The fact that torture is prohibited by both US and international law does not seem to bother Trump.

    It is true that Trump has endorsed using torture in the context of America's war on ISIS and other terrorists. But given his objectives, borne out by both his words and actions, of destroying or obliterating his opponents and critics, not just responding to them as politicians normally do in a democracy, what assurance is there that torture would not be used against anyone who opposes or disagrees with Trump?

    There has recently been a good deal of discussion about whether Trump is a fascist or not, and this discussion is bound to increase as Trump moves closer to the presidency.

    Most scholars of fascism agree that the line between ordinary right wing populism and full-blown fascism is in the use of violence against opponents. By this standard, Trump has clearly crossed the line.

    As shown by his above threats against a critic whose only action was making a legal donation to an anti-Trump Super-PAC, and by his many other threats and attempts to destroy other opponents; and by his acts of violence against demonstrators at his rallies, Trump's actions are not compatible with maintaining a democracy, and the one that we now have in America will be in serious danger if he is elected president. It might not long survive.

    For the latest incident involving Trump's threats to use violence against protesters at his rallies, see:

    The ancient Roman politician Cato the Elder famously said that Rome's chief enemy of the time, Carthage, must be obliterated from the face of the earth. His dictum:

    Delenda est Karthago

    ("Carthage must be destroyed") is still often quoted today (and not just as the name of an Internet shopping site - no one else has the capacity to trivialize everything as much as we do in America).

    One might paraphrase Cato and say that, in order to preserve American democracy, Donald Trump must not be destroyed, but must be defeated.

    Vincendus est Donald Trump

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 02-23-2016 at 07:48 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Here is an extract from the Washington Post's latest editorial (February 24) regarding Donald Trump's immigration proposals and his attitude to American democracy in general: (Sorry, i do not have a link; the complete editorial: GOP leaders, you must do everything in your power to stop Trump can be found on the Post's home page.)

    "[Trump]wants the United States to commit war crimes, including torture and the murder of innocent relatives of suspected terrorists. He admires Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and sees no difference between Mr. Putin's victims and people killed in the defense of the United States. He would round up and deport 11 million people, a forced movement on a scale not attempted since Stalin or perhaps Pol Pot. He has, during the course of his campaign, denigrated women, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans people with disabilities and many more . He routinely trades in wild falsehoods and doubles down when his lies are exposed."

    Based on Trump's proposal to use a "special task force" to deport 11 or 12 million unauthorized immigrants, a force which even Senator Cruz, who also supports mass expulsion, has criticized as equivalent to Nazi-style "Jackboots", one has to ask how long after Trump's inauguration as president it might be before the offices of the Post and others of Trump's critics receive visits from similar "task forces" to smash their offices and cart Trump's opponents off to prison and torture.

    To save, not only our immigration system as we know it, but our democracy itself, Vincendus est Donald Trump
    (Donald Trump must be defeated.)

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 02-25-2016 at 07:02 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Donald Trump has drawn plenty of criticism, including reportedly arousing panic at the RNC, but he does have one loyal supporter, David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. The Hill reports on February 25 that Duke is encouraging his radio listeners to go out and work for Trump.

    Duke is also warning his followers that voting for Cruz or Rubio is "really treason to your heritage".


    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
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