Our president, the one who claims to want to make America great again, and the descendant of immigrants, read a scripted fable (link) painting immigrants as cold, hungry snakes who fool frail old ladies (i.e., America) into taking them in, then deliver a fatal snakebite at the first opportunity. His delivery was fevered and evangelical, gleeful, creepy and cruel. Hitler would not have been happier to deliver such a performance. It was absolutely loathsome.
The crowd, hardcore conservative fanatics, could not have roared more approvingly if they had just seen Jesus bring Lazarus back from the dead. After all, undocumented workers are the source of all problems in our great nation, are they not? Trump’s racist rhetoric was also present in his hyping of his administrations zeal to go after the largely Central American criminal gang MS-13, which statistically is responsible for something like 1% of crime in the United States (link). While all criminals should be prosecuted, it seems wise to prioritize prosecuting those who do the most harm to the greatest number of Americans first.
But Trump is unlikely to order the Justice Department to enthusiastically prosecute large corporations and banks that, in the face of ever-weakening consumer protections, are more and more free under this administration to continue to oppress and abuse the sick, the poor, the elderly, victims of predatory student loan schemes and other vulnerable Americans with little or no representation and even less ability to defend themselves.
In the 1980s, the music group Duran Duran sang about “The Union of the Snake.” I wonder how many of Trump’s followers realize the true snake is, in fact, the president of the United States, and his venom threatens to destroy our democracy.
Alan David Doane is a writer and editor from upstate New York with three decades of experience in broadcasting and journalism. Follow him on Twitter @alandaviddoane.