Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trumpism with a not-quite-so-nasty face but still xenophobic

Trump's budget State of the Union address to both House of Congress Tuesday evening sounded a lot like his campaign speeches. But since he omitted his attacks on those he and his base consider enemies, like the press or Hillary Clinton, many pundits in their theater-criticism commentary on the speech will find a gleam of statesmanship in it.

What stood out to me is that he devoted a large portion of the speech demagoguing against immigrants, linking them rhetorically to violent crime and murder and terrorism. He also signaled that he wants to escalate the decades long War on Drugs. The two together add up to many more Latino and African-Americans stuck in penal institutions.

Cenk Uygur grudgingly rates it as Trump's best speech, though he has major policy criticisms of the content, Best Trump Speech Ever The Young Turks 02/28/2017:

This report from The Real News from before Trump's speech takes a sobering and harsh though realistic look at that prospect in Is Trump Preparing a Wave of Mass Criminalization? 02/28/2017:

In a maudlin twist that Cenk calls "emotional porn," Trump had three people who had a close relative killed by undocumented immigrants sitting in the Presidential box and told a version of their stories. This kind of story was a standard feature in his campaign speeches and a key way he tried to rouse and appeal to xenophobic fear and hatred.

Sabrina Siddiqui and Lauren Gambino reported on that tactic in a pre-speech article, Trump invites relatives of those killed by undocumented people to Capitol Hill 02/28/2017.

This cartoon was featured today by Proceso using the face of our ExxonMobil Secretary of State to stand for the hostile policy of the Trump Family Business Administration toward Latino immigrants and toward Mexico in particular:

In the article La 'diplomacia' del desprecio that the cartoon accompanies, La "diplomacia" del desprecio," (The "Diplomacy of Contempt), Héctor Tajonar writes:

La manifiesta hostilidad de Donald Trump hacia México coloca al país en una situación de vulnerabilidad y riesgo acaso no vivida desde 1846, año del inicio de la guerra planeada por el presidente James K. Polk para apoderarse de la mitad del territorio nacional.

[The manifest hostility of Donald Trump toward Mexico puts the country in a more vulnerable and risky situation that we have seen perhaps since 1846, the first year of the war planned by President James K. Polk take over half of the national territory.]
The historical refernce is, of course, to the Mexican War. Or as it's known in Mexico, La guerra entre Estados Unidos y México.

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