As published in Immigration Daily on July 28, 2017.
In the wake of the Democratic presidential victory in 2012, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) ruefully observed that the Republican Party was not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term. Donald Trump proved him wrong in the short-term in 2016 with the base that he turned out on fears of blacks taking over America’s culture; that he would reverse unfavorable trade deals and create millions of jobs; get rid of Obamacare and cover everyone more cheaply; and that he would deport criminal aliens and build the great wall between the U. S. and Mexico. He took advantage of the Bernie Sanders supporters’ unwillingness to switch to Hillary Clinton, lulled many Hispanics with his rhetoric concentrating on criminal aliens, blacks with the message of what did they have to lose in voting for him, and the LGBT community with assurances that he would be their friend.
Six months into the presidency, many of the people who voted for Mr. Trump have come to the realization that he is a flimflam man promising everything to everybody without hope of delivering on most of the promises. Without drastic reversal of policy, Republican chances in the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential election appear to be sealed. The health care bills brought forth by the Republicans have been disastrous in the eyes of the American public as all of them refute Mr. Trump’s promise and most would deny coverage to 20+ million Americans who would have it under Obamacare, the “skinny” repeal and replace would delete 16 million, and repeal without replacing would be even more devastating (32 million) in placing American healthcare in the same sorry position it was in was before the institution of the Affordable Care Act.
The aim of driving the undocumented from the country is part of the Republican Party grand design that has the objective of allowing the angry white guys with their families and supporters to keep control with a minority of the U. S. population (non-Hispanic whites projected to be under 50% by 2043) by expunging those who would have children and are U. S. citizens by birth. Now and in the future, the children of the undocumented become eligible voters, most of whom in the past 20 years have voted Democratic. The thinking goes that if the undocumented can be driven out, their future children would not be U. S. citizens, and any present U. S. children would possibly leave with their parents. To that end, regardless of the drastic present and foreseeable damage to the economy and GDP caused by zero population growth and fear of arrest limiting the undocumented from going out and spending money for anything other than necessities, the Trump administration is moving forward with plans to expedite removals without hearings for all those found in the country who cannot prove that they have been here for more than 90 days, making all of the undocumented ICE targets by designating anyone unlawfully here as lawbreakers, sending those arrested to faraway detention centers where family/community support and legal representation are scarce, having bills introduced against sanctuary cities, handing out stiffer criminal penalties for illegal reentry, and prosecuting good Samaritans for providing assistance to the undocumented. To that end also, Republicans are moving for tighter identity rules at polling places nationwide, although there is no evidence of any widespread voter fraud. Such rules are designed to depress the votes of blacks and other minorities who generally vote Democratic.
Unfortunately for the Republicans, many of Mr. Trump’s moderate white voters who took a chance on him are beginning to see his broken promise on affordable healthcare legislation and many disapprove of his focus on mass deportation rather than just the removal of violent criminal aliens which he emphasized during his campaign. They see his ineffectiveness in U. S. companies still sending job overseas, his inability to reverse trade deals or the Iran nuclear deal, ineffectualness in dealing with China and North Korea, spouting untruths on almost a daily rate, creating chaos in the White House, cozying up to the Russians, and having no strategy for dealing with Syria or the rest of the Middle East. Blacks who voted for Mr. Trump or abstained from voting altogether have realized that they have a lot to lose under this presidency as the situation for violence in Chicago remains unabated and law and order in all its true colors gains ascendance over civil rights. Hispanics believing that the focus of Mr. Trump was only on criminal aliens have learned a huge lesson as he has widened the focus of enforcement to include all of the undocumented. Liberals from the Bernie Sanders camp and from the LGBT community who refused to vote for Mrs. Clinton have now seen the wrecking ball tear through many of their dreams. Finally Mr. Trump cannot expect further offers of assistance, official or unofficial, from Russian sources as they are all under intense scrutiny.
Republicans should realize that the unexpected and shocking confluence of events that propelled Mr. Trump and their party to victory in 2016 will not be repeated in 2018 or 2020 and that they will lose barring huge changes in direction.
The President and the Republicans are now desperately gyrating around many versions of healthcare legislation and not particularly caring which one passes, as long as one can pass with the Republican brand on it. But the light of day numbers by the CBO of how many tens of millions more would be left without healthcare are largely scuttling the misbegotten efforts of Mitch McConnell (S – Ky.) and his cohorts. They fail to understand that the ship has already sailed, and any version that they pass even after their disastrously defeated vote-a-rama last night will ultimately hurt them with their base, many of whom will be more attentive to the loss of healthcare benefits to themselves and a massive number of Americans than to a 7-year-old Republican Party pledge to end Obamacare.
This leaves a mess for the Republican Party, which after initial jubilation in late 2016 now finds itself tied fast to a scandal-ridden unstable President. At present, most members lack the moral courage to stand against Mr. Trump for fear of his inciting their constituents against them. But sooner rather than later, they will have to change their tune and band together in resistance against Mr. Trump if they are to have any chance in future elections.