2016 — September 19, 2015 at 10:11 am

Debt-free college, ending private prisons and the millions of other things we should be talking about instead of Trump



After a sluggish debate that forced him compliment job destroyer/new GOP favorite Carly Fiorina’s looks and deliver a scorchingly white low-five to Jeb Bush, Donald Trump got back into the groove on Thursday by suggesting that he may be willing to build a wall around American Muslims in case they try to make a clock or something.

“That’s my question. When can we get rid ‘em?” a questioner at a Trump event in Rochester, New Hampshire asked after politely suggesting that the President Obama is a Muslim just like that gall-darned Reverend Wright.

“We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people saying that,” Trump said.

Apparently, a lot of people are saying we need to round up American Muslims, at least to Donald Trump. Given there are only an estimated 2.7 million Muslims in the country, these roundups will be child’s play compared to the 30 million or so undocumented people he claims are in the country and will be rounded up until the Trump/Coulter administration. (FYI: Conservatives, if you’re talking about rounding people up because they’re Muslim, your big concern isn’t “religious freedom.”)

As Sinclair Lewis never said, “When fascism comes to America it will pretend to read the Bible and be Terrific™.”

The joke is over but it won’t die until the ratings for Trump do.

We could be talking about debt-free college, eliminating private prisons or forcing corporations to disclose their political donations. Or we could be talking about how Carly Fiorina impressed the GOP base by suggesting we start World War III and IV. In fact, some people are.

I know: You’re saying this post could have been about anything of these things. But I’m about to make a point, finally.

Instead of fixating on the vast array of real issues that demand our attention, we’re mostly talking about herding brown people — because that’s what four decades of conservative politics have prepared us for.

Crime is lower than it has been in decades. The border is safer. The crisis Trump is exploiting is the agony of voters tricked into wrecking the middle class by dog-whistle politics recognizing that the GOP establishment needs them to shut up about minorities to have any hope of winning the White House.

If there is some value in this, it’s the subtext, as Paul Waldman explained in the Washington Post:

When Donald Trump’s campaign communicates the message that if your heart is filled with fear and hate then the Republican Party is where you belong, it’s a message that goes out to everyone. If he isn’t the nominee, the candidate who is will say to the tens of millions of Americans who are members of minority groups, “Forget about all that. That’s not what the GOP is. We want your support.” But it’s going to be a pretty tough case to make.

Trump fever may be breaking but it’s clear he’s succeeded in making people much more comfortable saying aloud things they previously only wrote in Internet comments.

[Image by Gage Skidmore | Flickr]