If anyone predicted that, 15 days before the mid-term election, there’d be a highly visible “caravan” of several thousand Central American migrants working its way northward, with the intent to cross America’s southern border by whatever means possible, oddsmakers would have scoffed.

And, yet, that’s exactly what’s dominating the headlines. What started it is hard to say, but the notoriety granted it by the news has, like warm tropical waters strengthening a hurricane, drawn more and more migrants to the march.

In some ways, it feels like a deliberate, orchestrated provocation aimed at Trump and his border policy ideas, and there are numerous reports that this is being funded by the usual suspects. In others, it feels like opportunism, in that people who’ve dreamt of coming to America are “seizing the moment” after a small gathering snowballed into this spectacle

I cannot speak of or for those in the caravan. Given the press’s abandonment of dispassionate journalism of late, it’s really hard to trust that any news source will present things as they are without some editorial adjustment. Are they truly refugees running from a terrible situation? Are they people who see better opportunity in America and a chance to get in? Are they pawns of some agenda-driven manipulators? Are they Bad Guys looking to sneak by on misplaced sympathy? Trump suggests that Middle Eastern bad guys and MS-13 gang members have mixed themselves into the mass. The Press reports they haven’t found any evidence of that. Who’s right? I dare you to pick one or the other at this point without letting your personal views influence that choice.

But, that’s not really the crux of the matter. Instead, we should ask what our political partisans want or fear will happen should the caravan arrive at the US-Mexico border. And, what they might look to cause to happen.

Because, try as I might, I cannot fathom what would motivate orchestrators to set this march in motion, unless they think there’s a high probability that Trump’s response will be so excessive that it’ll make for an Elian Gonzalez photo-op ahead of election day.

The Left and its supporters have proven terribly tone-deaf, both very recently and over the past few years. They’ve gotten countless things wrong, and they’ve steered the ship that is the Democratic Party onto some sharp, barely submerged reefs. In a normal time, I’d find it hard to fathom that they’d think a mass of several thousand Latin Americans stomping its way northward, with intent of either demanding en-toto entry into America or just bulling its way across the border, would sit well with a populace that has shown immigration to be a flash point issue. As a provocation, sure, I can see it, but we have an election coming up. Fear is an extremely powerful motivator. So is anger, especially anger at being poked in the eye, and given how modern elections are more about getting “the base” to come to the polls, the combined fear and anger that this caravan is certainly engendering in the crowd that elected Trump is going to drive turnout.

The flip side, and this is the only thing I can think is hoped for by those who are encouraging or may be backing this march, is that the administration’s response includes a moment, captured as a photo or video, that depicts brutal excess. Think of the power of Elian Gonzalez being torn from a crying woman’s arms by an armored and helmeted goon, and you probably have the answer as to why this is probably being orchestrated.

That’s deeply cynical, obviously, and it reduces the people in the caravan to “exploitable commodity” status, ignoring the fact that they are human beings. That’s politics, sadly, and the low probability that this ends well for the migrants is of little concern to most partisans.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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