Begin with the usual modern-media ablution: in denouncements of Donald Trump I yell “Amen!” as loudly as anyone. I believe it’s outrageous to call any country a “shithole.” My ancestors came from Germany (lookin’ at you Drumpf) and the British Isles back when they were shitholes. The Yankee in me might entertain the notion that the Southerner in me left a shithole too. America is not full of people who have fled functional countries. There, see how easy it is: my virtue-signal has been sent. I will cleanse myself and make whatever penitence required by the dark Trump forces left unappeased by my Devil’s Advocacy that follows:

Consider the moral ramifications of actual work on racism sabotaged for the purpose of social signaling against racism.

Trump’s blasphemies were uttered in a closed meeting on DACA, an Executive Order, during negotiations of what will become written into immigration law. The comments were leaked to the press by Senate Minority leader Dick Durbin. Round after round of media “who struck John?” followed. Closed-door negotiations are a common thing for a reason (avoiding media obsessions of “who struck John?” being the main one), and this will affect future closed-door meetings. In this day and age, virtue-signaling seems to make a reality that transcends reality, and this is a great example of how. Closed-door meetings would seem to be a more important a safety valve now than ever.

Progress on DACA will be unlikely to proceed as The Base feeds to gorging on its red meat. This will soon be over, but meanwhile, those affected by DACA will have a curse of uncertainty hanging over them indefinitely.

Attempts at immigration reform have failed America for more than a generation now, and often for stupid reasons. It should be taken as a bad sign of our political dysfunction that the reasons for failure are becoming increasingly trivial. This time, it’s a chance for reform destroyed for nothing more than an ephemeral signal.

This pattern of the worst corporeal harm coming from the theoretical upholders of anti-racism, the Democratic Party, has happened before: Bernie Sanders was part of killing the 2007 President Bush-led attempt, claiming the legislation did too little to uplift the world bourgeoisie (the world bourgeoisie is left un-lifted by letting them move to the USA? Who knew?). President Obama was full of flowery gas on the matter, but the reality starkly contradicts the gas. President Obama had control of all branches of government, a compliant Democratic Party and a great many promises made on the issue, and did nothing to make his gas a solid. Then-nominee Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party platform on the matter, with planks of considerable crafting and deliberation, was chockablock with race “code words” and “dog whistles” that make Trump’s impulse-control transgression seem like a churchy hymn by comparison.

The fact that the Democrats will not be frank about, while they are “shocked, shocked by,” the President’s statements, is that no immigration policy can effect to import welfare cases. No nation in the world can, and where they do, the politicians are soon challenged. This is being seen all over Europe, in the most advanced electorates in the world, right now.

The routine failures of immigration policy, here and across the Western World, have hardly come about because they were foiled by neophyte politician President Evil. Outrage he might have done is magical thinking and childish scapegoating.

My own take has long been that neither party really wants progress on immigration. The fight is staged, a Punch and Judy Slapstick, the status quo useful to both parties to appease parts of The Base, albeit for different reasons: the Republicans need to appease their xenophobes, the Democrats the Unions and people of color. And, immigrants have few donors for the pimping of Congress. This will help the Republican red meat eaters to slumber while Trump sneaks past them the fact that he has built no wall (presumably another reason for the secrecy). So, the fake and stupid fight is money in The Base-bank for him too. Like all institutions, Congress has a way of getting what they really want, like the recent smooth-sailing and near-silence of the renewed surveillance powers.

The maddening thing is that the contours of what immigration reform would look like have remained quite constant and obvious throughout administration after administration of failure. Going door to door to round up visa overstay illegals (40% of the total) would be hideously expensive, logistically impossible, would turn us into a near-police state to achieve a solution to a non-existent problem, and besides, will never happen. Non-authorized resident parents cannot be deported, leaving orphan a baby whose citizenship is a covenant in our Constitution will also never happen, and for the same reason all of those illegals will not be rounded up. It’s because practically every American is now a news cameraman for showing every babe stripped from every breast. Everyone agrees we need guest agricultural workers. We need immigrants with technical skills because our population is aging and needs replacing beyond our reproduction rate. And, if we were to magically make illegals disappear, not a raspberry would be picked, floor waxed, shirt ironed, or slice of pizza made profitably.

Yet into this plain sensible dish everyone sticks their fingers of agenda, to which we now add virtue-signaling umbranosh. And as an anti-bonus: we can add the bed-shitting of a government shutdown.

And after all of this: actual American immigration policies are still among the world’s most generous, like they have been, albeit to varying degrees, for the life of the Nation.

Lastly, at this point, what can be more pedantic than pointing out that President Trump is a loud-mouthed meanie with no impulse control? And shouldn’t we also say getting Trump to make his foul utterances behind closed doors would have been a kind of improvement to his normal tweeting threats to nuclear Bond-villains?

The libertarian rubs in: practically nobody believes the government does much of a good job of anything. The conventional political processes are distrusted almost everywhere in the developed world, and things like this are a very good illustration as to the reason why. As I’ve said before: more Americans believe in phantasma than believe their politicians are doing a good job. And there is a justifiable sense that we have an increasingly tenuous claim to be a nation of the rule of law, if the laws cannot be adapted amid our political dysfunction. Libertarians remind that this is the harvest of the government trying to do too many things it is not good at. Immigration is something that the government should be doing, but this real role is derailed on the tracks by the penny of a moment’s umbranosh, the dysfunction of the math of The Base feeding, the cancer now metastasizing into legitimate roles.

None of the points made in this piece required more research than a few dozen keyboard clicks on the internet and a few cups of coffee. That the media cannot seem to place anything in perspective, and we have storms of nothing like this, would confirm media’s near-complete lack of trust and approval. But the question of the citizens’ constant misguided outrage then becomes one of the voluntary dance of the fooled with their fooler; a deeper and more concerning question by far.

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


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