There is a large stream of anti-immigrant sentiment in the supporters of current GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. They are not alone. Immigration issues fueled a great deal of the Brexit vote and they form a core of the central issues for the far right-wing parties springing up all over Europe.
This is “normal” in the sense of when economic times are tough, there is a tendency to lash out at the “cause” of one’s misery. It is also “normal” for the subjects of our lashes to tend to be those we are prejudiced against.
What is unfortunate is that the target of our ire is poorly selected. It is not immigrants who are the cause of our current economic woes. Immigrant communities have lower crime rates that do established communities. Immigrants are usually more zealous regarding American values than home grown citizens, but are they really the reason why you don’t have a job? Have they swooped in and taken up all of the banking jobs? How about real estate? Computer technicians? Auto mechanics? Plumbers? Tool and die workers? An interesting case occurs regarding doctors. It seems that most of the medical professionals I see are either foreign born or appear to be first or second gen Americans. But I don’t see a lot of doctors complaining about how immigrants have stolen their jobs.
One can also make a strong argument that immigrants are an injection of vitality into our culture. I can remember a time when the gourmet dining opportunities in the Midwest involved chicken-fried steak. Now one can easily find Thai food, sushi, Ethiopian restaurants, etc. and that is just our food culture.
No, immigrants should not be the target of our ire.
The real target are the oligarchs, those in the class of people we refer to as being “rich,” the 1%. It is they as movers and shakers in business who have ruthlessly exported good jobs out of the country to be replaced by McJobs, low paying service jobs. They are the ones campaigning for lower business taxes when business taxes, the actual ones, not the listed maximums, are the lowest they have been since they were instituted, leaving ordinary people to pick up the slack. These are the people trying to starve the government of receipts so it will stop “redistributing” their wealth to the undeserving poor (and minorities) in obvious wastes of money like Social Security and Medicare. These are the people who have redistributed the people’s wealth into their pockets but don’t want that flow reversed or even diminished. These are the people for whom no amount of money is “enough” and who will do almost anything to get “more.” These are the ones who label poor people as being “lazy,” who think an education is the cure for all economic ills (it is not), and who think government should be limited to waging wars (profitable ones anyway) and enforcing contracts.
The real target of our ire should be the plutocrats, who with their obscene amounts of wealth have bought the courts, the legislature, and the political parties.
People like … Donald Trump.