The Republican Party’s front-runner for their presidential nomination, Donald Trump, continues to peel off nonsense of the most extreme variety. Just when you think he’s topped out at proposing to reprise the repugnant “Operation Wetback,” he reaches down deep to deliver something that far surpasses the idiocy of any ordinary mortal.
Yesterday Trump was on Laura Ingraham’s radio show and had something to say about the Syrian refugee crisis that most of the civilized world is struggling to address. But his remarks were not about the human suffering or the logistical challenges or potential solutions. What Trump sought to add to the debate was a ludicrous and wholly unfounded conspiracy theory accusing President Obama of another dastardly deed.
Trump: They send [the refugees] to the Republicans, not to the Democrats, you know, because they know the problems. In California you have a Democrat as a governor. In Florida you have Rick Scott. So, you know, they send them to the Republicans because, you know, why would we want to bother the Democrats? It’s just insane. Taking these people is absolutely insanity. I don’t know if you know. They’re talking about hundreds of thousands potentially. Hundreds of thousands.
Where to begin. How about with the fact that Trump’s assertion is a bald-faced lie. His projection of the distribution of refugees based on the party affiliation of a state’s governor makes no sense whatsoever, and he doesn’t bother to provide any support for the wild claim. Even using the example that he provided, the facts show that California has already taken in 218 Syrian refugees this year (more than any other state), while Florida has taken only 104 (placing them down at seventh). What’s more, states with Republican governors can be expected to receive more refugees simply because there are more of them. Currently there are 31 states led by Republicans and 18 by Democrats.
Furthermore, Trump’s assertion that there are plans to resettle “hundreds of thousands” of refugees must have been pulled straight out of his ass, because there is no such estimate in reality. The federal government has committed to receiving about 10,000 refugees. So Trump is only off by at least ninety percent.
Now if you’re wondering how Trump can get away with making such blatantly false comments and still retain his position at the top of the GOP primary contest, the answer is in the the type of voter to whom Trump is appealing. A new survey (pdf) by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reveals that Trump’s supporters are fervently opposed to immigrants with 69% saying that “immigration is a critical issue to them personally.” That compares to only 50% of supporters of other Republican candidates. In addition, the survey found that…
Trump supporters are much more likely to express negative views of immigrants than the supporters of other candidates. Eight in ten (80%) Trump supporters say that immigrants today are a burden to the U.S. because they take American jobs, housing, and health care. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Trump supporters say that it bothers them when they come into contact with immigrants who speak little or no English.
Never mind that it is completely untrue that immigrants are taking jobs from Americans or are consuming financial benefits. What’s most disturbing about these findings is the overt bigotry of the Trump contingent. But it gets even worse:
Trump supporters also express greater concern about discrimination against white Americans and white men in particular. Roughly three-quarters (74%) of Trump supporters — compared to 57% of supporters of all other Republican candidates — agree that, today, discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.
That must be why it’s so hard for white men to get jobs, or find housing. And it explains why so many of them are being killed while unarmed by police officers. [/snark] It would be bad enough if there were a significant portion of Trump’s supporters who held these absurd opinions, but these numbers are frighteningly high. It means that 75% of Trump’s followers are seriously deranged in a way that exposes the rancid biases of the Republican Party. Because in the end, Trump’s followers are GOP voters, and when he eventually flames out, the Party is still going to have to appeal to these same cretins to support their nominee.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.