I “celebrated” Mardi Gras by watching Trump’s entire speech to Congress on TV. Clearly my priorities need adjustment.
My brain turned to pudding. On the plus side, I feel I am opening up to a whole new appreciation of expressionistic art forms, especially in the spoken word performance arts. I have taken a renewed interest, in particular, in the scream and the howl as powerful vocal devices, in so many ways superior to the simple Anglo-Saxon devices I have practiced so much in the past, even though lacking equivalent semantic content.
I’m beginning to realize that much of what Trump says and proposes to do is designed to make the real estate business great again. For example, immigrants live in houses. That is so inconvenient! Houses occupied by immigrants don’t need to be sold because someone is living in them. Vacant houses do need to be sold. Ergo an immigration policy is born.
It’s a measure of how used to all this we are that many people were happy Trump didn’t announce that all immigrants had three-days notice to leave the country. He said some can stay. All the ones who aren’t criminals can work here and pay taxes, without a path to citizenship. Until we change our minds.
Only a very cynical person would wonder when we can see disabled immigrants who can’t work trucked to El Paso and kicked out at the border. He did leave that as an option.
It all fits in neatly with Jeff Sessions’ announcement a few days earlier that federal contracts with private prisons would not be phased out after all. Heck, we’re going to need all the prisons we can get. What if we can’t figure out what country to send you back to?
Of course, more federal prisoners means more building. Think of them like special hotels for tourists. Hotels where you pay for your room by making license plates all day. Your business is highly valued, except when it comes to paying you. You get five vacation days for every twelve consecutive months you work. We make the best deals.
Maybe Russian construction firms can take part in building the new prisons, in return for kickbacks to whoever grants the permits. I am not trying to start any new conspiracy theories. We don’t need any more of those, wink, wink.
Where were we? Oh yes, the good immigrants, the able-bodied noncriminal immigrants, will get to stay here and work and pay taxes for us to be able to buy more aircraft carriers. Now, how many immigrants will that work out to be?
This brings us to the most sickening moment of Trump’s presidency so far. That was the announcement during the speech to Congress that he had created VOICE, the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office.
Trump has created a propaganda organ to amass examples of crime by immigrants, to be presented to the public without any context, without comparison to the crimes committed by nonimmigrants. This is how you use propaganda to turn a population into haters. This is the Nazi tactic we all feared was on its way.
Someone called it a good Trump, bad Trump ploy. We’ll leave the noncriminals among them alone for now, because we don’t want to scare anyone into thinking we’re fascist. Meanwhile, we’ll be building a propaganda case against them, to prove that there are so many criminals that we can’t take chances any more.
In essence, putting people in prisons amounts to taking their citizenship away. I remember that Trump wanted to explicitly revoke the citizenship of anyone burning a flag in protest. It makes me believe that Trump would like to revoke the citizenship of anyone even suspected of a crime, the same way they can already confiscate your property without a trial, through civil forfeiture.
It’s a natural evolution of civil forfeiture, an unjust feature of our “justice” system, that the Trump administration has supported.
Look for a supersized version of civil forfeiture that will seize all rights and property and be applied to whole classes of people based on propaganda-driven suspicions.
Trump is the landlord. “You can’t live here anymore.” “Why, what have I done wrong?” “I don’t know yet, I just don’t trust you.”
“How do I know you aren’t a rapist, a murderer, or a drug dealer? Look how people like you are. We had to set up a whole new office of government just to count them all!”