Just when you think El Mero Pendejo Trump can’t do anything more insidious and evil than he’s already done, he proves you wrong. We are in the midst of his latest pernicious pendejada: the separating of children from their parents along the border between the United States of America and the United Mexican States.
We’ve all seen the images in newspapers and cable news programs. We’ve heard the haunting audio of crying, frightened and bewildered children in the throes of being yanked from the arms of their mothers. It’s like a bad horror movie. And even more than that, it’s evocative of documentary footage we’ve seen over the years of real life separations. Japanese Americans rounded up and placed in concentration camps in the interior of the U.S., camps labeled euphemistically as “relocation centers” by the federal government. Young Jewish children forcibly separated from the parents by the Nazis during the infamous kindertransport campaigns during WWII. Trump’s “zero tolerance” approach to today’s issue of immigration has given us these types of eerie (and unconscionable) contemporary images.
It’s difficult to assess Trump’s stumbling “off the top of his head” unpredictable moves. What’s worse – his stupidity or his hypocrisy? It’s a toss up. As he has with other issues (bans on Muslims entering the United States, bans on transgender individuals in the U.S. military), Trump flipped a switch to change things and initiate a new policy. With his beleaguered mouthpiece, Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed onstage to make the initial announcement, Trump declared that this so-called “zero tolerance” policy would act to deter migrants from coming here and would show how “tough and strong” his immigration policies are. Separating children, even babies, from their mothers was the plan. And Trump claimed his hands were tied by the law and he blamed the Democrats in Congress. Lie after lie after lie.
And then came the idiocy of his executive order presumably intended to end the separation of kids from their parents and to reunite those who were separated. More obfuscation, more chaos and more lies. The guy lighted the fire and then claimed he’s put it out. You need a scorecard to keep track of the lies—and the snarky extra punitive comments.
Using a familiar bullshit refrain, Trump blamed the legitimate news media, claiming that they are somehow responsible for this migrant mess. And what’s telling is that when CNN and the New York Times and the (newly revitalized) Los Angeles Times sought to enter the detention centers where the children were held, they weren’t allowed in. Only in a few cases were journalists allowed onto the prison grounds, and they couldn’t stray from their appointed “handlers.” Sounds more like North Korea than South Texas. But we know how the pendejo likes to pattern himself after dictators.
Trump tweeted that the stories of wailing children and terrified parents were “phony” and just a ploy by his opponents to build sympathy for their cause. Their grief and sadness were somehow not genuine. What? How despicable can a guy be? Well, Trump shows us he’s out to outdo himself every pinche day. Que verguenza.
Doesn’t it drive you crazy to hear him say things such as: “I hate to see families separated” when it is he who ordered the policy? Immigrants and immigration are Trump’s “go to” issue for everything. Immigrants create crime and lawlessness. Immigrants undermine the U.S. economy. Immigrants are an “infestation” that threats to alter the (white) culture of the United States. So, as Nazis blamed Jews and homosexuals for Germany’s troubles in the thirties and forties, Trump blames Mexicans and Central Americans for all the ills presumably confronting the U.S. today.
That reality alone would be enough to have us fear for the future of the republic. But there’s something worse than that. And that is that a big chunk of people in this country think Trump’s attitude, rhetoric and actions are just fine. That’s what’s really scary.
Para acabarla de fregar, Trump’s cronies are lining their pockets as a result of the misery and terror faced by immigrants. Government contracts are being hurriedly dealt out to private contractors to house (that is, to imprison) families of immigrants. Trump’s actions are destined to detain immigrant families for months or even years. And that means Trump can continue to dole out huge contracts to private companies.
An example is Southwest Key, a group that just got a series of federal checks totaling 458 million dollars. The CEO of that so-called nonprofit company rakes in a cool 1.5 million dollars as an annual salary. And the list of private companies feeding at the federal trough of immigrant misery goes on.
It’s always about money and politics. Here’s what I suspect might happen shortly. Trump has long been pissed off at Jeff Sessions for stepping aside from the Russia investigation. If he hadn’t recused himself, Trump could be pulling his marionette strings, making the Russia probe into the meddling in our elections go away. Trump is always ready to blame Sessions for things he doesn’t like—even though Sessions does the Pendejo-in-Chief’s bidding. I’m guessing Trump will blame Sessions for this current immigration desmadre. Then he’ll fire him and put in a new Attorney General. When that new person is in place, Trump will order the new A.G. to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. Ta dah!
Don’t laugh. It’s possible.
And that reminds me of a Brazilian expression about desperate, no-win situations: “É rir para não chorar.” (You have to laugh in order not to cry.)
Copyright 2018 by Luis R. Torres. Torres is a veteran journalist. He is author of a forthcoming biography of former Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina. All photos in the public domain.