Compassion, altruism are mere Donald sound-bites

Posted by Tom Camfield

Friday, March 30, Donald Trump designated April 2018 “Second Chance Month,” during which the country will emphasize the need “to provide opportunities for people with criminal records to earn an honest second chance.”

On that very same Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown came under attack by Trump for pardoning five ex-convicts facing possible deportation. 

The five immigrants were among 56 pardons and 14 commutations granted by Brown (on Good Friday and the start of Passover) to those who have been out of custody for at least 10 years and have exhibited “exemplary behavior” after their convictions.” Obviously not career criminals or recidivists. Each of the five immigrants lived “law-abiding” lives after serving their time, and were assets to their communities and families, according to information from Brown’s office. Two of the immigrants came to America as child refugees. The pardons won’t necessarily save the men from deportation, but they may help.

On Saturday, Trump listed the crimes originally linked to the five immigrants who were pardoned and asked ”Is this what the great people of California really want?” The pardoned included Phann Pheach, a Cambodian refugee who more than 10 years ago served six months for possession of a controlled substanace for sale and obstructing a police officer. Also Sergio Mena, who was sentenced in 2003 and put on probation for three years for possession of a controlled substance for sale. 

Donald took a different view: “@RealDonaldTrump, Governor Jerry ‘Moonbeam’ Brown pardoned 5 criminal illegal aliens whose crimes include (1) Kidnapping and Robbery (2) Badly beating wife and threatening a crime with intent to terrorize (3) Dealing drugs. Is this really what the great people of California want? @FoxNews"—5:53 a.m., Mar 31

But all in all, the five are not exactly examples of earlier claims that have been made by Donald. For instance: “But you have people coming in and I’m not just saying Mexicans, I’m talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists and they’re coming into this country.”

I wish Donald had taken the time to list the offenses of the other 65 individuals being pardoned by Brown, their ethnicity and their original crimes against society. That would have given us a better foundation for our thoughts—but, then, that wouldn’t have supported the picture he was trying to paint of Latino immigrants as “criminals and rapists.”

This real news was described in the main stream media as “the latest discord between Trump and leaders in California, where lawmakers have been actively moving to disrupt Trump’s policies by, among other things, passing immigration laws that run counter to the administration’s agenda and by expanding environmental protections.” Edmund Gerald "Jerry” Brown Jr. is an American politician, author and lawyer serving as the 39th and current Governor of California since 2011, previously holding the position from 1975 to 1983, making him the state's longest-serving Governor. 

His being dissed as “Moonbeam” by Disastrous Donald doesn’t refute the reality that Brown has been the one of the two of them who has actually worked selflessly on behalf of the public.

To me, it all brings to mind a speech in July of last year when Donald called gang members “animals” and praised law enforcement for being “rough”—at a time when the shooting of unarmed black men by law enforcement remains an ongoing problem in our society. It’s difficult to determine just what Donald Trump’s attitude and agenda are from one day to the next. It seems pretty clear he’s soft on white nationalists, hates Mexicans and Muslims, looks down on Blacks, is disdainful of the poor. @realDonaldTrump: “Sadly, the over-whelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics, a tough subject, must be discussed.”—June 5, 2013

WITH REGARD TO WHICH we have the DACA “Dreamers.” @RealDLHughley: “#Trump says no more #DacaDeal! On the day many celebrate the rise of Christ, hate has risen too. #TeamDl” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was implemented by the Obama administration via executive order in 2012. Trump rescinded it this past September, putting  in danger of deportation some 800,000 young immigrants brought to this country illegally as children.

Donald previously had promised to “work across the aisle” with Congress to pass a law formalizing DACA protection. In rescinding Obama’s order in September, he gave Congress a deadline of March 5 to pass a DACA law. On Jan. 9 he tweeted: “As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval.” Nothing like handicapping one side of the aisle right out of the chute.The March 5 deadline he had imposed earlier passed without a deal. Republican leaders in Congress also had promised to take up the matter back when horse-trading for a necessary few final votes for its notorious “tax reform” bill so desired by Trump. Didn’t happen, of course, as even the Republicans found themselves stymied by Donald’s duplicitous stubbornness,

And the president Monday again blamed Democrats for DACA’s demise, even though he himself effectively ended the program eight months ago. “DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon,” Trump tweeted. “No longer works. Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation. Democrats want No Borders, hence drugs and crime!”

My own impression is that legislators would choose to accommodate DACA “Dreamers” but not at the expense of the stupid wall with which Donald is holding the immigration issue hostage.

HIs tweets have continued in large number: “Mexico is making a fortune on NAFTA . . . They have very strong border laws — ours are pathetic. With all of the money they make from the U.S., hopefully they will stop people from coming through their country and into ours, at least until  Congress changes our immigration laws!” Just hours earlier he had claimed that Mexico was “doing nothing” to stop people from flowing across its southern border (see following). 

Trump has grown increasingly antsy and petulant over lack of funding for his wall along the Mexican border, his chief ongoing obsession. One of his latest dozen or 15 early-morning Tweets on immigration stated: “Border Patrol Agents are to allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democratic) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

He followed that Tweet with another: "Mexico is doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U. S. They laugh at our dumb immigration laws. They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!”

And another: “These big flows of people are trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!’

Never one to be concerned with facts—let alone ethics or compassion—Donald merely charges forward planting impressions of his own making into the public mind. His comments pander pre-conceived notions of his supporters and are disseminated readily via social media. But he lies freely out of convenience, as well as ignorance.

That final Tweet above is a prime example. Immigrants who come to the U. S. in 2018 cannot avail themselves of DACA. As the web site of U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services details, DACA was limited to those who can demonstrate they are under the age of 31 as of June 14, 2012, came to the U.S. before they turned 16, have “continuously have resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time,” and were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012.

Donald Trump lies with devious, often vindictive, intent—driven by narcissism, paranoia, vengeful resentment, etc. There is no pretense of ethics in his words or deeds. He seems to regard altruism, empathy and such as social diseases.

The “caravans” (plural) referred to by Donald as he whipped at the overworked fear factor, referred to “a caravan” (singular) of Central Americans referred to shortly before his tweets on “Fox and Friends,” his never-miss TV program. A group of hundreds of Central American refugees seeing safety in numbers along the way has been proceeding north through Mexico toward the U.S., where participants will seek asylum or perhaps try to sneak across the border. It would seem Trump could just quietly (that’ll be the day!) utilize our border patrol and activate some of our “well-regulated militia,” the National Guard, to deal with this caravan. But as usual he is exaggerating a singular thing he finds useful to his insane rhetoric. 

MEANWHILE, ANYTHING FOR THAT DAMNED WALL!—As I write this the morning of April 3, Trump says he talked to Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis about using the military to secure the southern border until his promised wall is built. “We’re going to do things militarily.” Trump has been deeply frustrated about the lack of progress building what was the signature promise of his campaign: a "big, beautiful wall" along the Mexican border. He's previously suggested using the Pentagon's budget to pay for building the wall, arguing it is a national security priority, despite strict rules that prohibit spending that's not authorized by Congress.

As Donald’s mind and American society continue to deteriorate, how many Republican Congress members, I wonder, will stand firm for justice and equality in an ethical way against the ill-conceived Trump agenda with their own seats of power listed on the ballot come November. 

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