Dave Trenga #87

    As the November mid-term elections are rapidly approaching, we can see that the hot-button issue this year is going to be immigration. Over the past month I’ve been seeing the immigration issue shaping up to be the rallying cry for the far-right to mobilize their base and get their people out to the polls. With the inept leadership that the Republican party has wrought on this country over the last five years taking its toll, they are now terrified that they may lose that leadership role in November. With the economy in shambles, Iraq deteriorating into civil war and their party plagued with scandal after scandal the Republicans need to distract the American voter, to shift attention away from their incompetence and corruption. What they need is a new enemy. That enemy is illegal immigration. It seems like only yesterday that the Republican Party, in an attempt to polarize their base, reached into their sack of dirty tricks and pulled out the gay-card. Scapegoating homosexuals worked wonders for getting their base of support out to the polls for the last presidential election, insuring Bush another term and solidifying their congressional grasp over the Democrats. By introducing special initiatives on the ballots in eleven states and allowing the public to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage, the conservative hate machine lured every narrow-minded, fearful bigot out to the polls. This tactic helped them to clinch a majority in the House and Senate, claiming victory based on moral superiority. Well now the self-righteousness of the far-right is back in time to get everyone worked up into a panicked frenzy over the looming immigration crisis that, they claim, we are facing here in America. Of course a month ago there was no looming immigration crisis and if there was we certainly weren’t hearing about one. But now after only a few weeks of familiar fear-mongering tactics, beating the immigration issue into the heads of a fearful populace the offensive seems to have paid off. According to recent polls, immigration is now one of the most important issues facing our nation today. In fact immigration is tied with the economy and second only to the war in Iraq as the most important issue. So it has only taken a few weeks for the far-right channeling their hate speech thru members of congress and the lunatic talk show pundits to successfully scare the hell out of the American public and make immigration such an important issue. So now the question is will this forced-crisis have enough steam to produce the desired results. What in fact the far-right is hoping to gain by exploiting this immigration issue is to, once again, keep control of congress during these upcoming elections. The Republicans are desperately trying to cling to their power, the power they’ve enjoyed during the Bush presidency, presiding over all three branches of government. But with the way things have been going and the level of frustration with the government the Democrats actually have a shot at regaining a majority in congress. So as usual the political dirty tricks are destined to be the determining factors in America’s election process. Needless to say, we will certainly not see intelligent or insightful debate over important issues decide an election- at least not in the land of Ann Coulter-styled political reasoning. It’s better to just distort the facts and prey on people’s fears and prejudices, that’s how you win elections. Most people don’t have the desire to learn about an issue so it’s the headlines and toxic rants that tend to stick in people’s minds. It is in the trenches of talk radio-ravings and editorialized tirades that the battle over immigration is being fought. The American Family Association has claimed that there is a vast conspiracy between immigrants and the “mainstream-media” to weaken the red-states with immigration. Rush Limbaugh, hurling his hateful rhetoric once again, has stated that the Democrats are encouraging Al-Qaeda to come over the southern border so they can take their votes. Michael Savage warned the politicians debating a policy on immigration not to take to the streets to support the illegal immigrant “vermin”. Prison Fellowship Ministries founder, Charles W. Colson (convicted Watergate felon) topped them all with his connection between immigration and abortion. Colson argued that the reason we need millions of illegal immigrants working jobs in America is because of the 40 million potential workers that we have aborted since 1973, when abortion was made legal. Again rational, intelligent debate is not something that is commonly practiced in American politics. And in what has been shaping up as hysterical fear-mongering it is the Mexican immigrants that have been made the scapegoats of the right-wing hate tactics. There has been an endless stream of criticism over the airwaves about Mexican flag-wavers attending the massive protests for immigrant rights. The criticism that has been spewed at the Mexican flag-wavers has mainly been in the form of condemnation over the waving of the Mexican flag as oppose to the American flag. “if you love Mexico so much they why don’t you go back where you came from” has been a frequently used insult I’ve been hearing a lot lately. Of course these types of insults have only been directed at Mexican flag-waver and not towards any other ethnic group or their flags. Just like homosexuals in the last election, it’s now the Mexican immigrants that are a threat to the American way of life, so they would have us believe. Fox News pundits have made claim that they have suspicions that Hispanic American advocacy groups are set on “retaking old Mexico territories by pure birth-rate”. Old Mexico territories, of course, referring to parts of the U.S.- what exactly is the far-right so afraid of? They frame the debate over immigration around job security and national security but is that really what they’re so concerned with? If it was really job security then where was all the opposition over the outsourcing of jobs to cheaper slave labor in other countries? If it was about national security then where is the outcry over the 95% of unchecked cargo coming into this country? Is their stance against Mexican immigrants more about fear of a Caucasian minority in the U.S.? Whatever their reasoning they have found this years scapegoat, the Mexican immigrant, and they’re going to exploit this years scapegoat the same way they scapegoated homosexuals , in hopes of a political victory in November. Will they accomplish this? And if so, who’s next?