On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust survivors warned about the demagoguery and rhetoric espoused by Donald Trump that they say echoes back to Nazi Germany -- the same rhetoric which has been sanctioned by right-wing media and praised by white nationalist media as "wonderful."
Libertarian journalist and Reason.com editor Nick Gillespie took issue with the National Review's recent "Against Trump" campaign, which attempts to characterize Donald Trump as a fake conservative. Gillespie argued that Trump "is not at odds with National Review, conservatives, or all the other Republican presidential candidates."
On January 21, the conservative magazine National Review published a special issue titled "Against Trump," in which 22 prominent conservative media figures questioned whether or not the Republican presidential frontrunner is a real conservative. According to National Review, "If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, there will once again be no opposition to an ever-expanding government." Several other conservative commentators reacted by lashing out at National Review, calling it "irrelevant" and "intellectual snobbery," and lamenting that the publication has "lost touch with the electorate."
In a January 25 blog post for Reason.com, Nick Gillespie explained that even though National Review published their "Against Trump" issue, "National Review's editors might at least acknowledge that they helped to create the opportunity [for Trump] in the first place." Gillespie added that Trump's "openly hostile" positions on immigration are "completely in accord with" positions held by many conservatives, and the entire Republican presidential field, all of whom are "at odds with most of the country." Gillespie concluded his post by arguing that there is no reason to think National Review would not eventually support Trump's presidential ambitions if he succeeds in his run for the Republican nomination. From Reason.com (emphasis added):
Donald Trump's appeal among Republicans is directly related to issues and attitudes that mainstream conservatives and Republicans have been harping on for virtually all of the 21st century, if not longer. Anyone with even passing familiarity with National Review, which rarely misses an opportunity to tout its central role in the post-war conservative movement, knows that the magazine has long been extremely hostile to immigration, extremely bellicose when it comes to foreign policy and projecting American "strength" abroad, and extremely quick to attack any real and perceived slights to "American exceptionalism" (a term more often invoked than defined with any precision) while excoriating any real and perceived concessions to "political correctness."
These are exactly the grounds upon which Trump has seized the day in the Republican primary season, so if he is in fact "a philosophically unmoored political opportunist"--and I think that's a pretty fair description -- National Review's editors might at least acknowledge that they helped to create the opportunity in the first place. After all (and whatever his past affiliation), Trump isn't running in the Democratic primaries, is he? And despite the editors' claim that since Jesse Jackson entered the 1984 Democratic race "both parties have been infested by candidates who have treated the presidency as an entry-level position," the plain fact is that it's the GOP and conservatives who regularly trot out and swoon for the likes of Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Herman Cain.
Let's be clear: To the extent that Trump is widely and accurately understood to be openly hostile to immigration and immigrants, especially from Mexico, he is not at odds with National Review, conservatives, or all the other Republican presidential candidates. He is completely in accord with all of them -- and they are all at odds with most of the country.
I understand and appreciate National Review's interest in dissociating itself and conservatism from Donald Trump, who just might become the nominee of the Republican Party, for which NR is an unofficial cheerleader and powerful agent of influence (before the Trump contretemps, it was going to co-host a party debate). Certainly from a libertarian perspective (a perspective which has been mostly attacked and dismissed in the pages of National Review for virtually all of its run), Trump is bad news on virtually all fronts, and especially those elements that are part and parcel of the modern conservative and National Review catechism.
But let's not pretend also that National Review won't actually support Trump should he actually become the Republican candidate.
The Washington Post editorial board called out Republican presidential candidates' anti-immigrant "rancor and outright nativism" that falsely gives "rise to the impression that illegal immigration has soared to unprecedented levels" when in reality recent studies show that illegal immigration is "now at its lowest level since 2003."
Right-wing media have emboldened Republican presidential candidates' use of "alarmist" rhetoric and disparaging terms to describe immigrants, have pressured them into taking hardline anti-immigration policy stances, and defended the candidates who have been criticized for adopting extreme positions.
In a January 24 editorial, The Washington Post editorial board wrote that "Republican rhetoric on immigration has not caught up" with data showing that the percentage of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. "is at its lowest point since the turn of the century." The board pointed to two recent reports from the Pew Research Center and the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) showing declining immigration rates, and called on Republicans to "grapple with that reality":
THE ANTI-ILLEGAL immigrant rancor and outright nativism afoot in the Republican primary field give rise to the impression that illegal immigration has soared to unprecedented levels and that the border is no more than a line in the sand, scarcely monitored and easily crossed. The truth diverges wildly from that rhetoric, as a pair of recent studies demonstrate.
Notwithstanding the demagoguery of Donald Trump and some of his GOP rivals, the number of illegal immigrants in this country, which has declined each year since 2008, is now at its lowest level since 2003, and the percentage of undocumented immigrants likewise is at its lowest point since the turn of the century.
That Mr. Trump has leveraged fact-free rhetoric for political advantage is not news. Still, it is noteworthy that so much of the GOP-primary oxygen, at least until the terrorist attacks in Paris, was consumed by alarmist rhetoric about border security, when in fact the border is more tightly patrolled than ever, and apprehensions at the southwestern border, a rough measure of illegal crossings, have been cut by about two-thirds since Sept. 11, 2001.
Republican rhetoric on immigration has not caught up to those numbers, nor to the reality that the U.S. economy, like other Western economies, cannot function without low-wage, low-skill labor, which Mexico has supplied. An estimate 7 million-plus undocumented immigrants, most of them Mexicans, are employed in this country. Mr. Trump's fantasies of mass deportation notwithstanding, they will not be replaced by native-born Americans. At some point, Republicans will need to grapple with that reality.
A report from the Center For Migration Studies (CMS) found that the undocumented immigrant population in the United States has dropped below 11 million for the first time since 2003. CMS officials specifically noted that they "took issue with the characterizations" of immigration by Republican candidates, many of whom contended that immigration is a growing problem. Those characterizations have in fact been encouraged by conservative media, which have pressured Republican presidential candidates into taking hardline anti-immigration policy stances and defended candidates that have been criticized for adopting extreme positions.
From the January 21 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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From the January 19 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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From the January 19 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
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Economists from the University of California, Davis published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal debunking the popular right-wing media myth that an influx of low-skilled refugees would necessarily result in decreased wages and job opportunities for American workers.
On January 18, University of California, Davis economist Giovanni Peri and doctoral candidate Vasil Yasenov published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal discussing their recent study on the wage and employment disruption created when a large influx of Cuban refugees arrived in South Florida in 1980. Their work, published in December 2015 by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), updated prior research on the migration and confirmed that the sudden arrival of 125,000 Cuban refugees did not correlate with decreased wages or employment activity for American workers in the local community.
Right-wing media have created many myths about immigration, but perhaps the most pervasive is the misleading claim that new immigrants take jobs away from American workers. Economists have debunked the claim many times, but it remains a prevalent talking point in many conservative outlets.
Peri and Yasenov argued that an influx of new immigrants "stimulates productivity and growth in the economy" and pointed to the experience of Cuban refugees in the 1980s as a model for what to expect from Syrian refugee arrivals today. From The Wall Street Journal (emphasis added):
A well-known episode took place after April 20, 1980, when Fidel Castro opened the port of Mariel, enabling anyone to freely leave the island. More than 125,000 Cubans fled to the U.S. until the Mariel boatlift, as it was called, ended in September. More than half of these refugees settled in Miami. Most were low-skill--which meant that the supply of workers without a high-school diploma in the city increased between 12% and 15%.
Economist David Card analyzed how the wages and employment rate of native workers in Miami changed from 1979 (before the inflow) to 1981-82 (after the inflow). His influential study, published in 1990, compared Miami with Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and Tampa-St. Petersburg, a control group of cities with similar demographic and labor-market characteristics during the 1970s.
The results were striking: The 1979-1981 wage and employment changes in Miami were not much different than in the other cities. The evidence, he concluded, was that a sudden increase in the supply of low-skill workers had no significant negative effect on native laborers with similar schooling levels.
Our results--released as National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 21801 on Dec. 15--confirm Mr. Card's original study. There is no evidence that Miami's low-skill workers experienced wage or employment decline relative to those in our control group of cities in 1980, 1981 or 1982. We also analyzed different subgroups--males, females, Hispanics and non-Hispanics--and did not find any significant wage effect in Miami after 1979.
This result suggests that the common belief that more immigrant workers depress native workers' wages or employment is not a good representation of what happens. Earlier research by one of us has shown that native workers do not suffer the negative impact of arriving immigrants because they take different jobs. Moreover, their arrival stimulates productivity and growth in the economy.
Miami's experience after the Mariel boatlift suggests that an influx of refugees from Syria to the U.S. would have no significant economic impact on American workers.
From the January 14 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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All of the major broadcast and cable networks in the U.S. suspended their programming on January 12 to air President Obama's last State of the Union address. All except Univisión and Telemundo, which instead aired their regularly scheduled telenovelas.
Univisión and Telemundo, respectively the largest and second largest Spanish-language networks in the United States, are among the most trusted sources of information for the growing Hispanic community.
Instead of giving the presidential address primetime coverage, Univisión aired the telenovela Pasión y poder, and Telemundo aired Bajo el mismo cielo, opting to live-stream the address online. NBC Universo -- an NBC Universal-owned Spanish-language Telemundo affiliate -- did broadcast the speech, but the channel is only accessible to cable-TV viewers.
According to recent census data, Hispanics are now the largest minority in the United States: Latinos constitute a little over 17 percent of the United States population. In 2016, over 26 million Latinos will be eligible to vote for the next president. Though the Latino voting bloc is becoming increasingly important, engaging them politically remains a challenge, as they repeatedly lag behind other demographics in voter turnout.
Univisión and Telemundo did a disservice to the community they serve by not broadcasting the president's State of the Union speech, which largely focused on issues that Latinos prioritize. Contrary to common media misconceptions, Latinos are not single-issue voters. In fact, evidence consistently shows that Latino voters are most concerned about jobs and the economy, healthcare, education and immigration, all of which received significant mentions during President Obama's address.
Telemundo and Univisión's lack of coverage did not go unnoticed. The Daily Show tweeted "If you're not into #SOTU, here are some other programming choices" with a graphic reading "Bored? Other things that are on TV right now." The graphic showed that, unlike ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox News, Univisión wasn't broadcasting the State of the Union. Instead, Pasión y poder is listed.
California State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-33), who has championed immigrant rights in the California legislature, also criticized the lack of coverage in a statement to Media Matters:
It is very disappointing that neither Telemundo nor Univision aired the President's State of the Union address on live TV. Are Novelas, which perpetuate sexism, racism, homophobia and classism, more important than the civic engagement and education of our community? This is a blatant missed opportunity and disservice to Latinos during such a crucial presidential election year. This is simply unacceptable and I call on the executives at all major Spanish-language broadcast outlets to do the community a service and carry this important address in years to come!
Far-right radio host Michael Savage told Donald Trump that Hispanics will support his presidential campaign because "the Hispanic culture is a macho culture. Men don't like reporting to a woman." Trump did not refute Savage's characterization, and later told him "I appreciate your support, you've been so amazing."
During his January 11 program, Savage remarked to Trump that "the reason Hispanics are going to vote for you -- and I'll say it, I'm not going to ask you -- is because, to be honest, and it's very clear, the Hispanic culture is a macho culture. Men don't like reporting to a woman. It's just the way the culture is. And they'd rather have a man than a woman as president." Savage then asked Trump, who did not refute or respond to Savage's characterization of Hispanics, about his polling with Hispanics:
SAVAGE: I'm asking you the questions about the audiences that we normally don't think would vote for you. On this show, Donald, last week I said the reason Hispanics are going to vote for you -- and I'll say it, I'm not going to ask you -- is because, to be honest, and it's very clear, the Hispanic culture is a macho culture. Men don't like reporting to a woman. It's just the way the culture is. And they'd rather have a man than a woman as president. What are your poll numbers amongst Hispanics?
TRUMP: Well we're doing well. In Nevada we just came in and we were at 34 or something like that, number one, the state of Nevada, which is very heavily Hispanic. And you know I have thousands of people that work for me that are Hispanic. And tens of thousands over the years that have been Hispanic and from Mexico and different places and they're phenomenal people. And, you know, they frankly, you know they don't want people coming into the country illegally and taking their jobs.
Trump later added that he's the one who "came up with" getting rid of "anchor babies" from the country, claiming that "people come over, they have a baby, now we have to take care of the baby for the next 90 years. It's ridiculous." The Associated Press noted that it's "extraordinarily rare for immigrants to come to the U.S. just so they can have babies and get citizenship. In most cases, they come to the U.S. for economic reasons and better hospitals, and end up staying and raising families."
Numerous polls have shown that Trump is actually extremely unpopular with Hispanics. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found "Trump's favorability rating is just 18 percent among Hispanics and blacks alike, vs. 44 percent among whites."
Savage praised Trump for starting the debate on immigration and said "frankly, the entire Democrat machine lives off the illegal alien vote. Without the illegal alien vote, I don't think they'd be where they are today."
Trump heavily praised Savage during the interview, stating at the beginning that it was "always an honor" to be on his program and ending the interview by saying, "I appreciate your support, you've been so amazing and I really do, thank you very much for it."
Savage is one of the country's most extreme radio personalities. The Cumulus Media-syndicated talker has called autism "a fraud, a racket," said PTSD and depression sufferers are "losers," advised people not to get flu shots because you can't trust the government, theorized liberals have been driven insane because of seltzer bubbles, claimed President Obama was intentionally trying "to infect the nation with Ebola," and once told a caller he was a "sodomite" who should "get AIDS and die."
Trump has repeatedly appeared on The Savage Nation and said in a prior appearance there would be "common sense" if he appointed Savage to head the National Institutes of Health if he became president.
The Miami Herald's Patricia Mazzei pointed out that the Republican Party presented a "decidedly softer" immigration stance in its Spanish-language response to President Obama's January 12 State of the Union address than in its English-language reply.
Mazzei's January 12 post on the Herald's blog Naked Politics compared the responses, the first delivered in English by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and the second in Spanish delivered by Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), which Mazzei called "decidedly softer." The responses offered "different messages" on immigration; while the English version emphasized the need to fix "our broken immigration system" by closing borders, the Spanish version focused on "a permanent and human solution" to immigration reform and for "those who live in the shadows." The contrasting responses reflect "the Republican Party's immigration split" and the ongoing attempts by the GOP to improve relations with Latino voters, which are often discouraged by conservative media and thwarted by the inflammatory rhetoric of some of their candidates.
According to Mazzei, while some discrepancies in the speeches reflected Haley's and Díaz-Balart's different backgrounds, "the Spanish version" of the response "was decidedly softer" on the topic of immigration. From Mazzei's post (emphasis added):
The Republican Party's immigration split was reflected Tuesdayin the two responses hand-picked party members gave -- one in English, one in Spanish -- to President Obama's final State of the Union address. The Spanish version, offered by a Cuban-American congressman from Miami, was decidedly softer.
Here's what South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in English:
No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.
At the same time, that does not mean we just flat out open our borders. We can't do that. We cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally. And in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined.
We must fix our broken immigration system. That means stopping illegal immigration. And it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries.
I have no doubt that if we act with proper focus, we can protect our borders, our sovereignty and our citizens, all while remaining true to America's noblest legacies.
Here's what Miami Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart said in Spanish (translation is ours):
No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love the United States should ever feel unwelcome in this country. It's not who we are.
At the same time, it's obvious that our immigration system needs to be reformed. The current system puts our national security at risk and is an obstacle for our economy.
It's essential that we find a legislative solution to protect our nation, defend our borders, offer a permanent and human solution to those who live in the shadows, respect the rule of law, modernize the visa system and push the economy forward.
I have no doubt that if we work together, we can achieve this and continue to be faithful to the noblest legacies of the United States.
As President Obama delivered his final address to Congress on the State Of The Union, conservative media personalities attacked him on Twitter, calling him "divisive," a liar, and mocking his policy proposals.
Two leading white nationalist media websites have used Donald Trump in their recent fundraising drives. The solicitations hail Trump for spurring "unprecedented interest in" white nationalism and putting their ideas "firmly in the mainstream."
White nationalists have been backing Trump's presidential campaign, especially his extreme positions on Hispanic and Muslim immigration. And the emergence of Trump has helped bolster white nationalist groups' finances and political organizing.
White nationalist William Daniel Johnson, who wants "a country made up of only white people," recently founded the American National Super PAC and is robocalling Republican primary voters in support of Trump. Politico wrote in December that "The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s."
Recent fundraising appeals for the white nationalist websites VDARE.com and American Renaissance illustrate how Trump has become part of the far-right's fundraising strategy.
The anti-immigrant website VDARE.com "regularly publishes works by white supremacists, anti-Semites, and others on the radical right," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A December 8 post cited Trump's call for a ban on Muslim immigration and concluded "[b]ecause of the improbable rise of Donald Trump ... our ideas are now firmly in the mainstream." VDARE added that Americans are ready for a "rebellion against Open Borders and the tyranny of political correctness" but (emphasis in original) "THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN UNLESS YOU SUPPORT US. I hate to be blunt, but money talks. So many people ask what they can do. And the fact is, the most important thing you can do is put your money to a cause you believe in."
A December 14 appeal from founder Peter Brimelow contained a picture of his wife, Lydia, attending a Trump rally and hailed the Republican candidate for running "on the patriotic immigration reform issue." He wrote that VDARE has "defended Trump on Hispanic rapists (they are a problem), black-on-white crime (he's right), ending Muslim immigration (it's legal), ending birthright citizenship (it's legal too), etc. etc." The appeal added "we can only do this with your help" and solicited donations for the website.
On January 1, Lydia Brimelow wrote that VDARE's "goal was $100,000, more than twice what we've brought in during a single appeal in the past. Not only did we meet our goal-WE SURPASSED IT! As of this writing we have a total of $105,047, and I haven't picked up the mail since 12/30." She added that "as evidenced by this incredible response, VDARE.com, the voice of the historic American nation, is getting louder and louder!"
American Renaissance is a white nationalist publication that regularly features "proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists," according to the SPLC. It is produced by the New Century Foundation, which "promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites" and sponsors "conferences every other year where racist 'intellectuals' rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists." White nationalist Jared Taylor is the editor of American Renaissance and president of New Century Foundation.
Taylor wrote a December 21 fundraising email stating that "Trump and the flood of migrants into Europe have resulted in unprecedented interest in American Renaissance" and "we need your help" with donations:
Something has changed.
The rise Donald Trump and the flood of migrants into Europe have resulted in unprecedented interest in American Renaissance.
Never before have our online videos been so popular, or shared so widely.
The last time I wrote to you, our videos had been viewed 342,000 times over the previous year. I thought that was promising, but in just the last six months, they've been watched another 640,000 times--nearly quadruple the previous rate!
One of our videos on Donald Trump has had over 87,000 views. Our video on the "refugee" invasion of Europe has had 230,000 views--and the numbers keep rising.
I used to be excited when a video got 25,000 views in a year.
Thanks to these videos, more and more white Americans--especially young people--are learning about American Renaissance and what we represent.
We must make the most of this sea-change. We must break the stranglehold of the liberal, anti-white media.
No matter what you can give--$25, $50, $100, $500, or even $1,000 or $5,000, please do so.
Taylor is part of the American National Super PAC's robocall. He states that Trump "is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America. We don't need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump."
From the January 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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