Well, that was gruesome, horrid and altogether frightening.
It appears that the Trump team’s (really, Steve Bannon’s) plan all along was to get Donald Trump a meeting with Mexico’s president at the start of the day and then follow it up with a primetime address detailing how Trump will kick out all the illegals and brown people to Make America White Again.
Hours after the GOP nominee softly read from a piece of paper in Mexico City and chickened out about demanding Mexico pay for the wall (President Enrique Pena Nieto later claimed that he told Trump there was to be no payment in their meeting), he delivered his much-anticipated immigration speech in Phoenix, Arizona. Coming on the heels of a couple of weeks’ worth of The Softening, the Republican standard-bearer gave his base what they wanted — a complete and total demonization of immigrants, specifically Hispanics and Muslims.
Starting with some platitudes about how much he loves Mexico and respects Pena Nieto, the Mussolini cosplayer dove right into yelling about how Mexicans were a bunch of murderers, ticking off a list of people killed by undocumented immigrants. He also pointed out that Mexico will pay for the wall, whether they know it or not. (Typical bully play…demur when face-to-face, puff chest when back on home turf.)
But he was just getting warmed up, folks. With his voice getting shriekier and louder, his face growing redder, the Trumpster read his speech somewhat robotically from the Teleprompter, tossing in little ad-libs from time to time. At one point, he said maybe we should deport Hillary Clinton because that’s what serious presidential candidates say during speeches run on primetime television.
What we learned is that there is to be no softening or pivot on his immigration policies. All of this ham-fisted pandering to Hispanics and minorities was nothing but that…transparent pandering. Throughout the speech, he continuously paired the words “immigrants” and “criminals,” with a healthy dose of “thug.” The message was clear — we need to stop the brown horde from invading this country. They are destroying our society and we need to get rid of them all.
There was discussion of a deportation force as Trump said he’d triple the number of ICE deportation officers and create a special Deportation Task Force. (See, it has ‘task’ in there. Totally different!) Self-deportation was also used as an option to help get many out of the country quickly. Basically, we make them and their families’ lives as miserable as possible so they have no choice but to leave. Oh, yeah, and DREAMers, you can go fuck yourselves. Who cares if you’ve lived here almost all of your lives. And let’s not even talk about the “ideological certification” tests for those applying for visas.
While the content of the speech was abhorrent, it was the tone that was bone-chilling. Shouting the whole time, spit flying, Trump got angrier and angrier as he plowed through it. Sure, there was stiffness due to the Teleprompter, but he just made up for it with MORE YELLING. And the audience ate it up. Lots of chanting and cheering and screaming.
Unhinged doesn’t do the scene justice. Dangerous, scary, threatening…maybe. Savage is probably the best word to describe the whole thing. Yes. This was a savage speech made for savage people by a savage man.