Take Immigration and the Economy Away from Trump. Now!

There is the possibility, let’s be really clear about it, that Trump might get reelected.

It sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it, but there it is.

A man who lost the popular vote in 2016 by nearly 2.9 million votes has a chance of becoming our president for another 4 years.

Trump took the immigration issue and whipped his supporters into a frenzy. He painted a picture that immigrants where the reason they had not fared better economically. Or socially.

It was the immigrants’ fault. And he would clean house, build a wall, put in restrictions, stir as much hatred as possible so his loyal supporters could march to the polls and put in that ballot for him.

But immigration is not Trump’s issue. It is the nation’s issue. All of us should have a say in the matter.

Immigration has helped us become the strong nation that we are. A nation one hundred times better than Trump (who, while decrying immigrants, has married two immigrant women).

It should be up to all Americans to decide how to handle immigration.

It should not be up to a man who lost the popular vote.

His supporters do not represent the will of this nation.

We do need new legislation on immigration for we must be in control of our borders. But such control should be based on a consensus reached by all Americans.

Which is why I am proposing that we hold a National Referendum on Immigration.

How many immigrants should be allowed in, with what skills, from which countries, for how long a period?

After a set period of discussion on the pros and cons, then all Americans would vote on what to do about it. Then it would go to congress to be made into law.

Our democratic presidential candidates have not taken this matter seriously.

Immigration deserves to be front and center, with a sound plan to address it, otherwise Trump will do the same that he did in 2016 and stir more hatred of immigrants in his supporters.

To check him, a plan is needed. And it is needed now!

On the Economy.

Is it better than under Obama? Yes. This in spite of the dampening effect of the ill advised tariff war with China. But who blocked the needed spending to boost the economy during 2010-2015? Republicans in congress (please see Paul Krugman – The Legacy of Destructive Austerity – NYTimes 12/30 2019). The same Republicans who then, after Trump became president, chose to reverse course and approve such spending.

The duplicity of Republicans has to be exposed. Their blocking of Obama’s economic measures clearly harmed Americans’ economic wellbeing.

Democratic presidential candidates need to be very vocal on these two issues.

The harm caused by Republican policy has been devastating to the nation.

It should be front and center in the presidential political debate.

Finally, a word in support of Common Cause’s effort to Fix The Broken Electoral College by  sponsoring a proposal for a ‘National Popular Vote Compact’ which is ‘… an agreement among states to guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.’

To donate online please go to commoncause.org/join.


Tariffs and The Entertainer in Chief

It is the beginning of the end.

By now it should be clear to our president, like it is to most of us, that the tariff war with China cannot be won. Trade with China needs fixes, of course, but the way our president has gone about it has been self-defeating. His style is aimed more at playing to the world and propping up his fragile ego than to secure a favorable deal.

In the excitement of his impulsive tweets and the frenzy of his contradictions, he has revealed his style to China and they have taken notice.

Sure, he can say one thing now and stocks go up, another thing later the same day and stocks go down, but the market is not the economy.

Gradually, through his erratic ways, he has proven himself unsteady, eroding business confidence and doing real damage to the economy.

The economy can still recover – after a period to make the adjustment – but it would take for Mr Trump to see it as a priority and to focus on stability.

There is nothing to suggest that precious quality lives in him.

Curiously, he knows that a sound economy is essential to keeping alive his hopes of being reelected, but his need to see himself as Entertainer in Chief overpowers his better judgment.

And that’s who we’re stuck with.

A man who one moment wants to buy Greenland (which could be a sound idea if approached sensibly instead of in a capricious tweet), another moment wants Netanyahu in Israel to bar two US congresswomen from visiting the West Bank, then wants to invite Putin to the next G7 meeting – never mind his power grab of Crimea in the Ukraine, and the shooting down of a commercial airliner killing everyone on board, including distinguished scientists – and why not have the meeting at Mar-a-Lago and play a round of golf? Putin, who interfered in the 2016 election and will surely interfere again. Or as Robert Mueller said recently before congress, it is already happening.

Meanwhile, China watches.

China knows to wait out our president. They have taken the measure of the man.

They are willing to endure whatever hardship the trade war will bring for they will not bow to Trump and his swashbuckling style.

Trump doesn’t get that. And we and the world will pay the price.

Maybe that is what it will take for us not to make the same mistake again.