President Trump’s address to Congress was a clear attempt to change the tone of the administration. But how much of a change was there? Does it really matter if the President “sounds” more presidential or is it substance that should be the real focus? I think the latter because while he may have sounded more presidential, his VOICE plan sounds very worrisome.
The Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) will be a new office that will track crimes committed by immigrants and publish them in a weekly list. It sounded awfully familiar to a Breitbart News section on “black crime.” The office and program are unsettling for many reasons with the main one, for me, is the further association being made between immigration and crime. 9/11 created a linkage between terrorism/anti-terror law and immigration law but now with Trump’s plan this will be dramatically ramped up. Trump is setting up the immigrant straw man as the cause of all of America’s ills. I couldn’t help but notice how everything “foreign” in his speech was the cause of America’s problems in his mind, from foreign trade, to illegal immigration to just plain immigration. The emphasis on the “foreign” threat is something we have seen many times in history and certainly in both Canadian and American history as not only were other cultures and races portrayed as “dangerous foreigners” but also those on the left of the political spectrum. What Trump is effectively beginning with his administration is nation-building by way of repression of the “foreign” element in America, where “foreign” is defined by the government and “American” the opposite. Not only is this targeting of immigrants regressive but the definition of “foreign” threat will most certainly shift to include broader segments of society than just immigrants.
Add to this two other unsettling future White House plans (this in addition to the new travel ban and suspected Russian ties) which include an investigation into voter fraud and the intelligence community (IC). Will Trump seek to purge the intelligence community with supporters and “yes men/women?” You bet. I wrote about the liklihood of this in a previous post. Add in the voter fraud investigation, which will certainly (I imagine) look into changes that could make it easier for Trump to win reelection, and you have the beginnings of a very dangerous situation emerging in the US. Trump predictably booted critical media last week from participating in White House coverage, I also wrote that if he did this and continued his attack on the IC, he was effectively going to war with them and the gloves would be off and this seems to have occurred and is a mistake on his part. If the White House doesn’t want to work with the IC or media, both will only feel as though there’s no point in even giving Trump’s administration the benefit of the doubt. Still, one cannot help but feel that if ever there was a time in American history to be critical of the direction things were going in, this would be it. You have to wonder at what point will the majority of GOP members start to publicly admit that the President isn’t wearing any clothes.