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No, not these spent and sweet-faced kids asleep on a floor in God knows where, having trudged for days with their families and thousands of bedraggled others seeking safety and a better life. The invasion is the fascist clown spewing racist loathsome lies about them, most recently in that nauseating, neo-Nazi, George-Wallace-esque, “dog whistle of all dog whistles” nativist political commercial featuring immigrant cop killer Luis Bracomontes who, as the ad shrieks, “killed our people!…Democrats let him in our country!” – except that, as pretty much everyone in our country swiftly noted, he was deported by Clinton, let back in by Bush, inexplicably released by Arpaio, and conveniently armed with his AR-15 by the NRA.
No matter. Because reality doesn’t matter in the fact-free miasma inside Trump’s putrid pumpkin head – and fear, the most potent of weapons, does – he sticks to his sinister, fictional narrative of an “invasion of our country.” He’s ordered thousands of troops, dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot, a more catchy moniker than Operation Let’s Distract My Unthinking Neanderthal Hordes Before the Mid-Terms, to protect a border 1,000 miles away. He’s gone on Fox (again) to babble, “You look at that caravan and you look largely, very, you know, big percentage of men, young, strong… A lot of bad people in there. People that are in gangs”- though it remains unclear if the gangs include the feeble people he’s charged are bringing in leprosy and smallpox (WTF?), or, say, the 17-year-old brothers who, as they walk from Honduras, have “shared a single pair of pink sandals – found on the road – with their father.”
Trump’s tale keeps getting ever more lurid. He threatened to up the number of troops to 15,000 – roughly the size of our Afghanistan occupation force – and, on Thursday, to shoot any migrants who dare throw a rock, citing “some very tough fighters and people who fought back violently and viciously against Mexico at Northern Border.” Clearly heedless of the regrettable David/Goliath/ Palestine/Israel visions he was summoning, he blustered on, “I hope there won’t be that, but I will tell you this – anybody throwing rocks… we will consider that a firearm, because there’s not much difference.” Understandably confident in his knowledge of warfare, Major Bone Spurs added, “I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”
The cruel distortion of the quest by destitute, terrified families “to find something better” – heartrendingly documented in an essay on one family’s earlier journey – coupled with the final vile straw of that Willie-Horton-on-steroids ad led Al Cardenas, former chair of Florida’s Republican Party, to issue a memorable rebuke to the monster his party helped create. “You are a despicable divider, the worst social poison to afflict our country in decades,” he wrote on Thursday. “This ad (will) condemn you and your bigoted legacy forever in the annals of America’s history books.” To which we add: If you need a reminder why it’s time to fight back – improbable, we realize – check out “Blue Wave,” the most kick-ass, spine-tingling political ad ever from Eleven Films, who were not paid. Beto O’Rourke: “We’re here to define who we are.”
Exhausted girl. Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/Washington Post
Our great-grandparents’ caravan
First published in Common Dreams.