A childish plan from the Trump Administration would have perfectly trolled the left, but its implementation could have had serious consequences.
The Trump Era has seen conservative thought and policy reduced to trolling the left on occasion.
In this age, the ironies of life and politics have a particular weight. They highlight inconsistency and hypocrisy. And in that sense, trolling the left is an exercise in a form of intellectual apologetics. One is able to defend one’s own political system by tearing down the ideas of the other side.
Other times, trolling the left is the product of spite, anger, and frustration. There are times when I wonder what it would be like if every republican voted for Bernie Sanders. You’ve got to give the people what they want. Unending benefits, amnesty, restriction of liberty. Vote for it all, just to see what happens to the nation.
That desire to give the people what the want is tempered by principle. Regardless of what value there is in being able to say “I told you so,” there is always considerable risk in causing others harm in your quest to troll the left.
This is where we find the Trump Administration.
Slate reports that “The Trump administration, the Washington Post reported Thursday, came up with a cartoonishly villainous plan and then pressured immigration officials to carry out the Trumpian scheme of arresting undocumented migrants coming into the country and then busing them and releasing them on the streets of so-called sanctuary cities. The aim? Retaliation, of course, against political enemies and for not treating undocumented families like criminals.”
Yeah yeah, I know it’s Slate.
Their characterization of the plan proves my point regarding the utility/futility of trolling the left.
1: The left loves illegal immigrants. We are repeatedly told that illegals commit less crime than the native population. We are repeatedly told how illegals are a boon to society. We are repeatedly told how it’s inhumane to deport human beings. So city councils, county boards, and state legislatures are willing to shield illegal immigrants from the consequences of violating the United States’ sovereignty. Yet when the Trump Administration merely wants to test those sentiments by giving aliens sanctuary, the left denounces the plan as “cartoonishly villainous.”
When I was in college, I took an International Relations course. In it, we had several simulations designed to test our knowledge of various diplomatic viewpoints and strategies. In the first simulation we did, the various nations or entities had to deal with a Zombie Apocalypse. During the simulation, Russia threatened to airdrop Zombies on unaffected nations. In the nuances between realism, neo-realism, and international liberalism, we find that a nation or two in this simulation were willing to negotiate with the Zombies, down-playing their threat. Yet when Russia threatens to transport Zombies to the unaffected nations, previously idealist and liberal states suddenly took the realist position, which acknowledges the likelihood of risk and harm.
Now, before you freak out, I am not comparing Trump to Russia and I am not comparing illegal aliens to Zombies. It’s an illustration from a college course. That’s it. Its purpose is to show how ideological viewpoints change when the risk becomes personal. It’s this conflict between personal and theoretical idealism/liberalism and practical realism.
2: After Trump points out the left’s unwillingness to remain idealists by forcing them to put their money where their sanctuary mouth is, the realist concerns still remain. And without getting into the stats behind immigrant crime, even if there is a marginal risk of harm coming to an American citizen at the hands of someone who should not be present in the country, in a sanctuary city, that liability falls on Trump.
In order to prove a point, the Trump Administration, was willing to risk harming American citizens. If the Trump Administration was interested in principle and not trolling, no amount of spite would permit it to carry out this policy.
Conservative thought may have room for this type of thinking:
We can joke about these things when the policy doesn’t come with such a risk. But it’s really not a good idea here. And the occasional trolling may also backfire.
If Trump is a realist on immigration and sees a threat from illegal aliens, why would he abandon his view for political points?
But don’t worry, the plan never went anywhere.
Slate says, “This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion,” the White House statement said.