Monday, June 27, 2016

Donald Trump softens tone on Islam and immigration.

Trump speaking. CNN

Donald Trump appears to be pivoting to the center on the issues of Islam and immigration. CNN. Trump has slowly began talking about his Muslim ban. Instead of a blanket ban on all Muslims, he now is calling for bans only from nations that have active terrorist groups or are "terror states". He also said that he might be willing to accept immigrants from those countries if they are strongly vetted. Trump also said that he did not like the term "mass deportations" and would simply enforce immigration laws. 

My Comment:
This was not unexpected at all. I always argued that Trump would pivot to the center eventually. In his book, Art of the Deal Trump laid out his typical plan for deal negotiation. He would often make a "crazy" demand that would exceed what he wanted so when he actually proposed what he wanted in the first place he would seem "reasonable". Anyone who is surprised by this was not paying any attention to Trump at all.

Indeed, back when Trump announced his blanket Muslim ban I immediately figured that what he really meant that he would limit Muslim immigration from countries like Syria and Iraq. Though Trump probably could have pulled off a complete Muslim ban, the ban from countries with active terror groups will probably be more popular and defensible. 

As for immigration, I am also not all that surprised that Trump softened there as well. There were signs of this happening a long time ago as well. I remember him at one point saying that he did not want to "break up families", which would be an impossibility if he really was going to deport everyone. He also rarely seems to talk about getting rid of birthright citizenship anymore, which is something he was very vocal about during the primary. 

I do have to say that Trump is always battling against the strawman image that the media has built for him. If you would listen to the media they would have you believe that Trump was going to round up and deport legal US citizens and send all the Muslims to the camps. They also say that Trump hates all Mexicans and considers them to be all rapists. None of that is true so to here the media say that Trump is pivoting to the center is pretty shocking to me. 

So should Trump supporters abandon Trump for softening his views? I would say no. Even if Trump is softening his views on these issues it's still a massive contrast between him and Hillary Clinton. On both issues Trump is clearly a better option for people that are angry with immigration or terrorism. Clinton is calling for ending US borders and bringing in tens of thousands of refugees from Syria. Even if you are unhappy with Trump softening his stances, he's still the only candidate that wants to do anything about immigration at all. 

Does it help Trumps image at all? Possibly. I think general election voters are less likely then primary voters to be super angry about immigration and terrorism. I think there are probably a few voters out there that would love to support Trump but are turned off by his stance on these issues. Disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters come to mind and he could pick up a few independent voters as well. 

On the other hand I don't think the media will ever give him a fair shake. Even though he is moderating his tone, I think the media will take one of two routes. Either they will continue to paint him as some kind of dangerous radical that hates everyone that isn't white or they will call him a hypocrite for softening his tone. Perhaps they will do both at once. You can not win with the media unless your name is Hillary Clinton. 

Do I agree with this shift? Somewhat. I do think it is important for Trump to beat Clinton so if shifting to the center is what gets him elected then I am all for it. Hillary Clinton can not be allowed to be president. Period. I am, of course, biased against her and if Satan himself was running against her I would at least hear him out. She's evil and she can't be trusted with the future of the world. 

But I also think that there was something to say for Trumps original plan on Muslim migrants. The vetting process is broken and I think there is a strong argument to be made that Muslim migrants are potentially dangerous even if they are vetted. And even if they aren't we also have to worry about 2nd generation Muslims that get radicalized here. A blanket ban was probably too far but I am worried that Trump's new stance doesn't go far enough. A temporary one, which is what Trump was calling for, was probably justified. 

That's mostly because we don't yet know exactly what countries will be banned. I would say at the very least it would be Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan. But does it count countries like Egypt or Pakistan? They are both ostensibly US allies and the both have very active terrorist groups. How about Turkey, with their connections to ISIS? They are in NATO, but I consider them a bigger terror threat then Iraq or Syria. 

Still, even if Trump doesn't ban every country that has Muslims, he will at least try to do something. Which is more then I could say about any of the other candidates. Hillary Clinton, along with the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein, would actively make the situation worse. Much worse... 

No comments:

Post a Comment