Cleveland Charter High School

Column: Donald Trump– The VOICE of the silent majority?

In what has been regarded as the most “presidential” speech given by Donald Trump, he took some time to place the spotlight on American family members that have been killed by undocumented immigrants. This preceded his bid for strengthened border control, indicating an interest in appealing to emotions by bringing up the topic.

The examples offered were as follows: Jamiel Shaw’s son (killed by a member of a gang in L.A. back in 2008), Jessica Davis, and Susan Oliver (widows of California law enforcement officers that were killed while on duty in 2014). The two widows and childless father were in what serves as, essentially, the VIP area of the premises.

The purpose of sharing the stories of these deceased American citizens was to illustrate the indirect expense of illegal immigration. It was then that Trump revealed his proposal to the Department of Homeland Security:

“I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims. The office is called VOICE – Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”

This, in the face of backlash against immigrant targeting, seems to be kindling public fear against undocumented immigrants so that his more controversial immigration policies may be passed more effectively. However, as many studies have found, immigrants commit fewer crimes at a much lower rate than “native” Americans.

This was a deal breaker for me. Donald, you can promise to build a “big, beautiful wall.” Fine. We all know Mexico isn’t going to pay for it, but fine. You can try to increase federal spending on defense by $54 billion. Fine. You can revoke support for transgender individuals. You can go full Kim Jong Un and name your inauguration day the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” Great. You can encourage a global nuclear arms race… again.

Fine.

But this? Specifically targeting immigrants for public shaming and targeting? I can officially say that Donald Trump has hit a brand new low. I legitimately felt sick to my stomach when he brought up his proposal.

Adolf Hitler did the exact same thing to the Jewish populations under his control. The Nazis would go through town by town, posting long lists for all to see of Jewish individuals that have committed some sort of crime.

Now in 2017, the president of the United States is proposing the same idea as Hitler back during the WWII era. Oh, how far we have fallen. For the most part, many of Trump’s proposed policies have been able to weasel their way out of being ousted as outright discriminatory. Not this one.

What would this VOICE agency accomplish other than fearmongering? Other than racial targeting? Other than increased hate crimes? This agency would not act as a VOICE for the silenced. It would act as a platform for Trump and his administration to steamroll over any perspective of immigrants that is not black-and-white. Rather than beginning to view immigrants as individuals, we would be continuing to view them as a collective whole, vilifying the group and labeling the issue as an “us versus them” situation. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Donald J. Trump, I have never been a fan of yours, but this is something… else. This kind of political propaganda that aims to paint an entire group in a negative light has never ended well, and is a dangerous leap in the completely wrong direction, and can only lead to disastrous consequences. It is terrifying to be able to say that, for once, a comparison between Trump and Hitler is actually completely grounded in reality; the parallels are simply too jarring. Only time will tell if these parallels continue. For the sake of all of America, I can only hope that they do not.

As Hitler himself wrote in “Mein Kompf”:

“The task of propaganda lies not in weighing right and wrong, but in driving home your own point of view. You cannot objectively explore the facts that favor others and present them in doctrinaire sincerity to the masses. You have to push relentlessly your own case… Even the most brilliant propaganda will not produce the desired results unless it follows this fundamental rule: You must stick to limiting yourself to essentials and repeat them endlessly. Persistence on this point, as in so many other cases in the world, is the first and most important precondition for success.”

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