What we are looking at is a middle class that is dying, literally, and a party that supposedly represents them holding their head under water. As long as the GOP fights middle class progress they will have a difficult time reaching the votes they need outside of rural areas and winning the presidency.
Apparently we're going to hear much more about "illegals" from the GOP campaign, and among their rote talking points will be how harmful such immigrant are for the U.S. economy and workers. Standing against such nonsense is not only the humane thing to do, however, but the factual thing to say as well.
Trump's call for a wall to protect U.S. borders from marauding Mexican criminals not only demonizes Latinos, but evokes toxic themes of Manifest Destiny that were used to justify American expansionism into Mexico. Themes that allowed white folk -- the U.S.' original "anchor babies" -- to be legitimized as citizens.
This week we saw how dissimilar appeals to our better and lesser angels look. For the former, there was Jimmy Carter's grace-filled press conference on Thursday revealing that cancer has spread to his brain. He reflected proudly on the work of his Carter Center, which, among many other things, has nearly eradicated the misery-causing guinea worm disease. But the week began very differently, as Donald Trump released an immigration plan that would end birthright citizenship, a proposal that would involve reverting to before the 14th amendment, ratified in 1868 to grant freed slaves citizenship in the wake of the shameful Dred Scott decision. Quite a vision for the future. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush said he disagreed with Trump, but made sure to get in on the xenophobia with the term "anchor babies." It was a week that gave us two very different examples of statesmanship and what America can stand for.