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.
Walker was a survivor: The Democrats and the unions had come at the king, and they'd missed. Repeatedly and dramatically. Which is, like, the one thing you're not supposed to do. In other words, there was a time not so long ago when a lot of folks thought the nomination was Walker's to lose. Lately, however, the question has become whether Walker is about to go and do just that.