None of This Is a ‘Distraction’

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It happens every time: Donald Trump does or says something horrible and a boatload of people immediately swarm social media to tell the rest of us that we should ignore him.


So it was this morning, after Axios revealed, in its usual cheerfully amoral manner, that Trump is thinking about trying to revoke the birthright citizenship protections embedded in the Constitution. Some people might think it’s legitimate to freak out a little when the president of the United States floats an openly fascist policy like that. But Twitter is here to tell those people that they are wrong:

First place goes to not one, but two members of Pod Save America. Don’t worry, everyone, the Experts have this under control:


I don’t know what world these people are living in, but in actual America in 2018, Republicans and their media allies are talking about immigrants using the kind of language that has led to genocides in the past, and they have already enacted a slew of monstrous anti-immigrant policies.


Do these people not....get that? It is of course true that Trump is partially using immigrants as a midterms cudgel. But that is a huge problem!!! It means that there is an active constituency for white supremacy in America. It means that immigrants are in very real danger. It means that Republicans are attempting to consolidate their power by appealing to racist hatred, and that they know that a lot of people are loving it. I think that is something to be concerned about, don’t you? This is not a “distraction.” It’s the main issue.

It is also mind-boggling that people are really out here assuring us that Trump can’t possibly, really do this after the experience of the last two years. What evidence is there that we can rely wholeheartedly on American institutions to save us from him? What evidence is there that a Supreme Court that Trump has helped shape will definitely laugh this birthright thing out of the chamber? How can people be so blithe about what could happen after going through everything that has happened already?


There is no way around this stuff. There is no avoiding it. There’s a reason the words “and then Hitler was defeated because his opponents understood that you win when you pivot to your issues” don’t appear in our textbooks. You have to confront what is going on. You have to take it seriously. You have to wake up. And you have to stop telling people that it’s better if they shut their eyes.

Deputy Editor, Splinter