It would seem we've come to that inevitable moment of political surrealism which only a candidate such as Donald Trump can facilitate.
Here is what the Citizenship Clause of the 14th amendment to the constitution of the United States of America says: "All persons born, or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."
In 1898 some ferocious xenophobic sorts tried to get around the amendment when an American born man of Chinese descent attempted to return home after visiting abroad and they didn't want to let him back in. The Supreme Court ruled against them and said the only people born on the country's soil who aren't automatically citizens are the children of enemies of the U.S. and those of foreign diplomats. They also threw into that shunned mix anyone born on a Native American reservation because, when it suits the government and there aren't any oil deposits to be found, reservations are considered sovereign entities.
The ever unsubtle Trump has been running around the country side saying if he is elected president, he's going to forcibly deport the estimated 11 plus million undocumented immigrants currently living and working in this country. As a part of this plan he is adamant that what is now called the, "birth right clause," doesn't apply to children born in the United States if their parents are here illegally, therefore they have to go also.
So there we have it. The leading candidate for the republican presidential nomination and the current darling of rogue conservatives everywhere is telling us one of two things. Either the constitution, at least part of it anyway, should be totally ignored, or the constitution itself is, unconstitutional.
Well why not? Hey, anything goes when you're pandering to a panicked and pissed off mass of middle aged white people who find their numbers and power shrinking on a yearly basis. Indeed, in a situation like this it is best to skip over the details and paint with a large brush.
Unfortunately, inconvenient legalities aside, someone has to deal with the nuts and bolts of the Trumpster's program. NBC is reporting the American Action Forum, which it describes as a center-right policy institute, estimates it would cost between $100 and $300 billion to arrest and remove the undocumented aliens in the U.S. Don't worry though, the nation won't get that bill in one lump sum. The AAF also estimates it would take 20 years to round up all those slippery characters and ship them out.
Of course once you kick them out you have to make sure you can keep them on the other side of the border. The institute estimates that will cost an additional $315 billion.
Then we come to the kitchen and roofing factor. The AAF believes if Brother Trump were to actually give the heave ho to those 11 to 12 million people the national work force would shrink by about 6.4%. By the end of the 20 year eviction process the economy will have withered by 6%, costing the nation $1.6 trillion in lost wages and spending. According to the report the hardest hit sectors would be the agriculture, construction, retail, and hospitality industries.
Finally we have that really big elephant in the room, Trump and his wild eyed toadies have yet to address. Let's say El Donald does get elected and starts to throw these folks out, but they decide, fuck it, we're not going. It isn't just them you have to contend with. They have millions of supporters who, because of a myriad of reasons, are far more apt to identify with undocumented immigrants rather than Donald Trump. And--thanks to the NRA, they have guns--lots and lots of guns.
That's not the armed resistance to an over reaching federal government, Ted Nugent, Wayne LaPierre and the rest of the blazing super nova right wing imagined is it? No, it's an apocalyptic scenario most sane people would rather avoid.
It is easy to write off Donald Trump as a buffoon and a grotesque braggart who is nothing more than a punch line for late night TV show hosts. However, he is in the lead now and has been for a while. It is time to take him seriously and believe him at his word.
The arch conservative, George Will recently compared Mr. Trump's politics to, "Caesarism." The other day he wrote, "Trump promises that constitutional arrangements need be no impediment to the leader's savvy management and iron will. Trump supporters consider the presidency today an entry level job because he is available to turn the government into a triumph of the leader's will."
His choice of his words were significant. For those of you not familiar with pre World War II European history, "Triumph of the Will," was a documentary directed by Leni Riefenstahl, celebrating the success of the National Socialist Party in Germany. Yes, we've reached a milestone of sorts. Two days ago, perhaps the most influential conservative author and commentator since Bill Buckley, however obliquely, compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and his followers to Nazis.
There is a reason he did. Mr. Trump has no sense of democracy, because he has been ruling his corporate empire with unquestioned authority his entire adult life. If you disagree with him, he simply fires you. If you become too much of a bother he attacks you with a phalanx of lawyers in order to get his way. He, more than even the most absurd and accomplished jail house litigators, uses the system to beat the system. And like them, he has no respect for it whatsoever.
The truth is, Donald Trump is the most unqualified front running presidential candidate I have ever seen and I've been a resident on this blue ball for 65 years.
I'm not sure who to be more frightened of--him, or the people who applaud his furious, moon lit, howls.
In the end, Don Trump is everything the world hates about this nation and given his politics, it is hard to blame them.
That any of us would even consider voting for him is a travesty beyond belief.