Trump vs. an America that works
By Jennifer Rubin February 24 at 5:27 PM
In his column Friday taking to task President Trump and other immigration exclusionists, David Brooks writes: “For the life of me, I can’t figure out why so many Republicans prefer a dying white America to a place like, say, Houston.”
Trump’s policies in many cases seeks to wreak havoc (e.g., staging immigration raids, threatening city funding). His immigration raids are already causing economic disruption in construction and food service industries.
Put differently, Houston and other vibrant mid- and large-size cities, especially those in the Sun Belt, are a repudiation of Trump’s notions that we must keep foreigners out; “liberal elites” are unconcerned with the little guy; we’ve been “losing” at globalization; and that only he can “bring the jobs back.” …
On one level, this is hardly surprising since Trump’s message is aimed at Americans who are resentful, feel left behind and are both physically and culturally marginalized. The flip side of this, however, is that Trump either ignores or vilifies urban America
And, moreover, the presence of vibrant cities not just on the coasts but also in the heartland suggests Trump’s base would greatly benefit by moving from dead and dying Rust Belt towns to more economically vibrant places.
Some of that has already gone on as the population has shifted from the Northeast and upper Midwest to the South and West, but it seems we should not be filling Trump voters with the false hope that coal jobs are coming back, but rather encourage them to be like immigrants — go to where the work is.
Every immigrant who comes is a vote of confidence in America, a bet that there is economic prosperity available at the end of the journey. The same immigrant mentality should be encouraged among native-born Americans.
But, of course, we shouldn’t encourage Americans to migrate internally by paying them more. Houston’s employers, such as ExxonMobil, aren’t made out of money, people! Even more fundamentally, offering Americans higher pay corrupts the purity of the economic process.
Why are American workers so mercenary? Immigrants aren’t materialistic. They don’t care about making an extra $5 per hour, they care about getting Green Cards for their entire clan or subcaste. Those are family values, folks, something you greedy, worthless American losers don’t know about.
In sum, rather than leave Americans in Rust Belt isolation, with a shriveled job market, it makes sense to encourage and assist them to move to productive areas of the country, which in many cases means a more urban environment. There they might learn that immigrants aren’t out to steal their jobs or murder their kids. And they might find themselves reconnecting to their fellow Americans.