I have written before that Trump supporters tend to be authoritarian. https://ablueviewescondido.com/2018/06/12/be-afraid-be-very-afraid-of-authoritarians-who-stir-up-fear-and-hatred/ His supporters are likely to choose the first answer in four questions about child rearing. “…whether it is more important to raise a child to be (1)respectful or independent; (2)obedient or self-reliant; (3)well-behaved or considerate; and (4)well-mannered or curious.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/201702/childrearing-beliefs-were-best-predictor-trump-support I was responding to a piece that Abed had written for the Times Advocate. https://www.times-advocate.com/articles/dont-make-californias-mistake-and-become-a-sanctuary-state/ I noted that Abed was using the tool of fear, because research has shown that fear brings out the latent authoritarian tendencies in people. https://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism
Now President Trump is using that same fear-mongering tactic with his ridiculous response to the “caravan” of Hondurans seeking refuge. He is sending over 5,000 troops to the border to “protect us” from these refugees—people fleeing violence and grinding poverty, coming together for protection—an alternative from being at the mercy of the infamous “coyotes”. Refugees of unarmed men, women and lots of children. A caravan about 1,000 miles from our southern border. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/24/caravan-migrants-what-is-it-where-from-guatemala-honduras-immigrants-mexico Now, there may be as many as 7,000 people in this caravan. If it’s like a similar caravan in April only about a third will actually reach our border. And even if all 7000 should reach our border and ask for asylum or enter illegally—it will be a small fraction of the almost 400K immigrants detained at our border between October, 2017 and September, 2018 without any assistance from the military. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/world/americas/what-is-migrant-caravan-facts-history.html Yesterday, Trump threatened as many as 15,000 troops. What a waste of taxpayer money! The military assessment of the so-called threat is that it’s not really a threat. The military does seem to worry about the “[e]stimated 200 unregulated armed militia members currently operating along the southwest border. Reported incidents of unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment during deployments. They operate under the guise of citizen patrols supporting CBP [Customs and Border Protection] primarily between POEs [Points of Entry]”. https://www.newsweek.com/trump-administration-migrant-caravan-border-troops-1196855
Trump wants to stir up the fear, get the authoritarians to vote. There are “unknown Middle Easterners” in the Caravan, Trump insists—without any proof at all. There’s absolutely no proof that anyone is funding or organizing the group other than Hondurans, but Trump allies would have you believe that it is the evil George Soros behind it all. He blames the Democrats for not passing immigration reform, even though the Republicans have controlled Congress since he’s been in office. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/five-myths-about-honduran-caravan-debunked-n922806 Trump wants people to fear immigrants as criminals, even though study after study indicates that the crime rate is lower among immigrants here documented or undocumented. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-trump-immigration-murders-20181102-story.html?fbclid=IwAR0kWmpQJaoW19GUOkWVpRB-XObzGJADF-ZR9Qy-U7KkcZeJAECfbyligBM
Congressman Duncan Hunter is now joining in the fear mongering with his disgusting assault on Ammar Campa-Najjar. Even the far-from liberal San Diego Union Tribune has found Hunter’s ads distasteful. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/editorials/sd-ed-50-district-duncan-hunter-campa-najjar-utak-20180928-story.html That paper has published an article that explains Campa-Najjar’s history, and endorses him. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/politics/sd-me-najjar-family-history-20181030-story.html But Hunter is just following the lead of Trump—make people afraid, get the authoritarian vote out, trying to visit the sins of a grandfather (who died sixteen years before Campa-Najjar was born) on the grandson.
Abed, Trump, Hunter are all using the tool of making people fearful, to bring out the vote of their authoritarian supporters. I can only hope that a majority of our citizens can see this ruse for what it is, a phony threat created by leaders afraid of losing votes.