Like them, Trump is appealing to people with very real economic concerns by scapegoating an entire class of people who are not the cause of it.
Just as 187’s backers avoided the very real and very difficult challenges of adapting to a new kind of economy, Trump is evoking a past that never really existed as somehow “great again.” He is also ignoring data as he pursues demagoguery.
For anybody wondering why Republicans can no longer win statewide offices in California, look no further than the legacy of this blatant attempt to disenfranchise Latinos.
As I’ve listened to Donald Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants in general and Latinos in particular, I hear what many California politicians were saying 23 years ago.
What surprised Pete Wilson and his Republican colleagues was that their plan to push people to the margins of society achieved the exact opposite.
People were so outraged, so motivated, and so galvanized by this blatant attack on their American Dream that they moved out of the shadows and pledged to show the world that they were real people with real hopes and real aspirations. The first, on February 28, 1994 in Los Angeles, was 20,000 strong; many of the attendees were people who, just a few short months earlier, were nervous about attending parents’ night at their child’s school for fear of running into authorities who would deport them.
They took a few minutes to pick up the trash around them.
Just as we were demanding not to be taken for granted, we were not taking our community and our country for granted.
Perhaps no issue exemplifies that sentiment better than immigration.
The things Donald Trump is saying about immigrants sound very familiar to those of us Californians who have been involved with immigration issues for the better part of our adult lives.