Chris Herrod on: Doug Wright and Paul Mero are big meanies. So I will photoshop them.

As I am trying to get caught up on life, I’ve let lots of dumb comments slide over the past nine months, but hearing Doug Wright and Paul Mero talk on the radio, not once, but twice, has drawn me out of my self-imposed hiatus.  I first heard their comments about Donald Trump’s immigration rally while surfing the radio several weeks ago, but only after hearing the interview once again on the supposed “Best of,” did I make the effort to break my silence.

I’m a little rusty with writing blogs but here goes anyway:

Utah seems to be living in this weird nexus between “The Emperor has No Clothes” and Seinfeld’s “Bizarro World.”  Mero and Wright must believe that if they tell each other something in their own little bubble long enough that just the opposite of the truth will become reality. They must believe that their expertise and self-righteousness will somehow keep the masses silent about what’s really happening in our country.  They cling to their shallow belief that those opposed to illegal immigration are racists or nativists (to use Mero’s favorite phrase) much in the same way that Obama imagines that Americans cling to their guns and religion out of ignorance or fear.

Let me say upfront that it’s no secret that I’ve been no fan of Trump.  I did everything I could so that he would not be the Republican nominee despite constantly warning civic and political leaders for a decade that if they ignored illegal immigration that someone would use the issue to eventually win the Republican nomination.  I donated much of five months of my life to defeat Trump which probably cost me an election.  I struggled with the way that Trump treated people during the campaign especially Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina.  I’m greatly concerned about what seems to admiration of Putin despite the evils he does especially in Ukraine.  I’m greatly troubled by reports of his relationships with some women.  At times Trump has hurt the case against illegal immigration for us who understand the the true racism is tolerating illegal immigration . . .  one criticizes a judge with Mexican heritage not because of where his parents are from . . . but when he supports La Raza – a completely racist organization.  Trump could have easily picked up most of Cruz’s supporters immediately by simply saying after the convention, “I appreciate Ted’s congratulations and look forward to earning his supporters trust” rather than insulting him.

But having said this, I also try to be fair.  I’ve listened to multiple people who know Trump personally and insist that he’s different than his celebrity persona and raised an awesome family.  So I listened to Trump’s press conference in Mexico and admit that I was surprised. Trump can act presidential yet still stand firm on his commitments . . . a skill sorely missing by some of our recent presidents. I listened to the evening immigration rally in Arizona, thinking that I would finally be able to rub Trump’s flip-flop against my friends who supported Trump over Cruz . . . I thought Trump would surely cave just like almost every other leader has.  But to my surprise, Trump held true . . . and somewhat modified his tone for which I was happy.

But Paul Mero, formerly of the Sutherland Institute, said of the speech on the Doug Wright Show the day after:

I think that Donald Trump just doubled down on crazy again.  I guess his handlers thought that he was losing his supporters . . . his core support.  But I listened to the speech . . .  I guess I am trying to be kind of funny here  . . . but as the crowd was chanting “USA,” I just had that creepy feeling that they were chanting “Heil Hitler!”

Wright agreed . . .  not realizing that Mero’s comment is not any different than Hillary Clinton’s comments like “a basket of deplorables.” Such comments are arrogant, elitist, and let us commoners know how they truly feel about the majority of Republicans.  When Mero and Wright attack all of Trump’s immigration positions, they attack Cruz’s and the majority of Republican primary voters’ as well. The two presidential candidates with the “toughest” illegal alien positions won the vast majority of the primary votes.

But what’s worse, Mero and Wright sanctimoniously take up their air of superiority, and look down on those who actually suffer from consequences of illegal immigration.  They ignore those who have family members die while waiting overseas or have lost family members here to illegal aliens.  We recently honored those who died on 9/11, yet we lose more Americans ever year to illegal aliens than on that day 15 years ago.  Just because American citizens are lost in ones and twos, doesn’t make the deaths any less tragic especially since they’re so easily preventable.

In the end, Mero and Wright help others profit from illegal immigration and only encourage more of it with all the misery that comes with it. They scorn those who dare speak up about the injustices to their family members or dare ask “how I’m I supposed to survive?” Rightwing! . . . Extremist! . . .  Uneducated!  . . . and “Uncompassionate! . . . they snidely proclaim over and over again. Now add “Nazi” to their repertoire, but their responses might be much different if they ventured down from their towers of ivory to mingle with us regular folks.

As Mero and Wright ignore the poor, the middle-class, small business owners, and legal immigrants here and abroad, they show a level of contempt not often seen in history. With their plush lifestyles and failures to give voice to victims of illegal immigration, Mero and Wright might as well use Marie Antoinette famous line “Let them eat cake.”

Moreover, Mero and Wright continue to misrepresent the demographics of Trump supporters as much as Hillary Clinton does.  I was in Cleveland.  I saw the Trump crowd, and while some Trump supporters were occasionally mean, they weren’t lily-white as the mainstream media would have you believe.  There were countless immigrants among them who recognized that illegal immigration hurts them.  I had a great conversation with a Trump supporter, originally from China – a region of the world greatly discriminated by our toleration of illegal immigration.

I tried to temper my comments while I was the state director for Ted Cruz here in Utah so I didn’t blog about the great experiences I’ve had over the past 9 months  . . .  I have a hard time tempering so I just stopped commenting and writing altogether 🙂 . . .  While campaigning in Nevada for Cruz, I found that about a 1/3rd of the volunteers were either immigrants themselves or first generation Americans.  Rather than be frightened away by Cruz’s supposedly “tough” position on illegal immigration, many legal immigrants were drawn to the Cruz campaign because they know first-hand what we are losing.

The mere fact that 28% of the U.S.’s current legal immigrants and over 60% of illegal immigrants come from one country (which makes up less than 2% of the world’s population) is the very definition of institutional racism. So too is it when one race, which makes up only 7% of world’s population, gets 82% of the benefit of illegal immigration.  That one race of American citizens . . . African-American . . . bears the brunt of illegal immigration is racism as well and yet we turn racism on its head.  Unfortunately, our state has a checkered passed with the civil rights movement.  We fail to remember that it was not that long ago that a hotel which bore our state’s name discriminated against African Americans and yet we fail to understand that Utah continues with its own distorted twist on racism. Many Utahns quietly justify illegal immigration because those coming across our borders are supposedly “chosen” and Africans are not. Racism is racism whether it’s the majority against a minority or support of one minority over another minority.  We ignore recent essays that “unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.”

As the U.S. nears record highs of the percentage of immigrants to the general population, it’s not racist to have conversations on whether we can handle this financially or even culturally.  Former Democrat Governor of Colorado has said that we avoid asking the question at our own peril.  Lamb adds:

We buy into “cultural relativism,” in which all culture are assumed to be equal.  I suggest that all cultures deserve respect and understanding, but they are not all equal.

Too many Americans believe that we have a divine destiny and that God will watch over us no matter how diverse we become or how hedonistic, selfish, myopic, or inefficient we become. This is a dangerous hubris.

Sadly, Mero, Wright, and the establishment Republicans, many of whom now lead the charge against Trump in Utah, still fail to comprehend that they are the ones responsible for Trump. They can pound their chests all they want but they . . . Governor Kasich as well . . .  created the environment for Trump to succeed.  They pushed elected leaders to ignore promises made . . . justified deceit because they knew better . . . and feared the Chamber of Commerce more than constituents.  They delude themselves by thinking concern that the injustice of illegal immigration is simply a fad and see more honor in Trump backing down and in lying than in keeping his word. Why can’t Mero and Wright see that America is tired of lies?

Mero and Wright cower behind a mic where they can simply flip a switch to cut off debate.  The only true debate Mero and Wright ever had about illegal immigration was at Thanksgiving Point in 2011.  The facts, commonsense, and even the audience were clearly not on their side. (The Sutherland Institute use to have a link to the entire debate. but now only edited sections can be found on youtube but still the ridiculousness of their arguments are obvious.)

I, dozens of legal immigrants, those who risked their lives overseas, and I am sure many other “crazies” and “deplorables” would be happy to do it again.

-Chris Herrod