According to Dennis Romero at LA Weekly, Donald Trump reportedly told an audience of Hollywood conservatives Friday evening, that the United States should have invaded Mexico instead of Iraq. Trump made the remark at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel at a gathering put together by the politically conservative Friends of Abe organization. Friends of Abe is a collection of Hollywood filmmakers and personalities who identify as conservatives, including Clint Eastwood, Pat Boone, and Kelsey Grammar.
According to an attendee at the Friends of Abe event who wished to remain anonymous, Trump declared that the U.S. should not have started a war with Iraq. He then added:
Instead, we should have invaded Mexico.
That comment reportedly drew a loud round of applause. Romero reports that Lou Ferrigno and Paul Sorvino were in attendance. In addition, right wing commentator Ann Coulter was present. Donald Trump blew her a kiss from the podium.
Whether Trump’s comments were meant to be taken literally or they were said tongue-in-cheek, they highlighted just how unqualified Donald Trump is to serve as U.S. President. His supporters may find his unfiltered rhetoric refreshingly blunt, but nearly everyone else recognizes that his bombastic pronouncements are not just rude, they are flat out dangerous.
Furthermore, while Trump’s demagoguery taps into white resentment to score votes, his arguments are odds with the facts. Despite all of Trump’s amplified rhetoric, illegal crossings across the U.S. Southern border are at a forty-year low. Since 2007, more Mexicans have been leaving the United States than entering it.
The truth however is of no consequence to Donald Trump or his followers. Scapegoating Mexican immigrants is far easier than offering actual solutions that address income inequality and the other economic issues America faces. Trump’s “Know Nothing” populism is designed to channel American’s outrage away from the rich who keep getting richer, and re-focus that rage towards migrant workers, hotel maids, day laborers, immigrant children, and anybody else who crosses the Southern border in search of political freedom or economic opportunity.
Trump has not only declared war on immigration, but he has also gone a step further and begun waging a war of words against Mexico and the Mexican people. His dangerous and divisive rhetoric should be unwelcome on the campaign trail, and America had better make sure he is not ever elected President of the United States.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.