I agonized over writing a column about Donald Trump and his appearance in Phoenix for two reasons: I thought much of what needed to be said was already written; and as an Arizonan, I went to the event with a pre-conceived bias. But then I realized, I had not been let down in my projected read of the rally nor its participants and thought: one more voice for reason couldn't hurt.
I moved to Arizona in 1999 from New York. Granted, I grew up in a world of a card carrying union mother and a salesman dad. We were left of liberal but were always encouraged to find our own ways, and we did. I'm a Democrat to this day.
Frankenstein was best known for "water: good, fire: bad". Many, not all, Republicans are known for " status quo: good, progressive thinking: bad." Sure, I'm dealing in broad strokes but stereotypes, while often bad, are also quite often correct.
I went to the Trump rally out of curiosity. One former New Yorker and 'line mate' opined that he was eager to attend to see Trump destroy the Republican party. Personally, I think a two and maybe three party system is what makes this country great. If one truly wants to educate a party, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater; Trump being the baby; opposing opinions the bathwater.
I was stuck in line between a young couple who had recently graduated UofA and a husband and wife who carried signs with statistics of illegal immigrants being released in our society. I said: I can respect what you say but I just gotta tell you: If George W. Bush were here, I'd give him the respect he deserves as a former President but I really get the sense that if Obama was here, you'd be dying to use the N word. "
Now, understand, at 62 and 5'6", my humor has not gotten me beaten up... yet. I'm disarming and charming but it could have gone either way. To my surprise(biased) and pleasure( WTF), they did not disagree but they went to lengths to explain it was not racial. I gave them the benefit of the doubt. They worked hard, supported some social issues I do and I was respectful of their position.
I wish I could say the same for some of the others who yelled at the peaceful Hispanic protestors 'go back to where you came from.' OK. historically, Arizona WAS Mexico. And the Mexicans I saw were emotional and were tired of being labeled rapists. I spoke with one marcher who attends ASU. His parents are legal immigrants. He's pre med. Is this the norm? Well, it's probably more the norm than assuming he's going to Rapist Government Handout University.
You can't paint people with broad strokes. In the early 20th century, it was the Irish, the Italians, the Jews, then the Asians and Vietnamese and now, the Mexicans are the scapegoats.
Yes. We have a real immigration problem. Taxes, jobs, crime. All of that. But Trump feeds on fear and fear is a great motivator. Ignore him: not a chance. Edmund Kean said: "Living is easy, comedy is hard." Edmund Burke said: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' There's nothing comical about Donald Trump.