Conservative columnist Max Boot called out President Donald Trump and Fox News for “demagoguery,” “racism” and “nativism” in their comments about the caravan of refugees that recently crossed the Mexico-Guatemala border.
Trump mentions the caravan at his campaign rallies and often says the 2018 midterm elections will the “the election of the caravan.”
“It is demagoguery,” Boot said Sunday on CNN. “It is also, I believe, racism and nativism really pandering to the fears of Trump supporters and Fox News viewers, who tend to be older white males who are alarmed about the supposed invasion of dark-skinned newcomers coming to America.”
The caravan is a group of thousands of would-be asylum-seekers mostly fleeing Honduras.
Boot said photographs and video of the caravan are being used to stir fears of invading masses.
“The threat is entirely bogus because, in fact, border crossings have declined dramatically in the last 18 years, down 80 percent,” said Boot, a CNN analyst. “There is not this massive army of illegal immigrants. And these people are not even illegal immigrants. They are refugees who are seeking legal admission to the United States.”
He added that the issue of immigration highlights how dramatically the Republican Party has changed.
“When I was growing up in the 1980s, the Republican Party was basically pro-immigration,” Boot said. “It was a conservative party with a white nationalist fringe. And under the impact of Fox News and Donald Trump it has transformed into essentially a white nationalist party with a conservative fringe.”
He added that Fox News and Trump are pushing a “xenophobic” view of the world to mobilize their base “for crass political purposes. It is tragic and it is despicable.”