The day after we deported the immigrants

train

The day after we deported the last illegal immigrant, America was not yet great again. That’s to be expected. Even though illegal immigrants had been causing a lot of problems, something as complex as the United States isn’t going to turn around overnight. We’re talking about a whole, complicated system. It would take a while for the job creators to restaff the illegal immigrant’s old, illegal jobs with working-class white people. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

But then, on the anniversary of the day we deported the last illegal immigrant, America still wasn’t great. The factories hadn’t opened up again, and houses cost about the same as they did before. They were still too slow at the doctor’s office. The busboys were all white teenagers with no sense at all, but otherwise, little had changed.

We figured something must have gone wrong, and it didn’t take long to figure out what. Even though we had gotten rid of the illegals, there were still a bunch of legal immigrants who were basically the same people. They came from the same places. They looked and talked the same way: different. The only difference between an illegal immigrant and a legal immigrant is a piece of paper, and that’s no difference at all. When you’re tackling a project as big as making America great again, you have to tell it like it is. Anybody who says otherwise is just being politically correct.

So we deported all the legal immigrants, too. Anybody who wasn’t born here was out. We figured that would make America great again. But after a year or so, everything was still about the same. If anything, the doctor’s office got even slower, and there were a lot fewer restaurants. But the big stuff—jobs, terrorism, that overall feeling that everything was getting worse—hardly changed at all. All we did was spend a billion dollars on trains.

Then we realized what it was: Even though we had gotten rid of all the immigrants, their kids were still here. Technically, they were born in America. But everybody knows that if your parents are from Mexico or Syria, you’re not going to learn American values. You’re going to learn what they teach you. All those people were running around keeping America from being great, acting like this was their country just because they grew up here. And then they turn around and indoctrinate their kids!

It was a real problem, so to make America great again, we deported people whose parents or grandparents were immigrants. A lot of people didn’t have their grandparents’ birth certificates, and some didn’t even know who all of their grandparents were, so we deported them, too, just to be safe. Now everyone in America is an American, and it’s going to be great. I mean, what else could the problem be?

There’s no such thing as a disposable Trump voter

Voters

Voters

Life hack: skip the alarm by waking suddenly in the middle of the night to think about how Donald Trump is the next president. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last week, and it really cuts down on unnecessary neck mobility. It’s hard to decide which is worse: his presidency or the knowledge that people voted for him. Handed the reins of our democracy, a little under half of Americans failed to see a lying egomaniac for what he was. Or they did and thought, “At least he’s not a woman.”

It sucks to think about all the people who voted Trump, because the reasons they might have done so seem awful. In the search for the most likely explanation, the contest between misogyny and racism continues. If you prefer to think the best of people, the sunniest plausible narrative is that “economic anxiety” scared people enough to turn against the system but not enough to learn about it. If people only voted for Trump because they’re scared of going broke, they still couldn’t grasp the candidates’ platforms well enough to recognize their own interests. Economic anxiety voted to cut taxes on the rich.

Yet you cannot contemn these people, because we need them. Without at least some of the people who voted for Trump, you can’t put a women in the White House. You can’t make public college free. You can’t fix Obamacare. You can’t even keep a reality TV celebrity from taking the Oval Office. If we intend to run this democracy better, “half of voters are stupid assholes” cannot be our operating principle.

Racism, misogyny, and Republicans’ ongoing hypnosis of the white working class made a lot of people vote for Trump, but did they make every person vote for Trump? It’s dangerous to say there’s no such thing as a good Trump voter, because it puts the blame for this disastrous election on everyone the Democrats failed to convince. Maybe they’re not the problem.

If I could say one thing to the Democratic Party: It’s not our job to vote for you. It’s your job to convince us. Hillary Clinton and the DNC did a good job of convincing me to vote against Trump, but they never gave me a clear sense of what I voted for.

Trump said he would deport immigrants and watch Muslims. That’s disgusting and I voted against it, but what was Hillary’s counteroffer? The college thing was nice, although she kind of stopped talking about it after the primaries. More intervention in Syria sounded both bad and likely—more likely than financial regulation or taxing the rich. Her central promise was to continue the Obama legacy. In a year that saw 16 experienced Republicans wrecked by an anti-establishment bomb thrower, offering voters more of the same seems like electoral suicide.

In retrospect it seems that way. At the time, we all knew she was going to win. Now our comfort feels like complacency, and everything is fucked. Birds crawl along the ground as our blood flies up into the clouds. You can read all about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.

Giuliani denies paternity in Bat Boy case

Former NYC mayor and possible Secretary of State Rudolph Giuliani

Possible Secretary of State Rudolph Giuliani

At a press conference in Washington this morning, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani denied any biological connection to the human-chiroptera hybrid known as Bat Boy. The Donald Trump advisor and candidate for secretary of state described allegations that he is Bat Boy’s missing father as “utterly groundless.”

“Bay Boy is not my son,” Giuliani told a throng of reporters and cryptozoologists. “I am a human being, like you, and I have engaged in sexual intercourse only with human women.”

Bat Boy

Bat Boy

A reporter who noted that Bat Boy’s mother is a human woman was not acknowledged. Instead, Giuliani addressed what he called a “conspiracy” to smear his reputation with paternity rumors, at a moment when he was poised to take a position in the cabinet of President-Elect Trump. He attributed the rumors to his longtime political enemies: Democrats, the ACLU, and unarmed black men. Giuliani stressed the importance of moving past issues like these in the coming weeks, both for America in general and for Bat Boy in particular.

“Bat Boy should stop trying to find out who his father is and focus on living his life,” he said. After pausing to lick his lips, he added that the half-human, half-bat child was “a good boy, [who should] keep moving forward [and] drinking blood.”

Giuliani admitted that, during his tenure as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he visited the high castle in the forests of Pennsylvania where Bat Boy is from. But he emphasized that he had no contact with any women while he was there, including the one-eyed gypsy who told People magazine she cursed Giuliani to “sow seeds but harvest only shadows.”

“I have never met Madam Zukov,” Giuliani said, “and none of her predictions have come true.” The 2016 GOP convention speaker briefly consulted a pocket mirror before adding, emphatically, “none.”

Giuliani then discussed plans for the first 100 days of the Trump administration, enumerating policies he might implement as head of the State Department. These included aggressive trade negotiations with China, a federal program to ensure that schoolchildren in remote areas were getting enough iron, and crackdowns on private ownership of tennis racquets and sacks. When asked if there was anything he wanted to say to Bat Boy, currently a third-year criminology major at Drexel, the normally strident Republican grew pensive.

“I would say that wherever your father is, Bat Boy, I’m sure he’s very proud,” Giuliani said. “None of this is your fault. He probably just got scared, because he was so young.”

Giuliani then left the podium in a flash of cameras, bumping into the wall and emitting a series of high-pitched shrieks on his way to a transition strategy meeting behind the White House bookcase.

“Islamic States of America” ad is straight Goebbels, not for profit

The title card from Secure America Now's 60-second election spot

The title card from Secure America Now’s 60-second election spot

Secure America Now is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. It doesn’t advocate for or against any specific candidate; it just brings “critical national security issues to the forefront of American debate.” Granted, its homepage includes such links as “Footage of Hillary in Prison,” “Prevent Four More Years of Obama’s Terrible National Security Policies,” and “Hillary Clinton is a Foreign Policy Disaster.” But those aren’t election advocacy. They’re just critical national security issues that mention presidential candidates by name. By the same token, the ad warning of an imminent Muslim takeover of the United States that Secure America Now released this weekend isn’t election-related. It’s just Nazi-style propaganda about the danger posed to America by adherents of a particular religion. Video after the jump.

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Friday links! Pyrrhic victories edition

Pyrrhus's war elephants in an ad for, uh, meat extract?

Pyrrhus’s war elephants in an ad for Liebig’s Extract of Meat

If one thing connects the modern age to antiquity, it is the ongoing usefulness of the phrase “pyrrhic victory.” Sometimes you win at such cost that winning defeats you. If we are willing to stray from the original context a little, sometimes what you conquer is rendered valueless by the conquest. This modern world offers us plenty of things worth having, from iPhones to Iraq, but they aren’t always worth getting. Unfortunately, the motto of 21st-century America might as well be “by any means necessary.” Today is Friday, and one more victory might ruin us. Won’t you survey the field with me?

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