President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.
First, let's tune out all the noise. Trump apologists dismiss this as his just being "himself" and thus he has no stomach for political correctness. Meanwhile, leftists who likely said much worse about rural counties in Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania as well as the southern United States are engaging in the obligatory pearl clutching because RESIST!!
Now that we set that aside, let's address Trump's alleged comment. It's true there are countries whose conditions can be aptly characterized as a proverbial s**thole. But why are they in that condition? Myriad reasons really. Crooked governments who put funding of their corruption above the needs of the citizens. Islands which possess neither the infrastructure nor adequate resources to recover from natural disasters. War torn countries where evil elements (i.e. terrorists) take advantage of a power vacuum. And of course, good ol' fashioned tyrannical leaders who tamp down their citizens' desire for liberty.
So with all that said, why are we holding that against the citizens of those countries? Many of the factors contributing to a country's third world status are beyond the control of the people. So if we're ever going to have a fair and sensible immigration system, shouldn't it be based on an individual's merit as opposed to the sole criteria being country of origin? I have the utmost faith that there are plenty of quality people in most countries which some people consider undesirable.
This latest incident is yet another example where it feels as though we're coming ever closer to the notion of "Trump being Trump" no longer being sustainable. As such, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air broached other issues which cropped up in light of Trump's alleged denigration of certain countries.
People want to dismiss this with the idea that Trump’s just talking like regular Americans, but a president in our system is not just one politician among many. He’s also the head of state, and when a head of state starts calling other countries “shitholes,” including some friendly to us, it has international consequences that go beyond our own internal debates over immigration policy. It’s foolish, and it’s needlessly provocative. A responsible president has to govern his tongue much more closely than the rest of us do, a lesson Trump still has not learned.
Trump and his apologists need to learn one valuable lesson posthaste. Speaking with dignity and decorum does not mean that one is compromising one's basic principles. I sure wish more Trump-kins would hold him to his campaign promise of acting more presidential.