One suspects that this is not going to end well for Republicans, but their whirlwind romance with Donald Trump is moving forward.
It makes some sense that one of the kings of reality TV would surge ahead in a primary campaign that is increasingly looking like The Bachelorette.
One suspects that it’s not so much Trump’s truth-telling, such as it is, but his willingness to stand up to the bullies who persecute, prosecute and shun anyone caught uttering the least offensive remark about any designated oppressed group.
Instead of bowing down to the thought police by offering serial apologies, Trump doubled down on his remarks.
There is very little that a bakery in Oregon can do when it is put out of business for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Apparently, their religious convictions count for nothing in the matter.
Perhaps they were in the wrong, but I will reserve judgment until a gay couple walks into a Muslim bakery and asks them to bake a wedding cake.
Anyway, the former bakery owners, the Kleins are now being fined for their action. One expects that the case will end up in the Supreme Court, but in the meantime a family that lived off the income from their bakery is in serious trouble.
They have been placed so beyond the pale that GoFundMe has shut down the site they were using to raise money.
Trump’s willingness to stand up to the bullies impresses Republican voters. Many others would do it, but simply cannot afford to.
The problem is, since Trump almost surely is not going to be the Republican nominee, will his supporters turn out to vote for the eventual nominee? At the least, his ascendance looks like a death knell for the candidacy of Jeb Bush.
As for Trump’s more substantive point, Rich Lowry offers a temperate analysis, explaining that Mexican immigrants consistently have lower educational levels than immigrants from other countries:
Immigrants here from Mexico — which has sent more immigrants than any other country for decades — have the lowest levels of education. Nearly 60 percent of them haven’t graduated from high school. Only about 10 percent have some college and nearly 6 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
By way of comparison, the situation of immigrants from Korea, for instance, is almost exactly reversed. More than 50 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and less than 4 percent failed to earn a high school diploma.
This puts Mexican immigrants at an inherent disadvantage, and it shows. Nearly 35 percent of immigrants from Mexico and their U.S.-born children are in poverty; nearly 68 percent are in or near poverty. This is the highest level for immigrants from any country (the Philippines is the lowest, with 5.5 percent in poverty).
Fifty-four percent of immigrants from Mexico lack health insurance. A higher proportion of Mexican immigrants uses means-tested government programs than immigrants from any other country—more than 57 percent. As Camarota notes, this is “even higher than for refugee-sending countries like Russia and Cuba.” By contrast, the lowest percentage is for immigrants from the United Kingdom at just over 6 percent.
Of course, Trump’s remarks about criminality have gotten the most attention, but apparently there is some truth to his assertion that Mexico is not sending us their best and their brightest.
And then there’s Rick Perry. The former governor of Texas, a man who brings far more experience to the race than the vainglorious Mr. Trump, made a thoughtful and well received speech about race the other day.
No one noticed.
Or, I should say, almost no one noticed. The Wall Street Journal editorialized this morning that Perry has given “the speech of the campaign so far:”
The media continue to dismiss Republican Rick Perry’s presidential prospects even as they pretend that Democrat Bernie Sanders poses a serious threat to Hillary Clinton. Mr. Perry has a far better chance at becoming President than Mr. Sanders does, and last week the Texan gave the speech of the campaign so far.
At the National Press Club on Thursday, Mr. Perry delivered thoughtful, often moving, remarks about race and the Republican Party. (We reprint excerpts nearby.) The former Texas Governor doesn’t spare the GOP, Texans or Americans for historical offenses against African-Americans. He also scores his party for giving up on even trying to win support among African-Americans, a failure that he says has cost the GOP “our moral legitimacy as the party of Lincoln, as the party of equal opportunity for all.”
The Journal continued:
“There is a lot of talk in Washington about inequality. Income inequality. But there is a lot less talk about the inequality that arises from the high cost of everyday life,” Mr. Perry says. “In blue state coastal cities, you have these strict zoning laws, environmental regulations that have prevented builders from expanding the housing supply. And that may be great for the venture capitalist who wants to keep a nice view of San Francisco Bay, but it’s not so great for the single mother working two jobs in order to pay rent and still put food on the table for her kids.”
Mr. Perry does the same on education, pointing out that “in too many parts of this country black students are trapped in failing schools.” He notes that in 2002 Texas ranked 27th in high-school graduation rates; by 2013 it was second, and its most recent graduation rate for blacks was first….
Mr. Perry also stressed Texas’ impressive record on prison and sentencing reform, especially for nonviolent drug offenses.
The Journal concluded:
The sad truth is that most Democrats and the American left today want to polarize politics along racial lines. They need to divide by race because their coalition is built on identity politics and grievance. Mr. Perry is showing how to respond in a way that points the country to a better, unifying future.
Now, Gov. Perry needs to take the message into America’s inner cities. He can start by accepting the invitation from Rev. Corey Brooks to speak at his New Beginnings Church of Chicago.