Some conservative Latinos are justified in feeling exploited by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Who can resist saying, “I told you so!”
Trump won popular support in the primary by verbally trouncing Mexicans and illegal immigrants. Scapegoating has always worked as an effected campaign strategy for candidates who are willing to stoop that low.
But the conservative Hispanics thought Trump was ready to soften his anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant rhetoric. They met with him about two weeks ago just as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto did this week, hoping that Trump’s better angels would prevail.
Those angels apparently have flown the GOP coop. Trump in his speech on immigration Wednesday in Phoenix blamed the immigration policies of the Obama administration for the deaths of many Americans at the hands of illegal immigrants.
Trump stayed on his America first theme. His immigration plan includes adding 5,000 more border patrol agents and of course building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and getting Mexico to pay for it.
Nieto, however, said that’s not in the cards.
Trump has wavered a little on what to do with the 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally. His focus now is more on those who have committed crimes rather than trying to expel them all. He had some families of some of those victims on stage to share their stories of their loss.
But none of his campaigning on the issue is now appealing to Latinos who thought he had changed.
Jacob Monty, a member of the Hispanic advisory council that met with Trump recently, told The New York Times, “He used us as props.”
Some people have to learn the hard way. Candidates like Trump will stick with their scapegoating message. They have to.
Change would mean that in hopes of appealing to more Latino and other voters of colors, he would lose the element of the Republican Party that has grabbed onto his candidacy out of love to hate those groups that are not white. By his actions, Trump is surrendering Latino voters to Democratic president nominee Hillary Clinton. But he is not totally willing to concede the black voter to her.
Trump has been justifiably criticized for trying to appeal to African American voters in speeches in front of white audiences, asking, “What do you have to lose?” saying Democratic leadership has not resulted in benefits for black people. Trump’s aim, however, is to get white women to see him as showing compassion for minorities so white women will back his run for the White House.
On Saturday, Trump is to speak to a black church in Detroit, the Great Faith Ministries International. The pastor, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, is to interview Trump, asking 12 questions.
But The New York Times reports that the questions were devised by aids working with for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. The answers that Trump is to give have been scripted, too.
Just as with the Latinos who met with Trump, it appears as if African Americans at the black Detroit church are being set up as window dressing to try to make the Trump campaign look presentable.
Those African Americans in that Detroit audience can expect to see themselves in Trump TV ads in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 8 election. If that doesn’t make them feel dirty and exploited on a wholesale basis, I don’t know what would.