Friday, December 04, 2015

It's still the immigration, stupid

From the latest CNN phone-based poll (the type of survey Trump tends to fare relatively poorly in compared to the internet-based variety) that has Trump in first at 36% and Cruz trailing at a distant second with 16%:
There's a sharp divide among Republican voters on these questions about deportation between those who back Trump and those who do not. Among Trump supporters, 67% say the government should attempt to deport all people living in the country illegally, while just 39% of Republican voters backing other candidates agree.
Trump's campaign is a dual referendum on an Israeli-style border wall and on an Operation Wetback-style deportation effort.

11 comments:

TangoMan said...

Among Trump supporters, 67% say the government should attempt to deport all people living in the country illegally, while just 39% of Republican voters backing other candidates agree.

Deporting infiltrators has heretofore been far outside the Overton Window, meaning that it is an extreme position to take within the public debate on the infiltrator problem and yet 39% of respondents backing other candidates are in favor of deportation.

My question to these folks is "why on earth are you backing other candidates?" When I analyze this issue I have trouble rationalizing how someone comes to hold an "extreme" position and then give it so little influence in determining how you vote. Absent Trump, immigration wouldn't be an issue in the public dialog. Absent Trump, deportation would be condemned if it ever arose in discussion.

Like AE notes, "It's the immigration, stupid" which is the issue lighting a fire under people because it sure isn't capital gains tax rates or even ObamaCare repeal, so what is going on with those 39% who favor the hard-core deportation approach and still cast their lot with the politicians who are pro-Amnesty? What means more to these people that they'd settle for Amnesty for infiltrators if they could get Policy X delivered by Politician Y?

IHTG said...

TangoMan: Perhaps not all Republican primaries voters know that deportation is such an "extreme" position.

Audacious Epigone said...

TangoMan,

There is what looks like a disconnect between the asserted importance of immigration being a driver of Trump's popularity and the relatively low ranking immigration gets on surveys asking what the "most important problems facing the US today" is. Immigration never shows up on the top of these sorts of lists because of the perceived long horizon it entails. Terrorism, the economy, unemployment--those are all things that are seen to "need fixing" right now (and all of them additionally tie into the immigration question). It isn't articulated as the most immediate concern, but it is always there at a low simmer, and the heat is rising.

T said...

Most people aren't into really thinking about the political/media landscape. They focus on career, recreation, family, celebrities, sports, etc. Those who are interested in politics generally limit their thoughts to: my team=good, their team=bad.

"When I analyze this issue I have trouble rationalizing how someone comes to hold an "extreme" position"

They don't view their position as extreme (because it isn't). They are unaware that the elite view their position as extreme. They are simply normal people holding normal views, and thus they do not view themselves as extremists.


"so what is going on with those 39% who favor the hard-core deportation approach and still cast their lot with the politicians who are pro-Amnesty"

They are simply unaware that most Republican politicians are pro-Amnesty.

Audacious Epigone said...

They are simply unaware that most Republican politicians are pro-Amnesty.

Yes, for a substantial number I suspect that is exactly right. It's why, as tedious as it may be for those who follow this stuff closely, Trump needs to keep hammering on his wall/deportation message while contrasting it with the amnesty positions of Bush/Rubio/Carson.

TangoMan said...

Yes, for a substantial number I suspect that is exactly right. It's why, as tedious as it may be for those who follow this stuff closely, Trump needs to keep hammering on his wall/deportation message while contrasting it with the amnesty positions of Bush/Rubio/Carson.

I do wonder whether Trump actually has the balls to institute a massive deportation scheme, like Ike's Operation Wetback. Talk is cheap, even Trump's talk of deportation which gets liberals' panties tied up in knots when compared to action. I have a model in my head which results in a President being able to launch, defend and withstand a measure like launching the Iraq War and not deviating from his course even in the face of a vast protest movement but an Operation Wetback deportation of 20 million infiltrators, and the protests and news reports, and crying people, etc would erode such an effort quickly.

Maybe I'm jaded by the times we live in but I don't really see leaders being willing to "damn their eternal soul" by undertaking harsh measures in order to do good for the people of their country. Truman dropped A-Bombs on Japan in order to benefit the US and I suspect that that mode of thinking, that "buck stops here" attitude, is a lost strain in modern society. These days there is a lot more concern about the legacy a President leaves, how he will live his life after he leaves office, etc.

Because Trump has a lot, this also translates into him having a lot to lose in his post-Presidency life and same for his children. How selfless would he be? His wealth is a benefit in that it allows him to speak his mind but it will likely also be his Achilles' Heel in that he will want to preserve and enhance that wealth for both himself and his children and not want the Trump brand to become toxic to people and a mass deportation effort will alienate a lot of people despite the fact that it will be hugely beneficial to the people. A President coming into office with nothing, and therefore not giving a damn because he has nothing to lose, would be in a stronger position, a guy like Truman who didn't focus on personally leveraging his position in order to enrich himself, but that guy's path to success is blocked due to his poverty.

Audacious Epigone said...

TangoMan,

It'll be a tough thing for him to walk away from after how much attention he's given it. If there is a big groundswell of opposition to deportation once it begins taking place (beyond the media portrayals that will make it look as inhumane and pitiable as possible), he'll have an avenue to save face--"the people didn't want it" as he extends his hands and raises his lower lip in that classic Trumpian way).

Regarding monetary legacy, has there been a president since Truman that hasn't been able to turn the presidency into a massive wealth generating endeavor at a personal level? Even George W Bush charges six-figures for individual speeches. That's chump change for Trump, I guess, but especially if he executed the deportation effort early in his first term so that it was more-or-less normalized when he left office, would it sink him?

TangoMan said...

AE,

Bush pissed off peaceniks and fiscal hawks while he enriched all contractors and geopolitical financial interests, so there are plenty of people around who feel indebted to him.

Trump would piss off everyone in the employer/capital class as well as ethnic interests while enriching American citizens by lessening wage depression in the labor market. It's not that Trump needs to be paid off after he leaves office, it's that he wants to avoid being financially targeted because he lowered returns to capital by shifting a greater share of increased productivity over to labor's share of the pot.

This is a structural part of our system - the President's decisions are a mix of national interest and self-interest. Deporting vast hordes of welfare-sucking 3rd worlders is definitely good for the national interest, but it will create a lot of enemies for the President and no powerful friends, other than the people of the US.

It'll be a tough thing for him to walk away from after how much attention he's given it.

Unless matters have changed since I last looked, his written policies are not as aggressive as his spoken plans dealing with deportations and a deportation force. Your point is that he needs to keep hammering on deportation and driving that message home and that it should be a vote-getting plank for him and I agree, but the easiest path once he wins is to pull his sham of deporting and readmitting and this calms down his enemies and buys the nation nothing.

My concern is that he's a one-man Overton Window Mover and arrayed against him is a mighty force of LOUD opponents with vast quantities of air-time and ink at their disposal who can highlight the professional aggrieved ethnic class. I suspect that Trump has a silent majority backing immigration reform and could make the case for deportation but the elite class is solidly against him. I'd be more reassured of success if he could swing other politicians over to the deportation platform so that he, at least, had some allies in the coming fight but I'm not seeing that yet. Better yet would be to reorient the Republican Party to focus on the coalition he has assembled.

he'll have an avenue to save face--"the people didn't want it"

Then we're really hosed. Trump came into the race with a pre-packaged persona - he could swing the tough guy act and if he buckles then is there going to be another politician in future elections who could win the nomination with an "I'm tougher than that pussy Trump" platform? I doubt it.

but especially if he executed the deportation effort early in his first term so that it was more-or-less normalized when he left office, would it sink him

This is population shaping that we're dealing with - we need to shed as many low human capital people as we can, so if Ann Coulter is correct about her number, 30 million, and I believe she makes the better argument than Pew's never changing over decades 11 million, then it's going to take a long time to get rid of 30 million people and the economic disruption that will follow. Politicians and people always favor the immediate path of least resistance rather than the ultimately beneficial path which imposes hardships by choice. Trump will really have to live up to his claim of being a super-genius to repair what liberals have inflicted on us over the last 50 years.

chris said...

If he will make enemies by deportation, than he should simply disempower his enemies before he leaves office or even before he deports.

Media- gut it.
Academia - gut it.
NGOs - gut em.
Capital - gut it.

He could even do it while he is doing the deportations, as a way to keep them occupied about their own grievances rather than grievance mongering for illegal immigrants.

Audacious Epigone said...

TangoMan,

He may be too good to be true. But I see no reason to make the perfect the enemy of the good here. He's already done heroic work by destroying ¡Jabe!'s campaign, making illegal immigration a salient political topic, greatly expanding the size of the Overton Window, providing a formula for those on the right to follow when pilloried for a political incorrect statement (absolutely refuse to apologize, dismissively mock your accusers), and relentlessly ridiculing the whorish nature of the American political process. And in all of these things, he's surpassed the expectations of a huge number of people who have been sympathetic to what he has been doing. Let's ride this phenomenon as far as we are able to.

Audacious Epigone said...

Chris,

Trump despises the political class. He recounts stories of how even as a teenager he was disgusted by how they parasitically take credit for things they have deserve no credit for. It's clear he thinks that slutty puppets is all they deserve to be because they don't do anything to merit more than that.