On Thursday, the Washington Post was the first to report the accusation by Senator Dick Durbin (D – IL) that during a bipartisan legislative meeting on immigration, President Trump said, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” The President was referring to what he considers the bad policy of a lottery program to accept immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras. He says he prefers a merit-based immigration program.
According to The Guardian,
He claimed without specifics or evidence that the deal would force the US “to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly”.
“I want a merit-based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs,” he said.
Believers and Deniers
Since the original report, there have been denials and confirmations spreading through social media, prompting the usual reactions, including a Presidential Tweet:
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Before the denials, expressed vaguely by President Trump and guardedly by Republican representatives who also attended Thursday’s meeting, Trump supporters came out in force to applaud him for his “straight talk”, insisting that he was expressing his strength by using profanity. Those who disagreed with this sentiment were treated with similar obscenities.
These were typical Facebook responses by Trump followers, (women, in these particular examples):
Shithole leaders need to be getting their asses kicked for sending us their terrorists. Shithole Democrats need their asses kicked out of government! Face it! America is turning into a shithole because of Democrats and rhinos! Trump doesn’t want us to be a shithole therefore he doesn’t want shit coming from shitholes.
Oh it’s just something for these idiots to bitch about. KEEP CUSSING, TRUMP! AMERICA LOVES YOU!
By Friday afternoon, Trump followers were crowing that it never happened.
Like the famous Schrodinger’s Cat analogy to describe the relative, probable locations of elusive quantum particles, President Trump both asked and did not ask, “Why are we having all these people from these shithole countries coming here?”
“In the experiment, the observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, does not know whether the vial has broken and the cat has been killed. According to quantum law under the Copenhagen interpretation, the cat will be both dead and alive until someone looks in the box. In quantum mechanics lingo, the cat’s ability to be both alive and dead until it is observed is referred to as quantum indeterminacy or the observer’s paradox. The logic behind the observer’s paradox is the proven ability of observation to influence outcomes.” From http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Schrodingers-cat
At the end of the day, there will be Americans who choose to take a peek into the box of evidence and be appalled and offended by the President’s profane, possibly racist remarks. Other Americans will revel in the degradation within. Some will believe he said them, while others will doubt the evidence. True followers will praise Trump regardless of the conclusions.
Taking a peek inside the box.
The real danger lies in the fact that the truth doesn’t matter to Trump’s followers. Whether he said it or didn’t say it is irrelevant to their worship of him. Blind devotion is easier than the hard work of holding our representatives accountable to their words.
In the end, every cat dies, as does every republic. Often the cause of death is a dereliction of duty. As retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter predicted:
“I don’t worry about our losing republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because I think there is going to be a coup by the military as has happened in some of other places. What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed, people will not know who is responsible. And when the problems get bad enough, as they might do, for example, with another serious terrorist attack, as they might do with another financial meltdown, some one person will come forward and say, ‘Give me total power and I will solve this problem.’
“That is how the Roman republic fell. Augustus became emperor, not because he arrested the Roman Senate. He became emperor because he promised that he would solve problems that were not being solved.
“If we know who is responsible, I have enough faith in the American people to demand performance from those responsible. If we don’t know, we will stay away from the polls. We will not demand it. And the day will come when somebody will come forward and we and the government will in effect say, ‘Take the ball and run with it. Do what you have to do.’
“That is the way democracy dies. And if something is not done to improve the level of civic knowledge, that is what you should worry about at night.” – from MSNBC
Once an ignorant cult following coronates an autocrat, someday we’ll look inside the box and instead of finding a dead cat, we’ll find a national shithole.