Having Donald Trump run for President as a Republican is the most brilliant political strategy that the Democrats have ever dreamed up. Based on the way other Republicans have reacted to him, I’ve already started investing in enough alcohol and ibuprofen to get through eight years of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

Some of my more conservative local friends have been slow to grasp why they should tell Trump he’s fired as a Republican candidate. They have even taken to social media to endorse some of Trump’s nonsensical views on subjects like illegal immigration. Those who agree with Trump on this issue must have skipped Sunday school the day that the whole concept of “love your neighbor as yourself” was taught.

I don’t get so worked up about illegal immigration; the American dream of working hard to enjoy economic success should be big enough for us to share. Plus, I like the kind of diversity that involves people from all walks of life sharing in each other’s cultures and traditions. 

Trump apparently disagrees with this. He recently attracted a great deal of the attention by accusing Mexico of sending people to our country who are criminals, drug addicts, and rapists.

It is not fair to suggest that Mexico “sent” these people to our country. These immigrants weren’t delivered in a cardboard box with a big bow on top by the government of Mexico. Instead, they willingly chose to leave their home country where the future was a looking a little bleak, to seek out better economic futures for themselves and their families.

There doesn’t appear to be any evidence that these immigrants are any more likely to engage in rape or violent crime than anyone who was born here. Being a natural-born American doesn’t automatically make someone smart or moral, as Trump demonstrates on a daily basis.

I understand that illegal immigration causes problems, and we can all agree that our Border Patrol should be getting everything it needs from the government in order to properly do its job. Illegal immigrants seemingly buck the processes put in place to bring people into this country legally. Illegal immigrants depending on and using schools and hospital emergency rooms that they are not directly paying for does cause some economic damage. That can and should be addressed by politicians without false accusations or divisive rhetoric.  

However, Americans also economically benefit from the hard work of illegal immigrants, people who generally work hard for their families, in the types of jobs that most modern Americans probably wouldn’t want to do for very long.

There are approximately 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the United States, and we clearly don’t have the money, will, or manpower to deport very many of them. I don’t hear Trump making any real suggestions on what he wants to happen to these individuals. Complaining is apparently much easier and more fun for politicians of his particular ilk than actually seeking a solution.

If he really wanted to do something to stop people from illegally crossing our southern border, Trump could call for those who hire illegal immigrants to be punished. Of course, no politician would really advocate this kind of policy, because it would likely affect so many of their wealthy friends and donors. This is particularly true of people in the hotel and construction business, like, say, Donald Trump.

A more realistic way to deal with this issue would be to change the way the drug trade is dealt with in this country. Part of the reason Mexico is a tough place to live these days is the violence and terrorism by drug cartels who make their money transporting their products to the US and selling to Americans.

It seems pretty clear that our current laws against certain drugs haven’t stopped anyone who wants to buy these products. Maybe it is time to start thinking about changing the way we deal with this issue and talk about legalizing drugs like marijuana. That way, our government could at least collect some tax money from this highly profitable product, we could save some of the money it takes to throw non-violent offenders in prison, and the cartels that are causing so many problems in countries south of our border would be given some American corporate competition.

This seems like a better plan to improve lives on the other side of the border than having our worst reality-television star accuse a bunch of people of crimes they didn’t commit.

Please send all questions, comments, hate mail, marriage proposals, requests for assistance in crossing the border, or invitations to attend upcoming Donald Trump campaign appearances to brian@chanute.com.

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