In the parallel world in which Republicans live, their central figure—former President Donald Trump, the king of lies and conspiracy theories—is launching a social media platform ironically named TRUTH Social, after being kicked off of the traditional social networks Twitter and Facebook for promoting lies about his defeat in the 2020 general elections.
With this type of cybernetic oxymoron we can see the type of media spawn that the United States is in for and how this platform will turn a lie into the permanently hidden “truth.” And when it comes to immigration, it’s certain that the platform will reproduce each and every one of the attacks the ex-president has launched against undocumented immigrants since he showed up on the U.S. political scene.
Essentially, it will be a space to rejoice for those who ignorantly promote racism and xenophobia, and who prefer to be deceived rather than make an intellectual effort to undo the influence that a person like Trump has had on national history, especially on the issue of migration.
With Trump at the helm, the Republicans have gotten used to torturing the truth to death—even knowing that they, themselves, are the primary victims of this whole tidal wave of lies.
Thus, the terrorists who assaulted the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a failed coup attempt to keep Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral win are, according to the Republicans, “patriots” who “peacefully” exercised their right to protest. Trump even said that, upon returning to the White House, he would offer them presidential pardons.
That is obvious, and it wouldn’t be crazy to think that one of the first media campaigns on his new platform will be, precisely, promoting the idea that this teeming mob would not only merit a pardon, but even accolades for blindly obeying a false leader.
In this parallel and hypocritical world, the Republicans who dare to confront Trump or question the lies that he and his followers promote become traitors who must be expelled from the collective. Republican congressmembers Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, for example, were sanctioned by the Republican Party for joining the panel to investigate the January 6 disturbances that the GOP called the “legitimate exercise of political discourse.” Both actively denounced Trump for falsely declaring that he lost the election because Biden committed electoral “fraud.”
In fact, the Republican House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, is supporting candidate Harriet Hagman against Liz Cheney in the August primary for the district she represents in Wyoming. Hagman is pro-Trump.
The cult of Trump is alive and well. Rick Scott, the Republican Senator from Florida who leads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, announced an eleven point plan to “save” the United States, and one of its sections proposes to finish the border wall and baptize it with the name “Trump.” This is one more example of how the Republican Party continues its immigration demagoguery, even after Trump.
But it is not the only one. We also have Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who has made shameful use of immigrant children to press for the closure of shelters to house undocumented children who arrive in the United States without their parents.
Or the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, who right in the middle of his reelection campaign in November has dared to use the same script, once again, blaming undocumented immigration for crime in his state, knowing that in study after study, the opposite is shown.
Or even the Attorney General of Arizona, Mark Brnovich, looking for a seat in the U.S. Senate, who has pressured Doug Ducey, his state’s Governor, to respond, with military force, to what he erroneously calls an “invasion” of immigrants at the southern border.
The saddest part about this entire situation is that despite their demagoguery and lies, Republicans continue to appeal to a wide group of the electorate. And that even includes many Latinos, in states and districts that are key to the upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 elections.
No matter which Republican is the one to emerge, particularly in the 2024 primaries—whether it be Trump, DeSantis, or someone else—the Democrats’ challenge is enormous, not only because of their internal divisions, but also because they are facing off against a veritable machinery of Republican lies on multiple fronts, including immigration; one which, however, is accepted by a wide swath of the electorate.
Read the Spanish version of this column here.