The news headlines from media outlets are ablaze with reports that President Trump let off steam by using vulgar language during a January 11 Oval Office meeting to discuss immigration with a bipartisan group of senators. According to the media narrative, he became frustrated with a proposed immigration plan that would facilitate the admission of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries.
Sources coming from some who attended the meeting but would not be identified publicly alleged that Trump asked the senators why they would want people from Haiti, Africa and other “s***hole countries” coming into the United States. The unverified story immediately stole the news cycle, with pundits, analysts, and politicians insisting that the alleged remark is evidence of Trump's racism.
Did the president actually make the remark? Or is this another hit piece fabricated by Trump's “Fake News” enemies, who seem hell-bent on bringing him down, by one means or another? And, even if he did use the expletive alleged, has the context been stretched or massaged to make it "racist" and "hateful?" These are important questions that are not being asked. It is not surprising that the anti-Trump media and the president's political enemies are treating the allegation as fact and spinning the story in the most negative way possible. However, even some of the president's supporters have been quick to express alarm and dismay, apparently willing to fully accept the story at face value.
Speaking on a Fox News program on January 12, the well-known libertarian-constitutionalist judge Andrew Napolitano said this about the president’s reported statement:
I’ve known [Trump] for 30 years. I know him well and I like him and admire him. But this is a new low ... the language, the racial implications are reprehensible and he deserves the criticism he’s going to get. The flip side of this is, a lot of his supporters will agree with that tone and elected him because he uses, from time to time, that tone, and will cheer him on.
President Trump denied using the reported language in a pair of tweets early the next day, stating:
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made — a big setback for DACA!
“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!”
Considering the viciousness of the non-stop vitriol to which he has been subjected, and knowing how radical and dishonest so many of his political opponents are, it is amazing that the president had not foreseen this danger and recorded the meeting. The Washington Post, which broke this anonymous-sourced story, is hardly a beacon of truth and has been relentless in its attacks on President Trump. The same can be said for CNN, BuzzFeed, and other anti-Trump media platforms that claimed to have corroborated the alleged comment independently — as usual, with anonymous sources.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who attended the meeting, was the first source with a face to publicly weigh in on the issue. Senator Durbin said that Trump used all of the language that has been attributed to him in media reports, and he characterized the president's alleged remarks as "racist" and "hateful." Senator Durbin is an extreme left-wing Democrat who has been a strident opponent of the president from the start of his administration. This new attack should be viewed as another move to assist the impeachment effort that Durbin, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and other Senate Democrats have been promoting since December of 2016. At any rate, what it amounts to at this time is President Trump's word versus that of Senator Durbin.
While we cannot know with certainty whether Trump made the remarks attributed to him, the use of vulgarities by American presidents is not without precedent. Back in 2012, Curt Autry, a news anchor with NBC12 News in Richmond, Virginia, wrote a report titled “Top profanity in POTUS history,” in which he quoted salty language made by presidents Obama, Clinton, George W. Bush, Reagan, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Autry wrote:
Richard Nixon may hold the unofficial record for being the most openly profane U.S. President — probably because he recorded much of what he said in the Oval Office. In a taped 1971 conversation between the President and two of his aides, Nixon called Mexicans “dishonest,” said that blacks lived “like a bunch of dogs” and that San Francisco was full of “fags” and “decorators.” And that was just one conversation.
As most of our parents used to tell us, however, “just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right.”
The most important aspect of this story, however, is not language, but policy. During many articles published in recent years, The New American has reported on the harmful economic, cultural, social, and national security effects of uncontrolled migration to our country. An excellent description of the philosophy which guides our reporting on this subject is found on the website of our affiliated organization, The John Birch Society. On the JBS website, we read:
The John Birch Society supports regulated, legal immigration and welcomes legal immigrants to assimilate into the American culture by learning the founding principles of freedom, the proper framework of government and the English language. JBS advocates ending government assistance to illegal immigrants and not granting amnesty. It has been shown that when this occurs illegal immigrants often deport themselves.
Those who oppose unlimited immigration are sometimes accused of being “anti-immigrant” or of going against our nation’s long history of welcoming immigrants. However, there are vast differences between today’s migration patterns and those that occurred during the peak migratory years of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
One important factor that distinguished the largely successful immigrant experience of the 19th and early 20th centuries from the out-of-control situation that exists today was that during the earlier periods our borders were largely controlled and nearly all immigrants admitted to our nation were here legally. Another factor that helped keep earlier immigration at manageable levels was that the extensive system of government benefits that presently entices immigrants to come to America illegally, where they often create a drain on taxpayer resources, simply did not exist.
Many of the early 19th-century immigrants to America possessed skills that enabled them to immediately go to work as productive citizens, so they had little need for today’s government “safety nets” — had they existed back then.
In contrast with the situation that existed more than a century ago, today’s immigrants often rely on government services such as medical care, food stamps (now called SNAP), and housing assistance, in addition to education for their children. If the number of these immigrants is not controlled and too many settle in one area, they produce a heavy burden on local and state resources.
Another factor is the impact that such migrants have on our culture and our political system. Most immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island a century or more ago came from Europe and shared in the Judeo-Christian culture that existed here since our nation’s founding. Though some had been affected by socialist trends in Europe, they eventually learned English, became culturally assimilated, and were educated in the principles of free enterprise and limited government. This assimilation was successful largely because their numbers were small enough so that they never overwhelmed the existing population.
The nations that Trump singled out with his reportedly insensitive remarks do not have a history of limited government or economic conditions that encourage self-sufficiency. As a result, migrants from these nations are difficult to educate in principles of responsible citizenship. Their experiences have taught them to regard government not as a guarantor of God-given rights, but as an often-corrupt distributor of rationed goods controlled by the state. A migrant who has spent his entire life living under a Third World despotic regime is not a good candidate to become a citizen who can participate as an intelligent voter in our constitutional republic. To admit these things does not make one racist, it makes one open to recognizing the obvious.
Photo of President Trump: AP Images