Reprinted from Truthdig
Are they fools or fascists? Probably the former, but there was a disturbing cast to the second GOP debate, a vituperative jingoism reminiscent of the xenophobia that periodically scars Western capitalist societies in moments of disarray.
While the entire world is riveted by the sight of millions of refugees in terrifying exodus attempting to save drowning and starving children, we were treated to the darkly peculiar spectacle of scorn for the children of undocumented immigrants and celebration of the sanctity of the unborn fetus.
Marching to the beat of that mad drummer Donald Trump, the GOP candidates have taken to scapegoating undocumented immigrants, in particular the young, blaming them for all that ails us. Most of the GOP contenders appeared as a shrill echo of the neo-fascist European movements of late, adopting the traditional tactic of blaming the most vulnerable for economic problems the most powerful have caused.
Forget the collateralized debt obligations and other Wall Street scams that continue to cripple the world economy -- as the Federal Reserve Bank noted Thursday in postponing a threatened increase in interest rates -- or the massive shipment of jobs abroad by leading companies like GE. Instead, blame the folks who cook your food, raise your kids and pick the grapes from the vineyards for all that has gone wrong.
None of the candidates -- not even Marco Rubio, who admitted to a Spanish-speaking grandfather who emigrated from Cuba, or Jeb Bush, who is married to one of those Mexicans now tarred as criminals -- had the courage to cite the overwhelming evidence from the Congressional Research Service and other impeccable sources of these facts: Undocumented immigrants are far less likely than the general population to commit crimes, and they pay more in taxes and uncollectible benefits than they receive in public assistance.
No candidate mentioned that the supposedly porous border with Mexico has never been more tightly controlled, that in 2013 the Obama administration set a record for deportations, and that the 9/11 hijackers all had valid documentation, with our ally Saudi Arabia providing documents for 15 of the 19. Even Trump has yet to come up with the name of a Mexican terrorist who crossed our southern border.