By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
As it turns out, Save Jerseyans, Donald Trump and New Jersey’s Democrat Senate President Steve Sweeney have a few things common. Things which I think are worth considering before Primary Day.
They’re both Northeasterners and a little left-of-center on the big issues. Neither man is especially refined in speech but love pin-stripe suits. They also share a strange, bromantic, love-hate relationship with Chris Christie.
One other thing: they’re shameless when it comes to using victims to manipulate people’s emotions.
Sweeney’s most egregious offense occurred back in February 2014 when he invited the parents of Sandy Hook Elementary’s young victims to the New Jersey State House to push magazine ban legislation. “When you meet families that lost their loved ones it’s pretty hard to explain why you can’t do a simple thing like this,” Sweeney explained at the time, wiping away tears. “I’m proud to be standing here today supporting this.”
One family member Sweeney forgot to invite? Newtown father, Mark Mattioli, who also lost his child on that tragic day but who nevertheless strongly believes more gun laws and restrictions on magazines are not the answer. They don’t work! But Sweeney was running for governor in 2017, even back then, so he was willing to manipulate victims and voters to push feel-good legislation that wouldn’t save a single child but might put many innocent civilians at risk.
The Donald employed similar theatrics on Friday, campaigning in California, when he paraded the family members of victims killed by illegal immigrants before the rally crowd and media cameras:
Now, unlike statistically-rare mass shooting, there is actually a correlation between illegal immigration and a rise in violent crimes – like kidnapping – particularly in our Southwestern U.S. border states. That’s undeniable.
Still, much like Sweeney’s pointless and counter-productive magazine ban proposal, Trump’s solutions aren’t a real solution. They’re manipulatively over-simplified talking points designed to take advantage of good peoeple’s emotions.
Mass deportation? Not happening. Conservative estimates place the cost at $400 billion to $600 billion over a decade for a DHS annual budget that totals $60 billion. Elian Gonzalez, played out hundreds of thousands of times on television, for a budget-busting price? It’s simply not happening. Not en mass like the Donald pretends he’ll do it.
Trumpies have also yet to explain how they’ll amend the 14th Amendment to eliminate birth right citizenship or deal with the economic consequences of a green card “pause” as opposed to the much more measured and narrowly-tailored comprehensive visa reform. There’s a reason why the Donald is the first Republican front runner in a generation to never discuss the Constitution, folks! His plans don’t take it into account.
And then there’s that Wall. The U.S. sent $233 million to Mexico over the last five years in foreign aid; the Great Wall of Trump, beautiful yuge door and all, would cost around $3.58 billion. So even if an expensive new apparatus is set up to intercept a portion of foreign money transfers from migrant workers to their families (or monitoring Western Union or Paypal to ensure compliance), we’re unlikely to get anywhere close to covering the cost as he promises over, and over, and over again in rallies across the country.
We haven’t even factored in the LOST federal revenue from a trade war….
Journalist H.L. Mencken once quipped about how “[f]or every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”
It’s a little long, Save Jerseyans, but Mencken’s quote would serve as a fitting campaign slogan for either Trump or Sweeney. Unfortunately, it’s some our society’s most vulnerable citizens – victims of unenforced immigration laws and unaddressed mental illness – who will continue to suffer every time these charlatans get away with peddling their self-serving nonsense to the masses.