There’s no way to know what kind of lasting impact President Donald Trump will have on the United States, short of his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. What can be done by one president can be undone by another, as Trump himself is proving on a near-daily basis. His legacy on healthcare is uncertain, and the prospect of meaningful tax reform is even more so. His nationalist bent put him in the White House, but there’s no way of knowing whether that streak of ardent patriotism will remain a firm part of the Republican Party or be cast aside like the interventionist aims of the Bush era.
If there is any one hallmark of the Trump presidency, however, that is likely to last long past his time in office, it is his fierce opposition to illegal immigration. It is there that the poll numbers are a lot more favorable to Trump than the media would like to publicize. The majority of Americans do not want cities to protect illegals from deportation. The majority of Americans support the ban on travel from dangerous Middle Eastern countries. And while the WALL remains a controversial proposal, the majority of Americans know that we cannot have a border that functions as a suggestion.
And now at least a few intellectuals in the Democratic Party are beginning to hear the message.
Most surprising was a recent essay by Peter Beinart in The Atlantic, who said the “left has lost its way on immigration.” Beinart called for a return to middle ground, where neither walls nor defense of sanctuary cities was the way forward. And while that might sound like the mushy sort of crap conservatives have been rejecting from the GOP, it’s an enormous step in the right direction for anyone who identifies themselves as a Democrat.
The party has gone insane on immigration issues, to the point where Hillary Clinton practically promised that she would not deport a single illegal immigrant unless they were caught murdering their grandmother. Finally, some sensible leftists (yes, there are apparently a few still kicking around!) are trying to shake the party free of its unpopular, unorthodox, and un-American view on the border.
Granted, there’s no guarantee that people like Beinart will be heard by leading Democrats. And you still have lunatics out in California pushing to make the entire STATE a sanctuary haven for illegal immigrants, so we’re a long way from sanity.
But Trump’s success on this issue cannot be ignored, and it WON’T be ignored if Democrats ever want to win another national election. The “legalize ‘em and let ‘em vote” ship has sailed, and that was the basket Democrats were counting on to keep them in power. Now they’re going to have to actually persuade American citizens to vote for them, and that’s going to require a platform that speaks to THEM – not migrants from El Salvador.
Even if he gets little else done in the next four years, Trump can be proud of that legacy.