His­pan­ics, blacks, Jews, gays and other mi­nori­ties should vote against Trump’s can­di­dates

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - In Depth - BY AN­DRES OPPENHEIMER aop­pen­heimer@mi­ami­her­ald.com

Ob­vi­ously, mil­lions of Amer­i­cans are not go­ing to vote Demo­cratic on Tues­day. How­ever, there are at least five rea­sons why His­pan­ics, blacks,

Jews, gays and other mi­nori­ties — plus women — should vote against Repub­li­can can­di­dates in the midterm elec­tions, es­pe­cially those of us who have voted for both Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can can­di­dates in the past.

First, this coun­try needs to bal­ance Pres­i­dent Trump’s near-ab­so­lute pow­ers with an op­po­si­tion Congress.

Trump con­trols the House, the Se­nate and the Supreme Court. He wants to in­tim­i­date in­de­pen­dent me­dia into be­com­ing Fox News-like govern­ment pro­pa­ganda out­lets. If he emerges vic­to­ri­ous from his hate-mon­ger­ing elec­tion strat­egy, he will be em­bold­ened, be­com­ing an even more ex­trem­ist pop­ulist au­to­crat.

Sec­ond, in his ef­fort to court votes from mostly white males who feel threat­ened by racial di­ver­sity, Trump goes out of his way to de­mo­nize im­mi­grants and peo­ple of color. By do­ing so, he has cre­ated a cli­mate of racial an­i­mos­ity that has re­sulted in a me­te­oric rise in hate crimes against blacks, Jews, gays, and His­pan­ics, which have risen to record highs this year, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study by the

NAACP.

Last week­end’s mass mur­der at a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue - the worst an­tiSemitic at­tack in U.S. his­tory - and the bombs po­lice say a South Florida Trump sup­porter mailed to more than a dozen Demo­cratic Party fig­ures and CNN of­fices were not ran­dom in­ci­dents. They are a di­rect re­sult of Trump’s hate speech, es­pe­cially his de­pic­tion of Democrats as un­pa­tri­otic and of in­de­pen­dent jour­nal­ists as "en­e­mies of the peo­ple."

Re­mem­ber, Trump started his 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign by falsely claim­ing that most Mex­i­can im­mi­grants are "crim­i­nals" and "rapists," and he hasn’t stopped de­mo­niz­ing both un­doc­u­mented and le­gal im­mi­grants.

As pres­i­dent, he has said un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants "in­fest our coun­try" — lan­guage rem­i­nis­cent of that used in Nazi Ger­many against the Jews.

He has sep­a­rated Latin Amer­i­can im­mi­grant chil­dren from their par­ents, and has placed in­fants in cages. In re­cent days, he has been lash­ing out against the car­a­van of Cen­tral Amer­i­can refugee seek­ers, claim­ing — with­out ev­i­dence — that it is full of crim­i­nals and pos­si­bly Mid­dle Eastern ter­ror­ists.

He is also threat­en­ing to end birthright cit­i­zen­ship rights to chil­dren of un­doc­u­mented par­ents. He claims - falsely - that Amer­ica is be­ing flooded by dan­ger­ous for­eign­ers and that there are al­ready 25 mil­lion un­doc­u­mented peo­ple in the coun­try.

In fact, the num­ber of un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants has fallen from 12.2 mil­lion unau­tho­rized im­mi­grants in 2007, to 11.3 mil­lion to­day, ac­cord­ing to the

Pew Re­search Cen­ter.

Anti-Semitic in­ci­dents rose by nearly 60 per­cent in 2017, ac­cord­ing to an Anti-Defama­tion League (ADL) study re­leased in Fe­bru­ary, long be­fore the Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue shoot­ing. Af­ter last year’s anti-Semitic in­ci­dents in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia, in which hun­dreds of alt-right marchers wav­ing Nazi flags and clashed with anti-fas­cist pro­test­ers, Trump fa­mously pro­claimed that there were "some very fine peo­ple on both sides."

Trump has ve­he­mently de­nied be­ing an anti-Semite, and I be­lieve him. But in his quest for an­gry white vot­ers, he has em­braced a xeno­pho­bic agenda that has em­bold­ened racists of all types.

Third, Trump’s dis­man­tling of Oba­macare has re­sulted in health-ben­e­fit cuts for mil­lions of peo­ple. His­pan­ics, African Amer­i­cans and other mi­nori­ties have been among the most af­fected.

Fourth, Trump’s de­mean­ing re­marks about women dur­ing the cam­paign and his re­cent state­ments mock­ing the woman who ac­cused now-Supreme Court Jus­tice Brett Ka­vanaugh of sex­ual as­sault should put all women on alert. In­stead of giv­ing both sides the ben­e­fit of the doubt, Trump — who is him­self be­ing ac­cused of hav­ing sex­u­ally abused more than a dozen women — sided whole­heart­edly with Ka­vanaugh.

Fifth, Trump’s tax cuts have ben­e­fited mostly the rich, and his tak­ing credit for the record low mi­nor­ity unem­ploy­ment lev­els are disin­gen­u­ous. In fact, U.S. unem­ploy­ment has been fall­ing steadily since 2009.

There are many more rea­sons to vote against Trump’s agenda, in­clud­ing his with­drawal from the Paris Ac­cord on Global Warm­ing, his em­brace of the au­thor­i­tar­ian lead­ers of North Korea and Rus­sia while aban­don­ing U.S. hu­man-rights prin­ci­ples, his stead­fast op­po­si­tion to gun safety laws, and his coun­ter­pro­duc­tive tar­iffs on for­eign im­ports that are be­gin­ning to hurt the U.S. econ­omy.

With luck, an op­po­si­tion vic­tory on Tues­day could con­vince Trump that his anti-im­mi­gra­tion dem­a­goguery didn’t work and would force him to move closer to the cen­ter. Con­versely, a Trump win on Elec­tion Day could con­vince him that his hate­mon­ger­ing strat­egy was a suc­cess and move Amer­ica closer to be­com­ing a white na­tion­al­ist au­toc­racy.

Don’t miss the “Oppenheimer Pre­senta” TV show Sun­days at 8 p.m. ET on CNN en Es­panol.

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