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Would you immigrate to Trumplandia?

 Labadee, Haiti. Photograph by Brian Holland.

Labadee, Haiti. Photograph by Brian Holland.

You have to hand it to President Donald J. Trump. He really knows how to commemorate an occasion with a bang. On the anniversary of the Haitian earthquake and Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Trumpet decided to let the world know that people are not to be judged by what King called “the content of their character” but by what one witty Washington Post poster called “their country of origin.”

Trump apparently told Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Durbin – who thought they were at the White House to negotiate the bipartisan immigration “bill of love” that “Apprentice” Trump spoke of Tuesday when he was trying to disprove the lunatic persona portrayed in Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” – that we don’t need people from Haiti, El Salvador and “s---hole” countries in Africa. No, what we need is immigrants from places like Norway.

Trumpettes immediately hailed the remark that Trumpet subsequently denied as Trump telling it like it is. These countries are “s---holes,” they say. Except, of course, that they have it backward. It’s an immigration bill, not an emigration bill. We’re not asking Americans to go to these challenging places. Rather we’re considering lifting “our lamp beside the golden door,” so to speak, to those who wish to immigrate to these shores from troubled nations. They hunger for democracy and opportunity. (Like a Nigerian priest I know who is now a captain and chaplain in the U.S. Army.) People from Scandinavia don’t need to come to America. They may want to visit. But they don’t need to live here. They’re happy in their countries whose socialism our conservatives despise.

But let’s not be naïve about this. People in Scandinavia are also mostly white, while people in Africa, Haiti and El Salvador are not. So Trump must be a racist, right? You would think so but then you have to remember he’s a narcissist. A narcissist has no love for anyone but himself. Still, a narcissist needs two things:  He needs to be right always, and he needs an audience. Since no one is perfect, the narcissist must square that circle by constantly changing the context, which also ensures him a fresh audience.

So “Apprentice” Trump holds the White House meet in which he appears to be reasonable, measured, pragmatic and conciliatory for the country at large and, when that alarms the base, Twitter Trump comes back with “s---hole” countries. Whom are the Trumpettes kidding though? They love the president’s “honesty,” but then, it hasn’t been directed at them. He may say he represents them, but do they really think for a moment he would entertain the likes of them at Mar-a-Lago or Trump Tower?

No they don’t, because they don’t think, period. If they did, they would realize how difficult it is to get into this country, how hard immigrants work and how most people looked down on the hardliners’ immigrant ancestors the way they look down on potential immigrants now.

But I wouldn’t worry if I were them. The way Trump is going, China is going to supplant us as sole superpower, we’ll be lucky if we have Russkie status and few will want to visit Trumplandia, er, America, figuring it’s just another “s---hole.”