McCain Trumps Immigrants

Charlie Rose seemed hacked off at Donald Trump. He pressed and prodded. Would The Donald cave and give the apology every pundit and other vocal candidates insisted was due?

Media Tools?

toolboxDo you find it odd that the Mainstream Media appeared the tool of the GOP establishment used to reign in The Donald? Maybe that is a harsh characterization. After all, Mr. Trump did mix his issues when he remarked that he preferred heroes that had not been captured. McCain is a war hero. American sensibilities came into play with The Donald and his latest “if he’s thinking it he’s saying it” routine. Trump does believe McCain has not done enough to help veterans.

Some fact checking indicates that McCain has been in on legislation and the clean-up of the VA.. But, remember, McCain has lived under suspicion from veterans. One must be careful since anyone may post any allegation online without substantiation. But, it is noteworthy not all veterans appear to feel the same about Trump’s comments about McCain.

Eventually, O’Reilly got something of an apology out of Mr. Trump. Some will think FoxNews is not part of the MSM, but the Corporatist dollars that fund our news play both sides of the two-party coin so as to be not much different when giving us what helps their publicity, read bottom line. That is different than giving the news.

That is not the real story.

Where Was The Outrage?

Lindsey Graham called Trump the south bound end of a north bound donkey. A grimace faced Rick Perry demanded an apology from Trump for McCain.

outrageThe response to Trump on McCain seems more outrageous than reactions to his comments on immigration. For instance, Perry who called for Trump to apologize, did consider Trump’s remarks on immigration offensive. But, Perry prefers drones and more border agents while sounding as alarmist and manipulative with stats as Trump.  In other words his penchant to blame the ills of his State, and our Country, fall on the others among us. His allegations sound strikingly similar to Trump according to one source, in Texas.

We cannot get any immigration reform going anywhere. Why? Because our opinions are as varied as the number of Republican hopefuls. Blame our legislators all we want, but Trump’s firestorm exposes us as much as them. In fact, if anything what we are witnessing is self-exposure in Trump’s discomfiting words.

Trump’s numbers continue to rise. Consider the polls an indication that Trump expresses our own American Freudian Slips.

Is It Economic?

Only time will tell what it is that creates the disparity in response to Trump’s various ire raising comments. But while we are in the early speculative stages, let me put a question out there. When we consider the different responses to Trump on immigration and McCain, could it be a matter of economics?

Let’s let McCain represent U.S. military spending since Trump’s aim drew attention to the military and provoked a response from not just a few. Military spending, Defense Spending, may represent a small percentage of the GDP of the U.S This is the common measure when defending how much the U.S. spends compared to other countries. When we find our defense spending as a percentage of the GDP within the range of other Countries we move on.

Have you ever wondered how much our percentage of the GDP figure is in real dollars?

billions$581 Billion or, $581,000,000,000. No matter how you pie the chart, that is a lot of zeroes. One must combine the amounts spent on defense by the next nine countries, behind the U.S., to exceed that amount. For instance, China is a distant second to the U.S., less than $200 Billion. Consider that as a figure per citizen spent on defense. The U.S. spends approximately $1822 per person on Defense. China spends about $147 per person. Read that again.

Someone is getting those government contracts. You want a contract awarded in your State? You better defend the cash cow.

By comparison, immigrants offer very little.

Immigrants come to work in the U.S. to escape a poverty worse than what we find in the U.S. Immigrants buy our goods and pay for our services. The result is tax dollars into our economy as well as dollars into our service businesses. But, they do not generate potential contracts stemming from a pot o’ gold that is our Defense spending.

We may complain about them. They learn in our schools. They need our health care. What we overlook is their contribution to our already existing poverty class. They help provide the cheap labor needed in our Country’s economic structure. Immigrants don’t threaten our economy. They participate but on a level that reaps no real reward for the Military-Industrial-Complex.

Peeve the immigrants. What are they going to do? Peeve the military and someone’s State will miss out on lucrative military contracts. Everyone rushes to save face for their State. Not everyone rushes to save face for the face-less, name-less, others.

It May Be the Habit of Governments, But . . .

Maybe none of the above is the real story. It could be you will quibble with the linked sources. Maybe you don’t like the math. What we cannot escape is what disturbs me. We are so wrapped up in self-preservation that we cannot see the way the political circus actually is the mirror needed to gauge where we really are as a people and a Country.

Pressed further, Christians, I think, should think more clearly, more deeply. I read where John Stackhouse suggests pastors should not get involved in politics. If by politics he means choosing a party and campaigning, I completely agree. But, politics is hard to avoid when its root also is used to describe the form of life together in the church, polity.

32380176_6dc07c6913Politics and polity share a vision of what life is like together. The role I think pastors may play is in helping people, particularly Christians, see the very way those excitable moments that attract everyone’s attention are really in themselves a way to learn what is really at our core. We may learn what we think is there is not really there. If that is the case, then either of the extreme responses to Trump reflect something about our lives together in the world.

Simply, comparing the responses indicate we care more about spending money to protect ourselves than we do on finding ways, including the resources, to care for others. Christians should immediately see the contradiction to their mission.

Please do not use the notion that we are policing the world. We do that to protect our money. There is a long history of this that predates our Revolutionary War. We learned well and know where our bread is buttered all over the world. In light of the recent Iran Deal this piece is making the rounds again. Here is a line that illustrates the economic motivation for our activities around the world,

Britain, and in particular Sir Anthony Eden, the foreign secretary, regarded Mosaddeq as a serious threat to its strategic and economic interests after the Iranian leader nationalised the British Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, latterly known as BP. But the UK needed US support. The Eisenhower administration in Washington was easily persuaded. [italics added]

Christians, the Church, cannot miss that when we take up either of the extremes, and maybe even anywhere along the spectrum, to defend and call our own, we are simply acknowledging what is at our core. It’s not what we claim. In this way the Church merely reflects culture rather than represents a community of people who may better benefit the world as communities that resist the empty core around which these excitable moments turn.

People matter. Using groups as pawns to advance a potential nomination – Veterans or Immigrants – should be called out by all of us who bear testimony to a Homeless Dead Jew who found value in all people and whose value in giving himself for them was vindicated in Resurrection.

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Featured Image – Trump Card

Image Credit – Toolbox

Image Credit – Outrage

Image Credit – Billions

Image Credit – Rotten Core

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.