I’m not a Trump fan, but the mainstream reaction to his nutty ideas is instructive. Consider his crazy scheme to deport everyone here illegally, and stop any more people from coming here illegally. The reaction to this goofy piece of extremism masks a real fear. That fear is, that his plan might work. It has to be presented as impossible, unworkable, insane, inhumane, Islamophobic, homophobic, racist, sexist, communist, whatever, as long as it is on no account ever tried. Consider this made-up quote from a notional Repblican consultant:
“What is it those rubes are always going on about? How much we spend? Tell them a wall will cost a trillion dollars. Wait, it says here that focus groups identify five hundred billion as the amount of money currently perceived as largest. Tell them five hundred billion dollars. Tell them deportation will cost another five hundred billion.”
Because, you see, the Democrats and the Republicans are really afraid building a wall might work. Plans that will not work can be supported, but plans that might possibly work must be, not even opposed, but denounced.
Enforcing our laws must be presented as impossible, because they don’t really want to enforce those laws. The Republicans manage the demands of their “base” to do so by presenting themselves as powerless. Like another totally made-up Republican politician didn’t say:
“We don’t want illegal immigration, oh dear no, but what are you gonna do? Politics is the art of the possible. And anyway, it’s a two-party system.”
In fact they do want illegal immigration, just as much as the Democrats want it, and they want the illegals to stay here, and they want more to come here.
UPDATE: clarified that quotes are fictional.