During a February 5 speech in Ohio Trump launched a tirade against the Democrats and accused them of "treason" for not standing up and applauding during part of his State of the Union speech. The Hill quotes the president as saying:

"Can we call that treason? Why not?...They certainly didn't seem to love our country very much."

(Italics added.)


Aside from the fact that there is a certain country where failing to applaud when the Leader speaks actually is considered treason (a country which America's president has threatened to destroy with "Fire and Fury"), what stands out from this remark is that the "treasonous" Democrats are not the only people whom Trump has accused of failing to "love our country".

He has frequently implied that immigrants, especially those from non-white parts of the world, do not "love our country" either.

Trump has, for example, said that he wants to end the diversity visa lottery, which benefits legal immigrants who are overwhelming non-European, with approximately 40 per cent coming form Africa, and switch to a "merit-based" system which will favor immigrants "who will love and respect our country."


What does Trump mean when he assaults both the opposing Democratic party and non-white immigrants as people who do not "love our country"?

For one thing, it revives the combination of racism and authoritarian rule which has been typical of all too many dictatorships in modern times.

But beyond that, if Trump believes that members of the opposition party who fail to applaud during one of his speeches do "not love our country" and are guilty of "treason", what will be his attitude to Democrats and pro-immigration advocates who oppose his efforts to end the diversity visa (and family reunification green cards, by far the most important source of non-white legal immigration to the US during the past 50 years, which Trump has also attacked and wants to abolish for similar reasons)?

Since, in Trump's view, the diversity visa (and family reunification visas) allow immigrants to come to America who "do not love our country", does this mean that people who support keeping America's legal immigration system in its present form, and who oppose Trump's immigration "Framework" and his support for the Senate RAISE Act and House Goodlate bill, all of which would drastically cut legal immigration levels from outside Europe (and even
most likely, but to a much smaller extent, from within Europe too), are also "traitors" who do "not love our country"?

This kind of thinking could only serve to intimidate and threaten immigration supporters and Congressional figures who want to keep America's legal system open to the entire world, as it has been ever since 1965, instead of making huge cuts in legal immigration from Asia, Africa and Latin America in order to favor immigrants from white "countries like Norway" as in Trump's January 11 comment and in the bigoted "Nordics" only 1924 immigration law which he and his supporters seem to be so anxious to go back toward.

Implying that the Democrats and other supporters of legal immigration that is not limited to white immigrants from Europe only are "traitors" who do not "love our country" is not only a danger to democratic institutions. It directly points the road to fascism in America.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law