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The Fear, Like the Cruelty, Is the Point

It's the point of the census fandango and the "massive ICE raids." It's the point of everything the Trump people do

This whole fandango has been about scaring poor and desperate people. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

This whole fandango has been about scaring poor and desperate people. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, it appears, has decided that there isn't any more fun to have when you've pulled the wings off the last bug. At least for the moment, via The Hill:

President Trump on Thursday is expected to issue an executive order directing the Commerce Department to collect citizenship information by other means than the U.S. census, according to an administration official. The move would effectively sideline the Trump administration’s bid to force the citizenship question onto the 2020 census, which the president abruptly announced after the Supreme Court ruled late last month against its inclusion. But administration officials have cautioned that the situation is fluid and the plans could change.

This whole fandango has been about scaring poor and desperate people. This whole administration* is about scaring poor and desperate people. It's the only consistent thing about it. It's the only policy idea these geniuses have. Fear is the point as much as cruelty is. Which is why I think that the story about "massive" immigration raids might be pretty much the same thing. They'll round up maybe 50 or 100 people in 10 or 20 cities, trot them past a bunch of TV cameras, and wait for the terror to percolate in a thousand darkened living rooms. 

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It's not a bluff. It's a living, ongoing threat. This is no way to run a democracy. This is no way to run a humanity, either.

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce is a writer-at-large for Esquire and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the LA Times Magazine, the Nation, the Atlantic, Sports Illustrated and The Chicago Tribune, among others.

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