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The Third Way on Immigration (Sort of a Trump Post)

The Third Way on Immigration (Sort of a Trump Post)

    Readers have objected to my prediction that Trump will win the nomination and then the general election because…

    1. Trump needs about 40% of the Latino vote to win.

    2. Only 13% of Latino voters support Trump, largely because of his immigration plan.

    No politician can close that gap. Therefore, say the people that have been spectacularly wrong about all-things-Trump, he must be playing some sort of power game with no real intention of winning the whole thing.


    I can see both the math and the reasoning behind that point of view. I’ll bet it would be hard to persuade you that Trump can close that kind of gap in such a short time.

    Game on. 

    What follows is a blatant, manipulative play on your emotions that is engineered to make you believe Trump can beat the odds on Latino voters. It looks impossible to you now. You might update your opinion if you read to the end.

    Please stop reading now if you don’t want to be part of the experiment. I’m not joking when I say I’m about to rewire your brain. It might feel a bit freaky, but I think it is worth it for you to get a visceral understanding of the power of persuasion.

    — persuasion starts here —

    Before I talk about Trump’s persuasion strategy for closing the Latino voter gap, I should reveal my bias on the topic so you can factor that in.

    And I like to preface this sort of topic by saying you should not get any important opinions from cartoonists. This blog is for entertainment only.

    The immigration issue has calcified into two camps, as far as I can tell. Trump’s plan forms one extreme, and includes building a wall, ending automatic citizenship for babies born on U.S. soil, and rounding up 11 million illegal aliens and deporting them. 

    The opposing camp believes it would be impractical, uneconomical, and inhumane to do any part of Trump’s plan. I assume many of Trump’s critics favor some sort of path to citizenship for illegal aliens.

    I can see both sides. And I think both sides are missing the point by a mile.

    In my view, this is one of those times when we get to pick who we are as a country. You don’t get many of these moments in a lifetime. I would hate to waste it.

    Most of you heard the recent story about the Americans who helped disarm a gunman on a train in France. The young men heard trouble and they ran toward it. The story touched people in this country because it is a reminder of who we are.

    I don’t think anyone in America can argue with the criticism that we can be assholes. Hey, no one is perfect. But when the shit goes down, you probably want some Americans nearby. We accept your criticisms, my international readers, but we still have your back. That’s how we roll.

    I know each of you Americans reading this have your own notions about the identity of the United States, and that is my point today. The immigration issue gives us a chance to either confirm who we are or modify it. It matters that we get it right.

    My view of the 11 million illegal immigrants is that anyone who wants to be on my team badly enough to commit a crime is my kind of American. My impression is that they bring up the average. I understand why some of my fellow citizens don’t want to compete with them for jobs. And good luck competing with the second generation that have their parents’ immigrant DNA and an American education. I want those kids working for my start-up. 

    I hear everything folks are saying about the importance of the rule of law, about fairness, economics, and crime. Countries need secure borders or they fail to remain countries. Those are important considerations. But do we want to define yourself by those worries?

    We can. But it is entirely optional. 

    I prefer an America that knows when to use a hammer and when to use a hug. With immigration, I understand the hammer. But I prefer the hug. Not because it is right, in some intellectual sense, and not because it is economical, but because it is who I want to be.

    And about that birthright law – the one that says a baby that draws its first breath in this country is an American forever? In the history of all laws made anywhere, in any age, that one is by far the coolest. It gives the country a magical vibe that feels part of our nature. I don’t want to lose that. 

    You can look at the immigration issue through a filter of money, law, safety, or compassion. But none of those speak comprehensively to who you want to be. You are far more than those things.

    And this brings me to Donald Trump, alleged racist son-of-bitch and hater of all law-breaking, brown babies. How the hell does that guy convince millions of Latinos to vote for him?

    No politician could do that.

    But Trump is not a politician. He is a business person and one of the top wizards of persuasion on the planet. And he has one enormous advantage that I have never seen for any candidate: He can change his mind and show his work.

    As I said in a prior post, Trump is dropping a negotiation anchor with his super-aggressive plan that includes a wall, a change to the constitution for birth rights, and deportation of millions. He has no intention of doing all of that. He is simply creating some false choices to trade away later. But not until he has the Republican nomination in the bag. So be patient.

    If Trump follows form, what he really wants is a “Trump Wall” that is so “fabulous” that it becomes its own money-making tourist attraction and carries his name forever. I doubt he cares about deporting anyone or tweaking the constitution. Those are the items he plans to trade to get Trump Wall.

    I expect that Trump will eventually ask the Latino community to come up with its own plan for dealing with the 11 million illegals. And that plan might include having legal citizens “sponsor” an illegal alien including absorbing some of the risk. For example, as a sponsor I might have to buy a performance bond to protect against the risk that the illegal I am sponsoring causes any damage to the country. That’s just one idea. The main point is that Trump could put the Latino community on the spot to come up with their own plan.

    Then Trump supports the new plan for sponsoring illegals, showing he is a man of reason, but keeps his Trump Wall plan and tells you it will turn a profit.

    Another way he can game the system is by turning out massive numbers of young, white voters who normally would not vote. A President Trump would provide more hours of free entertainment than Netflix and Snapchat combined. And I do believe it will have a big impact on voter turnout.

    Update: And look for Trump to pick a second-generation Latino as his running mate. Did you see that coming?

    No one can know what the future holds. But I’ll bet a Trump presidency looks a lot more feasible than it did when you started reading this.

    And that’s what persuasion looks like. If you have read my prior posts on persuasion and Trump, you can start to see the method in what I wrote. For new readers, check the comments  and I expect you will see my persuasion method dissected for fun. 

    My disclaimer for new readers is that I am not endorsing Trump as president because I have no idea how that would work out. I am only interested in his genius of persuasion.


    If you enjoyed reading this post you will probably enjoy my book about systems versus goals.

    In Top Tech Blog, check out a Microsoft claim that it can take 3D photos with your regular phone. Are you believing that?

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