Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Monday, January 15, 2018
ISSUE #924
Will Rogers, President Trump and derogatory words
Nobody likes one word President Trump (supposedly) said last week in a private meeting.

What would have been the reaction ninety years ago?

Will Rogers knew, and was in conversations with, several Presidents, Senators and other high level officials between ~1920 and 1935. I am confident that in some of those situations of one-on-one or small group discussions, a few derogatory cuss words were heard.  Will never quoted any of those remarks, and I doubt that others, including journalists, ever reported those comments by the likes of FDR, V-P John Nance Garner, Sen. Tom Heflin, Herbert Hoover, or Coolidge.

With that background information, I think Will would take a different approach than 90% of the critics of Trump.

First, Sen. Durbin of Illinois, apparently the only Democrat invited to the high level discussion, has been around long enough to know that other countries would be upset to hear such a comment attributed to our President.  He did not care about an international firestorm; his only interest was to embarrass President Trump in an attempt to get a more liberal immigration agreement.

Second, we have not heard what caused Trump to get angry enough to make such a derogatory comment.  Here’s the background. President Trump has made it clear that any agreement to allow 800,000 so-called DACA immigrants (AND their parents!) to become legal citizens must also  greatly limit the “chain migration” system and END the Lottery system of pulling names randomly out of a hat to decide who can immigrate legally to the US. Instead, President Trump emphasized that immigration must be based on Merit.  (In a Merit system, people from any country in the world can apply and the “winners” would be based on OUR needs. Does the person have needed skills, such as nursing or computer engineering or desires to be a farm laborer? Does the person want to invest a large sum in a new manufacturing facility here? And other factors that make sense for America.)

So, with those ground rules set by Trump, here comes Sen. Durbin to the meeting with a great bipartisan DACA plan.  The Senator probably said something like this: Mr. President, we decided we need to expand the Lottery system to give priority to more immigrants from Haiti, Somalia, and other poverty-stricken African nations.

How would you have reacted to that statement if you were Trump?  Since you had already stated emphatically that all immigration must be based on merit, you would not have been pleased. Sure, you would not have cussed in mentioning Haiti and African nations. Instead you would have used an adjective such as “poor,” “poverty-stricken,” or “third-world”.  (Note that a similar derogatory word, “Hellhole,” has been stated by a Senator in a Congressional hearing a few years ago that was broadcast live on TV.  You probably don’t remember the uproar about that comment, because there wasn’t any. )

If you’re still with me, I hope this sheds some light on a controversial news story.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

[Newly appointed Secretary of War, Pat Hurley] “And he is making good right from the jump, too. He hadn’t any more than been appointed than he hatched one with Haiti. Course that’s not much of a war, but it may lead into something bigger and better.” DT #1052, Dec. 9, 1929


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