Fisking Patterico on Trump

Trump has recently threatened to release illegals into sanctuary cities, cities that refuse to enforce immigration laws or help the federal government enforce immigration laws.

Patterico is in high dudgeon over this speech. He writes:

Donald Trump has finally revealed that he does not actually care about the dangers posed to Americans by illegal immigrants. He has revealed that his talk about sanctuary cities — one of the few points on which I agreed with him — was insincere.

The reasoning behind this claim will appear shortly, but let me point out to begin with that Patterico has always been certain that Trump is insincere about practically everything, so his accusation in this particular case is not startling.

The reflex reaction on the right to this is: ha ha! You stupid people in sanctuary cities! We’re gonna stick you with these problem illegals! Let’s see how you like it!

The implication here is that there is nothing to the reaction of Trump’s fans but unintelligent ranting and ball spiking. Patterico’s perception is very much at odds with mine. My perception is that Trump fans (1) view this a a clever bit of political trolling by Trump, (2) generally think it’s unlikely to happen both because it is impractical and because it will be stopped by Obama judges, and (3) see the value of Trump’s statement in the fact that it causes Leftists to reveal their hypocrisy, not in damage that it will do to their cities. But I don’t know what Trump fans Patterico is reading, so maybe he is right about the fans that he is acquainted with. Maybe he needs to find a more thoughtful set of Trump fans to read.

And nobody stops to think.

But here’s the thing.

Do that. Stop, for just one moment, to think. Take one moment to step back and ask yourself: what is the problem with sanctuary cities? I’m serious. Pause, stop reading this, and answer that question. Say the answer to yourself. Whatever you think the answer to that question is, say it out loud. I’ll help in a moment by stating what I think the problem is.

Again, if Patterico’s stable of Trump fans don’t think, maybe he needs to broaden his reading. I have to admit, though that I don’t believe Patterico really has any difficulty finding thoughtful Trump fans; I strongly suspect that he is just having trouble believing that other intelligent and knowledgeable people might come to different conclusions from him. This is a common theme in his attacks on Trump.

The problem with sanctuary cities is that criminal illegal aliens in sanctuary cities are more likely to successfully evade the reach of the federal immigration authorities, because the local police refuse to cooperate with ICE. That puts society at risk. The more illegals are sent to sanctuary cities, the more danger is created.

Patterico is a prosecutor who specializes in gang crimes, so I’m not surprised that he thinks this is the problem with sanctuary cities. It’s the sort of thing that would really bother a man who is intimately familiar with the cost of crime and the already-significant problems of controlling it. But that’s not the problem with sanctuary cities–not the most significant problem, anyway.

The real problem with sanctuary cities is that they are defying the rule of law itself. Yes, their actions lead to individual tragedies, and I don’t mean to diminish those tragedies, but they are, in the end, individual tragedies. By contrast, the diminishing of the rule of law is a national tragedy, and the cost in individual tragedies will end up being far greater if we cannot put an end to it. The alternative to rule of law is rule of the strongest and most aggressive, and history tells us of the grotesque consequences of such rule.

Furthermore, it is not at all obvious that there are more individual tragedies because criminal aliens are allowed to roam San Francisco than there would be if they were sent home to victimize people who are generally poorer (so that there are fewer resources to deal with tragedy) and generally have less trustworthy law enforcement. One could argue that it is our responsibility to protect our citizens, not the citizens of other countries, but if Patterico makes that argument, it will come back to bite him in a few paragraphs.

If Trump actually carries through with this policy, he will be endangering people, to make a cheap political point. Like a chump sucker, I thought that Donald J. Trump actually cared about this issue — as much of a cretin as he is otherwise. But he doesn’t, really. Donald Trump is willing and indeed very happy to put American citizens at greater risk — as long as they live (or vacation) in cities whose policies he doesn’t like.

So this is the result of Patterico thinking deeper than a Trump supporter. “he will be endangering people“. But let me suggest that Patterico thought just deep enough to criticize Trump and no deeper, but he’s a very smart man and if he had thought a bit deeper he surely would have noticed the following:

  1. Trump has only threatened to send more illegals to sanctuary cities, and threatening to do so hasn’t actually harmed anyone other than the Leftists who have been forced to expose that they really do think that illegals are bad for a population. And as I’m sure Patterico would agree wholeheartedly: just because Trump said he was going to do something doesn’t mean he really intends to do it.
  2. Patterico says “Donald Trump is willing and indeed very happy to put American citizens at greater risk”. This is only true if Trump really intends to do it (unknown at this point) and Trump knows and agrees with Patterico’s argument that this will put people in danger.
  3. Even if Trump does agree with his argument, Trump has a solid defense: The illegals will endanger people no matter where they go. The sanctuary cities are largely responsible for the problem existing at all, so why should their policies be allowed to harm other cities? Why shouldn’t the sanctuary cities be required to assume all the risks of the immigration crisis that they have deliberately and maliciously created?

One possible counter-argument to point 3 is that the people actually assuming the risk are the regular citizens of the sanctuary cities, not the politicians who created the problem; however, it is the politicians who are directly responsible for those people, not the President. In many cases, the President can’t (by design) stop the rulers of San Francisco from endangering the people of San Francisco, but he should do everything he can to prevent the rulers of San Francisco from endangering the people of Phoenix.

If you are going to deny that the President has such a differential responsibility, if you are going to claim that it is wrong to make moral calculations like this based on who is responsible for whom, then how do you justify deporting dangerous aliens to places where they are likely to do even more harm?


15 thoughts on “Fisking Patterico on Trump”

  1. Yes, very. Patterico believes his motives are pure and that those that he once found common cause with who now differ with him re: Trump can’t be insulted enough. He can’t help himself.


    1. Patterico responded, three times. Sort of like firing a machine gun wildly, then calming down with shorter bursts.

      IMO he has completely missed the point that you were applying his own logic on sending illegals to sanctuary cities to sending them back to where they came from.


  2. Try this again…
    “Again, if Patterico’s stable of Trump fans don’t think, maybe he needs to broaden his reading. I have to admit, though that I don’t believe Patterico really has any difficulty finding thoughtful Trump fans; I strongly suspect that he is just having trouble believing that other intelligent and knowledgeable people might come to different conclusions from him. This is a common theme in his attacks on Trump.”

    It’s kinda hard for him to broaden his exposure to other people’s thinking when he bans people for expressing theirs. He starts many if not most posts with. an argumentative, belligerent attitude then cries and bans people when he gets the same in return. The Tucker Carlson “punchable face” post was rather disturbing given the position of public trust that he holds.


    1. Yes, he likes to dish the insults out and then acts offended when they get tossed back in his direction. And then he laments the loss of readership by criticizing and bad mouthing those who have had enough of the deterioration.


      1. What is especially galling is how after he bans someone, the sycophants who worship him there jump on the person who is no longer able to defend themselves because, you know, banned. Which they then insist isn’t a banning because no one has ever been banned because you can get unbanned if you crawl back to him and issue a full apology, on his terms of course. It’s really quite creepy. I notice he was supposed to be a somewhat regular columnist at PJ Media. That only seems to have lasted three posts. I wonder if that had anything to do with the heat he was taking in the comments.

        Again, from a normal citizen no big deal. But from someone with some degree of power…well it reflects on the kind of people we let have power. Even such a small amount. Scares me to think how the minds of many much more powerful lawyers work.


        1. I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes before I get too critical. Patterico is a government employee in Los Angeles. He is surrounded by Leftists who despise conservatives, and he has to get them to respect him enough so that he can get his work done and not get fired. The Left has gotten more and more aggressive, and successful in firing non-woke white men wherever they have power (James Damore and I are recent examples). Patterico showed great courage for many years, but he has to attack conservatives now and then to have any social life at all. He went after Ann Coulter the same way he’s going after Trump. I imagine it’s a great weight to bear the contempt of all of your co-workers and neighbors for decades over their irrational political views, and this is a way of lightening the weight. It’s not an excuse, but recognizing the place that others are in can make you less judgmental, and that’s a good thing.


          1. I appreciate your point, however I feel that I do try to put myself in the other man’s shoes. Mr. P might do well to do so himself. I have tremendous sympathy for the unfortunate, the uneducated guy standing on a street corner, the kid who grew up with terrible parents, the abused, etc. P is not one of those. He’s a highly educated man who, with his background, should have the awareness to understand where other people are coming from. Kind of the point of your post here. If he can’t handle the social pressure, why live there? Unlike the folks to whom I refer, he has the resources to do whatever he pleases. The knee jerk reactions used to be a leftist trait.

            He is typical of the kind found far too often in the legal profession who, because they work so often with the 20/20 of hindsight, fail to understand the plethora of things that the don’t, or even can’t, understand. But their egos won’t let them admit this and thus the antagonism right off the bat….applies to other kinds of philosophers as well, usually on the left. The treatise start off full of strawmen and dismissive of other viewpoints. Disagreement that is not sufficiently couched in some degree of concession becomes “trolling” and thus either the banhammer comes out or they shut down communication. It’s a totalitarian style that, as I said, is very disturbing to find in people in the public trust.

            Pre-Trump, I had a discussion with him regarding economics and how banks work. I was rather stunned that he said if he had his way, banks would not be able to loan depositors’ money. He considered fractional reserve banking wrong, regardless of the fact that depositors would/should know the situation. Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims…


  3. Maybe it’s my phone or possibly the nature of your post, not seeing a comment button/link. As it is slightly tangential to part of what I was saying about the legal profession and its significant blind spot, on your Thomism post, this:
    “That’s why these are the people, along with Thomists, that you most frequently see on the internet acting like they can just spout a bit of obscure doctrine and settle a complex issue; it’s because, I conjecture, in their world the obscure doctrine DOES settle the issue. But that doesn’t make it a suitable reply for someone who does not share their vocabulary, their assumptions, or their world view.”

    Well stated. I’m not familiar with the Thomism concept but this sums up something I’ve been sensing for many years now.


  4. I don’t think he ever really understood your point……or else he just didn’t want to admit it.

    He seemed sort of upset that everyone was not congratulating him on his flawed logic and dumping on Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

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