Sending the Wrong Message: Grandstanders of the Week

“I really don’t care.”

That’s Not How Caring Works: The Critics of Melania Trump

​For one week, immigration was the single issue ​all Americans cared about. Criticism of the White House’s ​overzealous migrant-imprisonment policy has been so very focused and relentless it had even forced our obdurate president ​to back down, at least temporarily.

​But as quickly as Donald Trump flip flopped, so have his critics let go of the plot. A ​Zara jacket worn by the first lady was all it took for everyone with a Twitter account to forget that the story was really about finding an impossible balance between the plight of immigrant families and the struggle of American residents with the consequences of porous borders. Focusing on that would have required grappling with the paradoxes and intractabilities of the issue. Immigration is far easier and more fun to think about when reduced to the fashion choices of a gorgeous ex-model.

​Suddenly, it all comes down to: Did Melania use her wardrobe to flip off migrants? Has she gone fascist by fashion or is she in fact taking another ​jab at her husband? What message is she trying to send?

​Worthy questions all, but none as urgent as, What coat must I wear to properly #​resist?

Sending a Message: Rep. Mark Pocan

Stephen Miller, the young White House staffer considered by many to be the ​brain behind “zero tolerance,” has had his phone number ​doxxed this week. Mark Pocan, a Democratic representative from Wisconsin, swiftly seized this as a chance to amuse voters and, if all goes well, outgrow his “Mark-Who?” status.

​In another example of American lawmakers failing to deal with immigration like adults, Pocan mischievously sent Miller a text message, lambasting him for his complicity in the “inhumane and un-American” separation of migrant families, and informing him that he’s “on the wrong side of history.” Considering Miller’s well-documented access to the internet, we may safely assume that he had already heard some variation of this critique. We may even afford the conjecture that Mr. Miller does not get miffed by such criticism (and more likely than not, ​gets off on it).

But even if these scathing texts did have the power to send Miller into a frenzy of guilt, introspection, and moral reevaluation, they were, to Pocan’s own admission, not seen by their recipient, presumably because the number had been disconnected as soon as it was leaked.

Fabulous use of your publicly-funded time, Mark. You really dropped some moral bombs on that shut-off message box. Bravo.

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