Paul Waldman correctly observes that The Trump administration’s immigration policies are impossibly cruel. That’s the whole point:
Amid growing outrage over the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when families arrive at the border, many are asking how the administration can be so cruel as to literally tear children from their mothers’ arms. There’s a clear answer, one that runs through all of the administration’s policies on immigration:
The cruelty is the whole point.
It’s both a reflection of President Trump’s beliefs and those of his key advisers on immigration, and a practical tool they are using to reduce the number of immigrants coming to the United States. There won’t be a more humane set of policies coming out of this administration, because they have no interest in being humane.
So when you hear horrifying stories from the border of families being ripped apart, understand that the administration is perfectly happy for those stories to be told. They have no compassion for the human beings involved, and they want others who might consider coming to the United States to know how heartlessly they’ll be treated. It’s the whole point.
Indeed: they glory in the misery of others, as satisfaction of their own desires and those of their most fanatical followers. (There are two recent stories concerning Trump’s policy toward immigrants. David Leonhardt explains them both, and why the policy of parent-child separation is the worse of the two.)
Although they may shift blame, they’ll keep for themselves pleasure in others’ suffering. Tories, Know Nothings, Confederates, Copperheads, the Klan, the Bund: they saw such pleasure in the sufferings of others in their day, as Trump does in his.
No compromise here is possible: Trumpism is inimical to a just, well-ordered society. In this long conflict, one can expect defeats, losses, and tragedies. Along the way, Trump, His Inner Circle, Principal Surrogates, and Media Defenders should be the proper object, knowing that concern sometimes runs to officials at the local level, as part of that which paved the way.