Trump's immigration plan is hardcore porn for nativists

Trump’s immigration plan doesn’t feature deportation, officially. It also doesn’t matter. Trump’s fans—not all, but enough—aren’t turned on by a softcore white papers authored by Jeff Sessions, they want the hard stuff (and not only should you trouble believing he Trump has any intention of implementing his white paper, you should have trouble believing he has ever read the thing,). His fans are energized by protectionist rhetoric and the fallacy of zero-sum economics. They’re fired up because he’s the first major candidate to call illegal immigrants rapists and murders. They’re thrilled because he’s going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. And they’re super excited because he supports the deportation of 13 million illegal immigrants…

Many Americans have genuine concerns—I count myself among them—about the preservation of law and order, about the cultural consequences of immigration, about assimilation, and about sovereignty. But today, there is a purity test that demands a voter sign up for the Trump plan or admit he’s an enemy of the state. I imagine when it’s all said and done, most Americans will choose the latter. But the fractures within the Republican Party have been pried apart. Any candidate unwilling to try and keep up with Trump is transformed into a limp-wristed Commie whose primary chances die on the vine. Those who praise Trump’s agenda to placate the base would be annihilated in a general election, forced to defend an absurd menu of statist intrusions and unrealistic policies.

Actually, “the base” is the wrong phrase here. The base is a principled group of philosophically driven party purists. Trumpism is nothing like the Tea Party movement, for instance.  The latter, sometimes naïve, was driven by ideals grounded in traditional American thinking. Trumpism is collective expression of base impulse. And like porn, that sort of thing is equally absurd and destructive.