It has been said that illegal immigrants do the work Americans won't do. I disagree. But I watched the Democrat debate last night because I bet most of you didn't want to. You're welcome.
Seriously, that was a painful two hours. Here are some brief observations.
In many ways, it was the first bi-lingual debate. Three candidates and one moderator broke into Spanish at various points, leading to another first -- Beto O'Rourke failed to answer a question in two different languages. (By the way, socialism doesn't sound any better in Spanish.)
The fact that this happened is evidence of what the left's commitment to multiculturalism is doing to the country. Language is one of the fundamental elements that unites a nation, and the American people overwhelmingly support English as our official language. But the left is constantly dividing us.
There were ten candidates on the stage last night, and not one of them offered a single idea on how to secure the border. In fact, every idea they put on the table will worsen the border crisis and the burden on taxpayers.
The positions they took -- from decriminalizing illegal entry to amnesty and everything in between -- will be reported all over Central and South America. They just made the problem worse.
Every one of the candidates bemoaned the tragic deaths of Oscar Martinez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, who drowned attempting to cross the Rio Grande. Every heart breaks seeing the image of that young father and his daughter.
But every heart should be outraged by the left's attempt to demagogue this tragedy and blame it on Donald Trump. Here are the facts:
- Neither Trump nor the Border Patrol turned this family away, nor was this family fleeing "violence and oppression."
- Multiple sources, including the Associated Press, are reporting that both parents had jobs, that their community was not threatened by gang violence, and that they were coming to America for economic reasons.
- That means they had no basis for an asylum claim. So the only way they could legally have gotten into America was by applying through the legal immigration system. Sadly, they were unwilling to wait and attempted to enter illegally.
- This is another example of left-wing emotionalism being used to override facts in advance of a radical agenda, in this case open borders.
One of the most disturbing moments of the night occurred when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio aggressively asserted, "We have plenty of money in this country. It's just in the wrong hands." I don't know of a better definition of socialism than that.
Of course the subtext of what de Blasio said is that as president, he will decide whose hands are wrong. Ask any family member tempted by socialism if they want a politician deciding whether the money they have earned is "in the wrong hands" and should be given to someone else.
Voluntarily giving to the poor is charity. Government forcibly taking money and redistributing it is socialism/communism.
One of the weirdest moments of the night was when Julian Castro made it clear that he favored abortion for "everyone," and he means literally everyone, including "trans females."
I know the left fashions itself as the party of science, but trans females (biological men transitioning to become women) do not have reproductive organs and cannot get pregnant, so abortion is beside the point.
I assume Castro meant trans men, i.e. biological women who are transitioning to be men. Obviously, even these progressives can't keep track of the dozens of genders the left has invented.
On The Second Amendment
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker staked out a radical position when he called for the licensing of firearms, comparing the Second Amendment right to the privilege of driving a car. This would inevitably lead to a national registry of firearms, which has a dangerous history.
And how much longer before the left calls for the licensing of churches or other rights it believes should be restricted? Once again, the left wants to restrict the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens but can't think of one abortion it would restrict.
On Military Sevice
Last night's debate was also noteworthy for what did not happen. Several times, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard brought up her service in Iraq. The room was silent when she finished her answers.
In virtually any conservative gathering, when a speaker mentions his or her service, there is immediate applause, even if the audience disagrees with the speaker's point. But apparently among these Democrat elites, applauding military service to the country is a bridge too far.
Winners & Losers
I don't know if anyone necessarily won or lost last night's debate. But I think Joe Biden did better by not being there than he is likely to do tonight. In other words, none of those contenders appear to be a serious threat to Biden right now, and I don't think any of them can stand toe-to-toe with Donald Trump.
Tonight, the following candidates will take the stage at 9:00 PM ET:
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Sen. Michael Bennet
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kamala Harris
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Rep. Eric Swalwell
Author Marianne Williamson
Businessman Andrew Yang
A Mixed Day
The Supreme Court ended its session today with a mixed bag. On the one hand, the Court's conservative majority correctly decided that the drawing of political boundaries for state and federal offices was an inherently political issue and, thus, not a matter for the courts. The drawing of political districts is best left to the people and their elected representatives, not unelected judges.
On the other hand, the Court issued a very tortured opinion on the issue of whether the administration could add a citizenship question to the upcoming census forms. Many in the media have declared the ruling a defeat for the Trump Administration. That's not necessarily the case.
In short, the majority ruled that the administration can include a citizenship question on the census, which has historically been the norm. But the justices disagreed with the rationale given for doing so, and they punted the case back to lower courts.
It is a temporary setback to be sure, as the administration had hoped to begin printing the census forms at the end of the month. But President Trump announced today that he has ordered government lawyers to delay the census so that the administration can rework its legal analysis in a manner acceptable to the justices.
We will keep you posted as this case unfolds because it has major implications -- from the allocation of federal dollars to the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives and votes in the Electoral College.
A final point: The census is all about knowing who is in the country. The vast majority of Americans believe the government has every right to know, if not an obligation to know, just how many people here are citizens and how many are here illegally. But the left, which is all in on open borders, does not want us to even ask that question.
Just another example of how Democrats and their radical left-wing allies are at odds with the great majority of Americans.
A Bad Deal
Pro-China corporate lobbyists and pundits have argued that increased trade and engagement with Beijing would cause the communist regime to open up and embrace democratic values.
But China's behavior hasn't changed at all. To the contrary, Beijing has become more authoritarian and more adversarial. In fact, doing business with China has changed us more than it's changed them. You can read more in my latest opinion piece at The Washington Examiner.