Tonight, Donald Trump is coming to my hometown of Patchogue, New York for a Republican Party fundraiser.
In protest, The New York Times published an editorial last Friday condemning the GOP frontrunner, and John Jay LaValle, Suffolk County Republican Party Chairman, for hosting the event here. The harangue notes that the venue is down the road from the location where an Ecuadorean immigrant, Marcelo Lucero, was fatally stabbed by a gang of racist punks in 2008. By coming here, Trump is displaying his usual racial insensitivity, whereas LaValle is complicit in this overt race-baiting.
What the editorial conspicuously neglects to mention, amidst the sentimental pandering, is the legitimate problem of illegal
immigration facing the country. While the Lucero killing was understandably the first thing to come to mind, there is no excuse for drawing tenuous connections to condemn Trump and LaValle for doing the work of party politics.
I have lived in Patchogue my whole life. The idea that Patchogue is home to bevies of skinheads assaulting anybody who looks brown is simply untrue. If 2008 was a dark year for racial relations in Patchogue, tensions have abated significantly since.
The Times, like any other left-leaning source would, seized upon the one thing they knew about Patchogue to plug a leftist agenda.
I’m doubtful, to say the least, that Trump and LaValle are hoping to stoke the fires of racial animus on Long Island. Nor is their aim to upset Latinos living in Patchogue, least of all Lucero’s family.
The event is a fundraiser. From the tone of the editorial, you’d think it was a cross-burning.
In this case, as in so many others, it is the left reading race into the narrative. It’s another example of the regressive left’s talent for spinning conspiratorial narratives out of whole cloth, of turning an innocent act into a moral outrage.
If Trump’s presence at a party fundraiser is enough to start a riot, ask yourself: who needs to reflect? Trump and LaValle, or the frontrunner’s easily offended detractors practically champing at the bit for a chance to throw an egg at his orange head?
The editorial writers go on to decry the “Republican counterargument to openness and civility,” assuming apropos of nothing the moral superiority of their position. Apparently, nothing less than abject laxity toward illegal immigration is acceptable.
The conversation on our border policy is a conversation long overdue, and it’s a conversation that took the temerity of a person like Trump to open up. By the reasoning of voices on the interminably offended left, suggesting that the United States toughen up on immigration is tantamount to hate speech.
This restrictive dialogue is a shameless effort to dissuade anyone from thinking critically about our lack of border security. The message is something like this: “Don’t you dare express your politically incorrect opinion, you racist jerk, because I am very tolerant, and you are not, and by being against illegal immigration, you are contributing to the inclement weather of intolerance toward Latinos, some of whom happen to be undocumented but never mind that!”
Among leftists, there is a conviction that being against political correctness is a veiled attempt to gain ground for expressing bigotry. It is the go-to response to anyone who has the audacity to disagree with the sacrosanct forward-thinking philosophy of such eminent thinkers as John Oliver. But this counterargument is itself a disingenuous effort to preempt the possibility of dissent from the progressive program, only further demonstrating that political correctness is problematic and dangerous to free speech.
Admittedly, there is a line between incivility and expressing unpopular opinions that Trump has toed gracelessly. He has doubtless made disparaging remarks about Mexicans, remarks that were plainly calibrated to get a rise out of his supporters and draw media attention to his campaign. That is shameful. But beneath the rhetoric, Trump has been making perceptive points about the cost of illegal immigration to the United States economy.
He has the right to make his points, and he has a right to show his support to the Republican Party at tonight’s event. Much has been said about political correctness already, but it bears repeating that in 2016, to invoke the hallowed name of the year in which we are currently living, it is not wrong to express an unsavory opinion.
If condemning Trump makes leftists feel morally superior, then more power to them. But they should note that throwing temper tantrums only emboldens his supporters, strengthening their conviction that the left is the enemy of free speech. In the meantime, former Democrats like me end up liking the loudmouth more and more.
Matthew Boose is an aspiring magazine writer studying history at Stony Brook University on Long Island, where he contributes to the Stony Brook Press as a writer and copyeditor. In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing, going to concerts, and listening to classical music.