If the Trump administration follows through with Trump’s campaign rhetoric on immigration, America’s bastions of liberal power, the mega-cities, will be a battlefield. While not along the border, these cities often are sanctuary cities. They have pledged to stand firm against the Trump administration’s desire to deport illegals.
An indirect way to apply pressure would be to strike at the weakness of the current progressive coalition using federal money.
It is no secret any longer that the Democrats have switched to become the party of affluent whites and a client minority underclass with no room for working class whites. The lie that the Democrats are the protector of union whites simply cannot be maintained any longer, but it is one that worked for decades as the Clinton and Obama administrations campaigned for labor votes to win, while simultaneously enacting policies that hurt those voters. Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign messaging was about helping Main Street as he took in Wall Street donations to stay afloat. His decisions repeatedly followed Robert Rubin’s advice, not Robert Reich’s, and delivered what Wall Street and big business wanted, rather than what blue collar union whites on Main Street wanted.
As linked above, Robert Reich can write about this with first-hand knowledge, as his time in the Clinton administration was victory after victory for capital over the old labor voting bloc, in addition to keeping the border wide open during an era Americans wanted the door shut. Reich left the Clinton administration in disgust over what he considered a betrayal of the Left’s formerly important but fading constituency. Reich can reveal details or write analysis up to a point. Writers like Reich cannot go into the older and deeper history that the Democrats and Left made a calculated decision decades ago to pursue the McGovern Coalition and sacrifice the white working class. Nixon’s Hard Hats and Forgotten Ethnics and the Reagan Democrats did not materialize without Democrats pushing them away.
This means that the Democrats are a high and low that continuously diverge as wealth continues to concentrate and move higher up the socioeconomic ladder. The high is the donor class and affluent whites that can live in all-white enclaves and signal their love of progressive causes, while being insulated from the consequences. The low is the underclass, which is predominantly comprised of minorities, the great vote banks of the cities. There is another low that consists of the true believer, educated/credentialed whites that can feel like a high due to their correct beliefs and status as the cultural tastemakers and cool kids in the progressive system.
This coalition is united in its hatred of wrong-thinking whites and traditions of Western civilization.
This is where using federal money becomes a weapon at President Trump’s disposal. Federal interstate highway money was used against states to force them to comply with the legal drinking age–even holdouts like Louisiana and New York City buckled under pressure.
The feds could withhold money to force cities to end their sanctuary status.
State governments in GOP hands are already moving against sanctuary cities. Republicans on Capitol Hill have already made noise about using this exact method of forcing compliance. This process would have wind at its back if the FED continues to raise rates and interest rates for municipalities rise along with all other debt instruments. State and municipality budgets are under strain now due to pension systems, reduced tax receipts, and the spinning dinner plates that keep their underclass from revolting. Municipalities and states must balance their budgets each year. Each tick up in basis point means more money to debt service and less that would go to actual public goods and services.
Setting aside the effect this has on immigration law enforcement, the deeper hit is the decision it forces on municipalities. Do they forgo funds for people breaking the law and actually hurting their quality of life if one reads the actual news? If they abstain from funds, what pet projects get snipped? Because interests do diverge, limited funds and a stagnant or shrinking pie will pit the affluent whites (employed taxpayers) versus the underclass voting muscle (consumers of social aid). This places the difficult public decision on mayors or even governors. It is not the old canard from the 1980s of President Reagan denying poor urban blacks food stamps. The choice would lay with Democrats like Mayor DeBlasio and Mayor Rahm Emanuel picking winners and losers.
This would fracture the Left in those locations. This would be about money, but underneath it all would be the racial friction between the disparate groups on the Left. On national television, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ former campaign spokeswoman stated, “we don’t need white people leading the Democratic party right now.” Re-positioning the racial political friction from an American battleground to a Democratic battleground puts the pressure on the Left’s Jenga tower. How many pieces can they remove and re-position before the tower collapses?
Despite the media attention paid to the black voting bloc, it is not just black and white. Black anxiety expressed via Black Lives Matter looks at times like a cry for attention as it dawns on black leaders and the apparatchiks that their future is as junior partner to the growing Hispanic population. Stands for sanctuary status would place the protection of immigrants over the black city populations. Within cities, there is the low probability for the development of either a race-based party (examples: black nationalist or La Raza backbone) or a white flight into the Greens. Mayor Rahm Emanuel had to fight to secure re-election due to the disintegration of the old Daley machine and the influx of Mexicans in just the last decade, changing the nature of Chicago’s voting muscle and political wire-pulling.
Implementing immigration restriction, building walls, and enforcing the laws on the books are a fantastic start to protecting America, its citizens, and future. Thinking forward to narratives and how to frame the coming conflict is key. By taking the next step to secure an electoral edge and sow discord in the opposition, the Trump administration and allies in Congress would be wise to use the federal checkbook to force the Left’s coalition’s simmering conflict into the open.