5 Dark Moments In History Are Now Shockingly Possible Again


I know, I know … all this talk about Donald Trump is pointless. He’ll never get elected, and even if he does, all of the crazy things he’s suggesting could never actually happen in the United States. We were supposed to talk about that one this week’s Unpopular Opinion podcast …

… where I’m joined by comics Josh Denny and Laura Crawford and Cracked editor Josh Sargent, but we got a bit off track. So allow me to explain it in this column here today instead. Here are five insane things Donald Trump wants to do that the United States has already tried.

# 5. Mass Deportation Of Mexican Immigrants= Operation Wetback

One of the key aspects of Trump’s plans to ruin this country involves the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants back to Mexico. A lot of people are taking comfort in the idea that, even if a plan like that arrived at the point where we actually tried to implement it, procuring that many people and coordinating the effort to get them back to the country from which they came here is a logistical impossibility. It sure would be nice if that was true, but it’s not.

See, despite all the hate and harsh terms that get hurled around in relation to the subject of immigration from Mexico, there was a day when we, as a country, wanted as much of that as we could get. In the years between the Great Depression and the start of World War II, the rapidly expanding agriculture industry in the United States depended almost entirely on Mexican immigrants for cheap labor. So much so that at some point, it became a real problem for Mexico, seeing as how they had a thriving agriculture industry of their own and sort of required all those workers “were in” siphoning away.

So with that in mind … it’s a good thing World War II eventually happened?

Well that’s surely a bold stance to take .

Of course it wasn’t, but the thing about a massive war is that it creates a lot of requires back home, and for the United States, one of those needs was a lot of workers to replace the ones we sent off to fight Hitler. So in exchange for not having to be an active participant in the war, Mexico agreed to send us employees on a short-term basis. It was “ve called the” Bracero Program. We also promised to shore up perimeter security and set tighter restrictions on hiring workers who were in the country illegally, the thinking being that between sending back undocumented immigrants and workers here legally under the Bracero Program returning after two years, Mexico would eventually solve the massive labor deficit that was obstructing efforts to industrialize their country.

Wait, that doesn’t sound even worse, right? Illegal migration was hurting Mexico, and we were just sending people back to help fixing that problem. The only hitch is that it didn’t really work. Employees intersecting the border to attempt higher wages and better the chance of America never stopped happening. We didn’t really want for it to stop happening, but for diplomatic reasons, we had to do something . That something ended up being the unfortunately-named Operation Wetback.

What was that? Oh, just a plan to deport undocumented immigrants on a massive scale. How massive? Well, more than one million immigrants were apprehended in the first year alone. Keep in mind that this was the 1950 s. We didn’t have a fraction of the resources in us now back in those days, especially in terms of technology that allows us to way people more effectively.

“In my day, detesting Mexicans was all done on pen and paper.”

If you are able to way people, you can find people. If you can find people, you are able to arrest them and send them somewhere else. It really isn’t rocket science. Your grandparents figured it out, and they can’t even operate a smartphone without government intervention. It’s foolish to think that the nightmarish logistics of rounding up a lot of people will maintain mass deportations from happening.

Did Operation Wetback work, at least? Nope. Illegal migration never stopped being a problem, and even worse, the program was rife with abuse and mistreatment. At one point, 88 Mexican immigrants succumbed after we just dropped them in the middle of the desert in July, when temperatures were in the 112 -degree range. In all, there were 11,000 documented cases of abuse, with who knows how many additional instances that ran unreported.

In other terms, it was a disaster. Even worse, it’s a disaster that’s largely been forgotten in this country, which is all the more reason to trust that it can happen again.

# 4. Targeting US Citizens= Japanese Internment Camps

One of the more troubling aspects of Trump’s immigration plan is that he not only makes it clear that he wants to deport people here illegally, but also vows that doing so won’t break up families. The problem with that is that in a lot of cases, the children involved were actually born here, entailing they’re citizens of this country, according to the Constitution. It’s called birthright citizenship, and it’s a thing Trump wants to do away with, as clearly stated in his own terms right there on his official website.

See ?

Yes, I’ve been assured by people who know way more about these things than I do that an act of that nature would require years of maneuvering through Congress and such to make it a reality, and that’s surely comforting to some degree. It’s one thing to target undocumented immigrants. Running after actual citizens of the United States is an entirely different thing, and really drastic and unsavory measures would be required for it to happen. That’s especially true if you’re hoping to do it without the public thinking you’re an out-of-control tyrant.

The problem is that sometimes drastic things happen, and in those cases, the person or persons and the government alike have proven time and time again that all wagers are off when they do. Take what happened to Japanese people in this country after the United States finally entered World War II, for example. Do you remember that? It was the attack on Pearl harbor, which was carried out by Japan, that prompted us to finally get involved.

All it took was this !

That, in turn, prompted us to round up anyone of Japanese descent who lived on the Western coast, United States citizens included, and force them to relocate to internment camp. It wasn’t just a few, either. More than 60 percent of the person or persons we detained were full-fledged citizens of this country. Unsurprisingly, history has since noted that the main driving force behind this extreme act of aggressivenes by the government toward its own people was fueled in large part by unfounded fear and good old-fashioned racism.

So what am I saying? That Trump is going to orchestrate an attack on this country to force our hands? No, of course not. What I’m saying is that extreme things happen, and having a president who’s comfy with taking things to the extreme in office at that time can lead to really terrible things. After all, Japanese internment camp were the product of the FDR administration. He surely didn’t run for office on a platform construct of hate and racism. He’s regularly credited as one of the designers of modern liberalism in this country, in fact. But when shit got crazy, he hurled all of that out the window in favor of haphazardly rounding up one group of people and forcing them to live in camps where we could keep an eye on them.

Again, I’m not saying that a massive tragedy will befall this country if Trump gets elected. I’m just saying that, dedicated his current stance on immigrants living in this country, he’s the worst possible option to have in place if something does happen.

If you see something, say something, right? I’m just doing my job.

# 3. Law Enforcement That Disproportionately Affects Minorities= Anti-Drug Abuse Act Of 1986

Trump’s policies aren’t just focused on wacky illegal immigration notions. His gun control schemes are pretty damn insane, as well. For starters, a lot of it involves attaining firearms easier to buy and even easier to carry around in public, which you’ll note flies immediately in the face of the wishes of every gun control proponent on the planet. But there’s a hitch in that his plan to keep firearms in the hands of “lawful” gun owners is merely outpaced in aggressiveness by his plan to take them from “criminals” in poor neighborhoods. I set those terms in quotes because they are his terms, and the “criminals” in question live specifically in Chicago and Baltimore.

But why those cities ???

So what’s his plan to fix that situation? As I mentioned in my first article about this ogre, his plan is pretty simple. He’s wants to impose a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years for any crime involving a gun. So if you get caught selling weed while carrying an unregistered gun, you go to prison for five years. Get a DUI while you happen to have an unregistered gun in your glove compartment, and you go to prison for 5 years. It’s harsh, to say the least, especially when you take into account that his own terms make it clear that where reference is says “criminals, ” he’s talking specifically about people using firearms in inner-city areas. The problem there is that if you live in an area that’s overrun with gun violence, carrying a gun for your own protection various kinds of builds sense. More sense than carrying one so you can shoot at fleeing shoplifters in a Home Depot parking lot, anyway.

It’s not like black people are the only ones committing crimes with firearms. In fact, most of the gun crimes people get up in arms about these days, like school shootings or rampage killings, are carried out by white people. The problem is that this law will have absolutely zero impact on that. Those people are going to prison anyway, and for way longer than five years, and most of those crimes are committed with firearms that were purchased legally. Remember, his plan specifically mentions places like Chicago. The irony there is that Chicago actually has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. The illegal firearms arrive by way of the interstate trafficking of firearms bought legally in places with fewer restrictions, which are then resold on the black market.

Meh, it’s probably fine .

In other terms, people who live in areas where carrying a gun might stimulate some sense will be going to prison in droves just for carrying a gun, while the people who just want them because fawning over the Second Amendment is the redneck thing to do will continue to enjoy their liberty. It’s a huge double standard that they are able to almost certainly end poorly. And we should all know that, because we did the exact same thing with cocaine in the ‘8 0s.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 was a horrifically lopsided law which stimulated getting caught with just five grams of crack cocaine punishable by a mandatory five-year prison sentence. Meanwhile, the threshold for powder cocaine was 500 grams. That’s a lot . More than the average Hollywood coke trader servicing the needs of celebrities would likely have on them at a time. It was a viciously unjust double standard that merely happened when the cracking epidemic started to affect white people, and by that I mean “the owners of the Boston Celtics.”

The laws that stimulated getting caught with a small amount of cracking a huge crime were pushed through mostly in response to the untimely happen of Maryland Terrapins basketball star Len Bias. He was the number-one pick in the 1986 NBA draft, and tragically succumbed of a drug overdose that same night.

No jokes here .

The laws this country enacted in response to that tragedy led to 20 solid years of minorities get incarcerated at an astonishingly higher rate than white people who committed similar crimes. We finally came to our senses and changed the law in 2010.

Now here we are, just five years removed from righting that incorrect, with a Republican frontrunner who wants to bring all of that gap and inequality roaring back to life.

# 2. Americans Voting For A Blatantly Destructive Tax Plan= Sam Brownback’s Kansas

Most of my time spent talking Trump has been focused on immigration and firearms, but his equally radical tax reform plan deserves some attention as well. Now, I’ll be the first be recognised that tax law isn’t among my strong suit. Those would be conspiracy hypothesis, presuming everything is racist until proven otherwise, and vehemently defending Kim Kardashian.

With that in mind, I’ll have to let someone else do the heavy lifting of crunching all the numbers and such. Fortunately, those people exist and have already done that. And surprisingly enough, they kind of confirm that Trump’s tax plan will do all of the things it promises. Unfortunately, it will also do something the plan doesn’t mention at all, which is increase the federal deficit by ten goddamn trillion dollars .

So this much fund times whatever it would take stimulate that math work out to ten trillion .

So that’s good news, right? The datum is out! The people have the necessary details and will vote accordingly! Except you goddamn know that isn’t true, especially as it relates to something like a tax plan. Trump’s involves tax cuts across the board for damn near everyone, and that will indeed set more fund in the pockets of voters. Even if the fact that his plan will send the federal deficit skyrocketing, that’s an abstract kind of thing that they are able to mean a lot less to people than the prospect of a few extra dollars in their paycheck each month.

If you think that’s not true, I’d encourage you to look into the disastrous results of Governor Sam Brownback’s “experimental” tax plan, which for all intents and purposes drove the economy of the state of Kansas immediately into the ground. Just like the Trump plan, it mostly involved unprecedented tax cuts followed by blind hope that it somehow wouldn’t cause the financial tragedy every expert on the planet promised it would. Well, it did. It was a total tragedy, and the effects are still being felt in that nation today. In June of this year, Brownback’s nasty notions had spun so awfully out of control he had to sign an equally historic sales tax hike to combat the problem, a decision most likely inspired by the 3,800 tasks the nation lost the previous month.

“I guessed Tea party just referred to what we’re doing right now.”

If you think Americans are too tax savvy to let that happen again, keep in mind that this all happened in the span of the last five years, and it’s not like Brownback stimulated his radical tax strategies some sort of secret when he was campaigning for Governor in 2010. It’s the exact opposite. He ran on that shit. It was his campaign. “Taxes are bad, Obama is bad … vote for Brownback.” That’s the gist of what his entire platform was built on, and the people of Kansas ignored any and all warns about the ramifications of his plan in large enough numbers that it propelled him to victory.

Oh, and he was reelected in 2014. What’s that do for your confidence that voters are too smart to fall for this kind of plan again?

# 1. Mass Seizure Of Assets= The International Emergency Economic Powers Act

Since we’re on the subject of fund, let’s tie-in it all together and talk that infamous wall Trump wants to build along the Mexican border — specifically, how he plans to pay for it. He doesn’t make a secret of that at all. As I mentioned before, one of his ideas involves intercepting remittance pays, which is a fancy way of describing the money that undocumented immigrants earn and subsequently send back to household in their home country. By his accounting, this amounts to billions of dollars every year. That’s shitty, but also completely impossible, right?

Nah, sorry, it definitely is not. For one thing, if analysts are coming up with an annual figure, we have at least some idea of how to find that fund. It’s not like people are taping the shit to the back of a donkey and pushing it in a southward direction. “Theres only” so many ways to get fund from one place to another. You can mail it or you are able to wire it electronically. The means to intercept things sent in either of those routes definitely exist, and unlike the rest of the things on this list, the United States government confiscating the money and assets of groups they feel pose a threat to this nation isn’t something we just did once. We’ve been doing damn near every year since the late ‘7 0s.

Thanks, Carter !

Back in 1977, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act was passed. It awards the President the authority to declare an emergency, it’s one that originates largely from outside the country, and govern commerce accordingly in response to that emergency. The powers are limited to blocking or intercepting financial transactions tied to the threat, but expand to confiscating property in the event of some kind of attack on the country. The only real requirement, at least initially, is that Congress must be notified when the emergency is declared. From there, the President has to renew the emergency declaration annually, but Congress can stop it at any time … they draft a joint resolution calling for the nation of emergency to be rescinded.

With that, we’ve come to the catch, right? If Trump tried something so crazy as to had indicated that Mexican immigrants are hurting the economy and deserve to have their fund taken, Congress would stop it immediately. Sounds nice, but the problem is that none of this is at all radical or outside the norm. Since it was enacted, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act has been used dozens of times, and 30 of those declared emergencies, some dating as far back as the late ‘7 0s, are still in fact.

We’ve never stopped watching you, Iran !

So while you’re brimming with confidence that we’d never find a way to take all that fund, current realities is that doing so would be as simple as adding another emergency to that listing and taking the steps we always take to make it work from there. Please note that this is a thing we use against terrorist groups all the time. They don’t precisely advertise their specific location within the country once they’re here, but somehow, we find the money anyway. We always find the money.

As always, I’m not saying any of the things on this list are definitely going to happen. I’m just saying they already did once.

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