With his penchant for tweeted insults and GIFs, Donald Trump will never be mistaken for a master of the sweet art of persuasion. Yet he is clearly winning the public argument on the issue of immigration.
He isn’t doing it through sustained, careful attention. He tweeted the other day that the media will eventually have to cover his success at the border, even though he himself has devoted more energy to his war with CNN than promoting the reduction in illegal border crossings.
No, it is the sheer fact of his November victory, and the data showing the importance of the issue of immigration to it, that has begun to shift the intellectual climate.
It had been assumed, even by many Republicans like Sen. John McCain, that opposition to amnesty and higher levels of legal immigration would doom the GOP to minority status forevermore. Trump blew up this conventional wisdom.
Now, intellectuals on the center-left are calling for Democrats to rethink the party’s orthodoxy on immigration, which has become more and more hostile to enforcement and to any skepticism about current high levels of immigration.