“All right, we are two nations,” John Dos Passos wrote in his USA trilogy, and it appears to be the primary mission of Rupert Murdoch and his minions to keep us that way.
The polling on separating immigrant children from their parents makes our divisions dramatically clear (not that they already weren’t). Quinnipiac shows that Americans oppose the policy by a 66 percent to 27 percent margin; CNN shows they oppose it by 67 percent to 28 percent. But a majority of Republicans in both polls support it: 55 percent (against 35 percent opposed) in Quinnipiac; 58 percent (against 34 percent opposed) in CNN.
The chain of bigoted lies and distortions that Donald Trump has spewed forth doubtlessly feeds into many rank-and-file Republicans’ pre-existing biases and fears. But Trump couldn’t do this alone. The key to his rise, and to sustaining GOP support for such obscene policies as family separation, has been the counterfactual “news” outlets online, on talk radio, and above all on Fox News, where the current prime-time line-up of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and, above all, Sean Hannity, has as its raison d’etre twisting the news to bolster Trump’s every dark impulse and whim.
So—if there’s one immigrant among us who really has damaged the very fundamentals of American life, it’s Australia’s very own Rupert Murdoch. I can think of no one else other than Trump himself who has done more to rip our civic fabric to shreds and bring marginal hatreds to the mainstream of American life and policy.
You want to deport undesirables? Fine. Send Rupert back to the ancestral sewer from which he slunk in Australia.
You want family separation? OK, here’s a family separation: Once Rupert is back in his homeland, keep his kids here, and hand Fox News over to his son James, who is reported to be no fan of its far-right rabble rousing.
The other elements of a decent immigration policy are clear: legalizing the undocumenteds already here, re-establishing a humane asylum policy, formulating a managed admission policy going forward that balances our welcoming traditions with appropriate security concerns. But the capper has to be sending Rupert and the dung heap he brought with him back to whence he came.