On the need to focus on actions, not words, in US politics

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“ What remains striking about Trump, however, is how much of the push back against him is provoked by his words, and how Americans are prone to ascribe weight to those words. This is not a Trump phenomenon. It is a very American one, stretching back many years, and starkly evident during Obama’s tenure just as much as it is during Trump’s early months in the White House. In short, we pay too much attention to words and not enough to action. We have a cultural tendency to assume that words, political words, are reflections of reality, when very often they are not (…)  Between 2009 and 2013, there were more deportations than at any other point in American history, close to 3 million people. Many have noted that, under Obama, authorities made a point of de-emphasizing non-violent undocumented immigrants and allowing them a degree of protection from deportation. But according to Ice records, about half of all deportations in those years were for non-violent immigrants. It is true that immigration policy changed during Obama’s second term, with much greater emphasis on criminal immigrants. But it is equally true that the actions of his first term should have created widespread panic that deportation was a clear and present threat. Yet while many Hispanics, who tended to be more directly affected by these harsh immigration policies, were critical of Obama’s immigration approach in his first term, they remained supportive of him and positive about his administration overall. Unlike Trump, Obama’s soaring and inclusive words created a culture of hope that served to offset the way his actions were perceived ”

Zachary Karabell, ‘Pay attention to Donald Trump’s actions, not his words’, The Guardian

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