Good vs. Evil: Trump Can’t Win on D.A.C.A.

“Dreamers” are people who were just kids when their parents either arrived or remained in the United States illegally. For most of us, the question whether children should be punished for the transgressions of their parents ranks low on the scale of moral difficulty. You either care about children — even other people’s children — or you don’t. And you are thereby either a gentle soul or a wicked imp.

Donald Trump says he’ll have a decision on DACA — President Obama’s policy suspending the deportation of Dreamers — by Tuesday.


For Trump, the choice won’t be so easy. Because however appealing might be our better angels, Trump has cast his lot with the devil — his hordes of frothing rubes, guarding the dream for their own selves, barking back against the sharing of it, saying to those longing to breathe free, “Eat shit.” A charming lot, these Trumpsters.

So who shall Trump please? The 65% he can’t ever win over — who figure him to be the scoundrel he is — or the 35% he can’t stand to lose?

He must appeal either to humanity with a fake show of empathy that will lose him his base — or to his base with a grisly show of cruelty that will forever cost him any claim to humanity. That’s quite a choice he’s left himself: in this battle of good versus evil, the only sure loser is Donald Trump.

One would hope that, since Trump can’t win either way, he’d default to a position of basic decency. But this is Donald Trump we’re talking about, so when he does the wrong thing, it will be up to us — in 2018 and 2020 — to make it right.