It's difficult to tell which was more sad when news came that Donald Trump met with the so-called Hispanic Advisory Council to discuss Latino outreach for the limp Trump campaign; the Trump voters who up until now were foaming at the mouth over a wall that grew by five feet after each of his racist rallies, or the party leadership like Reince Preibus, the unfortunate chair of the RNC, who has to manage this intolerant child and his band of insipid supporters as he tries to convince the average voter that the Presidential election is not beyond hope.
Some may point at the members of the advisory council for being duped by promises of civility by the Trump campaign that will surely not come, but it's not difficult to understand why some Latino Republicans are willing to fly to New York to meet with Donald Trump — whether it's desperation to save the party, leveraging their access to Trump for greater personal gain or genuine interest in having some say over the direction of the campaign to help Latinos, these "advisers" no doubt feel they must hug the devil for one reason or another. Jacob Monty, Jerry Natividad and Massey Villareal have all voiced their frustrated opposition to Trump's rhetoric and the direction of the party as it relates to it's reluctance to leave the past and embrace the diversity of the country.
Like George P. Bush, who recently came under attack for supporting The Donald, despite Trump insulting his family in the primary elections, there is a calculation political scientists call realpolitik that these Latinos are making whereby political grounds supersede moral or ideological considerations in their decision-making. Regardless of the calculation and one's judgment of these decisions by Latinos, they are at least understandable on some rational basis.
But it matters less what the motivation for this alliance between Trump and these Republican Latinos entails, and more what it means that Trump must make the alliance in the first place.
Trump's trying to gloss over the glaring elephant in the room — the fact that racism is the DNA of his campaign for the presidency. Trump exploited and amped to a perverse level the GOP's coddling with racism to win voters since the civil rights era.
Let's remember that Trump dipped into the political waters several years ago by challenging the legitimacy of our first black president through the deplorable and grotesque "birther movement." In June of 2015 he kicked off his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans rapists and holding firm on his promise to build a Great Wall along our southern border, which he trumpets in rallies all the time to wide cheers among his supporters.
Yet despite the sad fact that a racist campaign can still garner traction in the American political system, the fact is that Trump's campaign is on life support because the particular tonic the GOP has been selling all these years is running out of potency at a national level.
Trump and by association his supporters in the GOP have been testing the grounds with new avenues of bigotry as he targets asylum seekers and Muslims, degrades women and mocks people with disabilities in an attempt to expand the imagination of American prejudice. But the collective threat of these groups is too difficult for collective action to manifest around.
Which is what makes Trump voters so sad. Like the cowardly lion, the heartless tin man, and the brainless scarecrow, Trump's followers joined hands and skipped down a yellow brick road in which they had been promised that a wizard awaited them who would solve their problems.
But one look behind the curtain as they arrive finds their savior to be impotent to the changing dynamics of the country, and desperate to do anything to save himself.
So Latino Republicans can meet with Trump all they want, and they can twist themselves around to try to get around the candidate's ugly and destructive rhetoric. But it won't work.
Trump's followers mistook an ass for a lion, and are now doomed to witness their leader face an international humiliation.