No, you go home Donald, and take your anchor babies with you

Sean O'Grady

Never mind the “squad” – the four congresswomen of colour racially abused by their own president – it’s Donald Trump who ought to “go back” whence he came – because he doesn’t understand or particularly like America.

Destination? Either Bavaria or Scotland, depending on whether his emigration is to be via the patrilineal or matrilineal line. After all, he has spent most of his adult life moaning about why America isn’t good enough for him, how the Democrats (when he wasn’t on first name terms with the Clintons) were ruining everything and, even now, they are getting in the way of “making America great again”, as the slogan goes.

As Trump says, “If you’re not happy here, then you can leave.” In which case, the departing Donald, in his world, would take Melania along with him. That though, like with so many migrants he wants to send back, would lead to a family breakdown. She might have to “go back” to Slovenia, specifically Novo Mesto where she was born, as Melania Knavs in 1970. Of course, the Trump kids are born in America, so they might want to stay. Then again, Trump has always shown disdain for the “anchor babies” of immigrants. Melania, by the way, arrived in America a little after now Congresswoman Ilhan Omar did as a child refugee from Somalia. Not that it matters. As I say, Melania and the kids are all blameless and no-one should be telling them to “go back”. You do, though, see how insulting and hurtful it is.

Telling people to “go back” betrays a basic lack of empathy for the spirit of America. It misses the point. Like Trump always does. No-one wants to chuck Melania out, and relatively few would want their country to be permanently purged of Trump. Besides, what if Scotland/the UK or Bavaria/Germany refused him entry? For obvious reasons – there would be widespread civil disorder the moment he arrived. He'd end up having to head back to the states and be deported over the Mexican border. Maybe Putin would grant him asylum.

Funnily enough, that is more or less what happened to granddad Trump. Friedrich had gone to America to better himself as a barber, property developer and, so it is sometimes claimed, brothel keeper. After he'd made a few bucks he decided to go back to Bavaria, (evidently he didn’t like America that much either), but the government there didn’t want him. In 1905, Friedrich Trump was reduced to writing a letter to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. He begged for mercy.

Friedrich Trump pleaded: “We were paralysed with fright, our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.”

“Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree?”

It failed. The authorities in Munich were still annoyed that Friedrich had avoided military service (sounds familiar). Thus were the Americans lumbered with the Trump gene pool.

Trump is not America; America is not Trump. Someone ought to remind the 45th president of that. In his notorious “doubling down” tweets he said: “When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them [and] their horrible [and] disgusting actions!

“If Democrats want to unite around the foul language [and] racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular [and] unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

Well, what about all those good Americans waiting for an apology from Trump for his foul language and the terrible things he has said, who are angry at him for his horrible and disgusting actions, and who regard him as an “unrepresentative” president, because Hilary Clinton got more votes than he did?

It’s like how it used to be in Britain when anyone who argued with a Tory government or criticised the monarchy was always invited to “go and live in Russia” (if they were white), or to “go home” if they weren’t, even if “home” was in reality Bradford or Brixton.

We have the same sort of controversies now, with the returning “Islamic State brides” such as Shamima Begum, who are British but having their citizenship revoked with no trial or due process. After all, the home secretary did try and send her off to Bangladesh.

In reality, the squad of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, it could be argued, are better Americans than Trump, in that they have a better understanding of the principles of the country’s constitution, the value of its institutions, the precious checks and balances and executive power bequeathed by the founding fathers, and of the spirit of e pluribus unum.

The truth is that we are all at home in our own countries, regardless of whether some of us aren’t very good at fitting in and adapting to the established democratic norms of our own nation, even if we were born there. Isn’t that right, Mr president?

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