So take it from me, someone who was born and raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt. (A thread.)
1 in 3 people are willing to put toddlers in cages.
Shit they know absolutely nothing about.
That's because rather than reading, or evaluating reasonable doubt, they've been mainlining Sean Hannity into a hungry little vein for the past two years.
Don't directly confront a bigot. That shit is like looking directly into Sauron's eye. Instead, give them some space to explore their bigotry.
Uncle: "ISIS coming in with these immigrants."
You: "Really? Where did you hear that?"
You see, here's what you need to understand. They have a knee jerk reaction to ISIS, because they only understand ISIS in the abstract -- not as a nuanced expeditionary caliphate in the Middle East.
*Here's where you deploy something I call the "do it better than a wall" trap. They push, you pull.*
You: "You know what would be better than a wall?"
(This is where we break with the Qin Dynasty, and employ solutions that aren't 2,000 years old.)
You: "Of course. We need to maintain our borders, but we shouldn't do it like feudal China. We have things that are better than walls now."
You just don't see them often, because most of the time they're busy... uhm... lying.
"You and I both want to stop illegal immigration. I just want something that costs less, and is more effective. I want to keep track of everyone entering the United States, and it's not fiscally responsible to build a wall."
Democrats want a low cost solution using modern technology.
Republicans see 2nd Century feudal China as inspiration.
Nothing gets my dick more erect than this moment. (Except turkey.)
This is where you, once again, agree -- but in your own way.
"You're right. We shouldn't just be giving away free money. Not just people though. Corporations, too."
You with me here? Okay...
Uncle: "It's wrong!"
What we haven't done is hold the companies we're subsidizing accountable for how they pay their workers.
You: "I just want America to be able to go back to the good old days, when people could work a factory job, and earn a decent living."
In the Good Old Days, your uncle and his buddies would work a solid nine hours, come home, crack open a beer (or 12), and abuse their wives. You can't do that anymore.
Unions that collectively bargained for fair worker pay.
You: "You're right, Uncle George. Let's bring back good union jobs!"
[*straight white men]
Low cost college tuition.
Progressive taxes on the wealthy. (Under Eisenhower, the wealthiest 1% of Americans say a 91% income tax.)
Trust me, your uncle ain't talking about bringing Devo back.
It's easy to be on the upside of racism. That's why it persists.
Those "good jobs" were often govt jobs.
President Eisenhower was worried about "fringe workers" not able to pay their bills. So he advocated by raising the minimum wage by 50%. And you know what happened? He got 33% done.
Nothing against Alex Acosta, he just doesn't have any background in labor... at all.
In the 1950s, people were afraid that automation and other factors would rapidly eliminate low-skill jobs. (This story tends to repeat itself.)
We just moved on, and got better at something else. You can't ice skate uphill.
Look at James Hodgson, Sec. of Labor under President Nixon. He worked for 25 years at Lockheed. His policies brought factories here.
He didn't recommend tariffs.
More union jobs.
More collaboration with overseas businesses.
Higher minimum wages.
Unemployment insurance for more Americans.
Lower college tuition. (Spending MUCH more on education.)
That's what we did in the 50s-70s.
In fact, the largest numbers of Mexican immigrants arrived illegally from 1965-1986. (source: news.stanford.edu/2018/05/14/ana… )
That doesn't sound as "tough" though.