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Letter: Trump, followers resemble 19th-century Know Nothings

Late in the 19th century, a group of Washington politicians formed the “Know Nothing” party. When asked their opinion on Reconstruction, for example, they said nothing.

Views on the tariff, on Negro rights, veterans pensions … they replied that they knew nothing of these. When finally asked what they did know, the Know Nothing politicians said: “I know nothing other than immigration from Eastern Europe must stop.“

Today, nativist President Donald Trump and his followers reflect the principles of the Know Nothing party. Their main dislike is against Hispanic immigration which is highly Catholic and highly likely to vote Democratic.

Trump’s main solution is a wall along the USA-Mexico border.

Whatever happened to compassion. Whatever happened to appreciation of immigrants who built America and made her great and whatever happened to the words of Emma Lazarus: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Joseph S. Costello


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