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A heartbeat after Mr. Trump’s Pittsburgh visit, he was back in full brawler mode, ratcheting up the fear-mongering and immigrant-bashing that he is counting on to drive his base to the polls. He touted his proposal to end birthright citizenship and talked of tripling the number of troops being dispatched to combat the migrant “invasion.” The online ad released on Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed Wednesday, which pairs footage from the migrant caravan with that of an undocumented immigrant convicted of killing two California police officers and binds it all together with claims that Democrats want to let criminals flood the country, was xenophobic demagogy in its purest form.
At this point, it is perhaps unrealistic to expect anything different from this president. Like the snake in his favorite parable, Mr. Trump cannot rise above his fundamental nature. And even in the face of national tragedy, his perspective remains fixed: The presidency is all about the politics, and politics is all about him.