Yesterday, Jorge Ramos of Univision was unceremoniously escorted out of a Donald Trump press conference by one of the Hair’s goons, for daring to ask a question “out of turn”. Trump told Mr. Ramos to “sit down”, and then to “go back to Univision”. (I guess even The Hair wasn’t prepared to say “go back to Mexico, you wetback.”) Our brave press corps… did nothing. Journalists of conscience would have gotten up en masse and walked out right behind Mr. Ramos. I’m old enough to remember when the good and the great of the major media outlets rallied around Fox News when President Obama took off the gloves with them. Imagine if Pres. Obama had done something like this at one of his campaign press conferences, or, heaven forbid, at a presidential one. Calls for his impeachment would be hurling in 72 point type on newspapers and from well-coiffed news anchors.
However, even though I was going to write at length about this contretemps, I realized that the expulsion of Mr. Ramos is not the story. It is a mere manifestation of a much darker reality.
I mocked Trump (I refuse to be polite and call him “Mr.”). I thought he was the greatest thing to happen to Democrats since Dan Quayle. And, if by some malfeasance he does manage to be the GOP nominee, he lost the general election yesterday. The image of the Latino Walter Cronkite being frog-marched out of a press availability will galvanize the Latino community like nothing else. Not because Latinos are celebrity-mongers who will rally around Mr. Ramos, but because he and his treatment represent what Latinos fear the most from the GOP. Trump just handed the Latino community the symbol it needed, in a way which even his outrageous words didn’t.
But I’m no longer mocking him. I’m taking him very seriously. Because what may have begun as a lark is no longer that. It’s obvious that Trump is taking this campaign to heart, and is in it to win. And that should give everyone a good scare.