Foreigners can rescue us from our undiplomatic president?

My Facebook friends are still outraged that the current U.S. President used some undiplomatic words to characterize living conditions in some foreign countries. (“undiplomatic” = saying what you think!)

I think that I’ve found a young foreigner who can replace this old native-born American worker. This is from an au pair “host mom” discussion forum:

In response to question about being an AP with a single mom family, AP says “yes.” In response to question about a single father family, AP says “No. I don’t think it would be appropriate. Depending on why the father is a single parent, I don’t want to have the expectation to take on a role larger than being an au pair.” What sort of role does she think she’d take on??

If the Constitution permitted foreigners to run for President, I would vote for this young lady to be our Wordsmith in Chief!

Here’s some more fun stuff from the same list…

interestingly we know there is a single mom that hooked up with her AP Lol

I am really struck by the number of APs who don’t want to live with same sex families. Although I am straight, I use this question as a screen bc I don’t want someone living in my home who isn’t open and accepting to all my friends and family members, and who would potentially bring an anti-gay POV to my children.

I just think it’s their level of comfort not necessarily anti gay.

I am sorry but not sure I understand how that is different. Not homophobic just dont want to live [for a year] with a gay couple.

I also use the willingness to live with same-sex couples (and people of other races and religions) as a screening tool. I don’t want to live with someone who isn’t comfortable around all kinds of people.

we had some candidates who said they didn’t care about religion until they found out we were Jewish. We were shocked as one was from the UK and another from Sweden I think.

Drives me nuts when I find a good candidate who otherwise fits what I’m looking for but says they aren’t ok with LGBTQ. We have gay friends and Seattle is a supportive city for LGBTQ community and so I can’t take anything less.

I understand why young women don’t want to live with single dads. … I do not judge their discomfort with it though. I am very judgy on the other hand with APs who put a “no” to same sex couples, or have a preference for a particular sex. You are not comfortable with living with same sex, I’m not comfortable with you. Your age, where you’re from etc, doesn’t matter to me in that case. I only interview APs who would work with same sex couples. And what is it with APs not wanting to work with female couples? Do they think these women will make them googly eyes?? [Maybe the AP doesn’t want to work with statistically unhappy children?]

We also screened out boys as at first DH and I were not comfortable and later DS only wanted girl AP. Did that make us sexist I guess the answer would be yes for childcare. Do I love my husband, son, nephews, guy friends etc yes I am not a man hater but I never hired a male childcare provider.

I swear the AP life is a soap opera in our area–mom was getting high AP supervised visits of mom with kids, dad who walked into AP room drunk in middle of the night and tried to get into bed with her, AP and host mom hooking up, AP who knew mom was having an affair…

we had one who was privy to mom’s affair too. It was a disaster.

Separately, when did Americans become too lazy to type “my son” or “my husband” and need to use DH and DS?

42 thoughts on “Foreigners can rescue us from our undiplomatic president?

  1. These people are so tolerant that they are intolerant of the intolerant. They are open to au pairs of any race or gender as long as they are female. They won’t mind (in fact demand) that their au pair be willing to work for two men but 1 man is out. Is is really possible to be so totally lacking in self awareness of your own contradictions?

  2. Jack: the point of the original post was more about this brilliant young lady’s phraseology (and she’s probably not a native English speaker!), but you raise an interesting question.

    Whatever happened to “Hate the sin; love the sinner”? If there is a young person somewhere on the planet who doesn’t share your tolerance for every member of every identity group, why not seize the opportunity to bring that person into your house for a year of reeducation regarding the correct way to think?

  3. “undiplomatic” = saying what you think!)”

    Even the comment moderation policy for this blog expects posters to refrain from expressing certain thoughts. Why is it so outrageous to have a similar expectation
    for the President of the United States. In fact, why is it so outrageous to believe that consistently making statements which denigrate certain racial or ethnic groups is disqualifying for the office of the Presidency?

  4. Maybe they’re just being tolerant themselves by avoiding such people and refraining from effort to re-educate.

    The brilliant Tom Lehrer made a joke about this issue over 50 years ago in his introduction to song National Brotherhood Week.

    I’m sure we all agree that we ought to love one another and I know there are people in the world who do not love their fellow human beings, and I hate people like that!

  5. Anonymous:

    That’s a great point about the comment moderation policy. It includes the following:

    Comments that attack another person’s motivation, intelligence, or character are bad because they degrade the quality of the discussion and discourage thoughtful comments by others.

    Such comments make of the majority of the president’s Twitter feed.

  6. Some of you guys apparently don’t like Donald Trump or approve of his conduct as president! This proves my point about him being undiplomatic and due for replacement by a young foreigner with a talent for wordsmithing.

    (Separately, I’m not aware of Donald Trump having said anything about a racial group. If his negative comments about the living situation in a country are interpreted as racist that tells me more about the listener than about Trump.)

  7. I too hate DH, DS, and most of all the SO abbreviation. Whatever happened to just using boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife.

  8. “I’m not aware of Donald Trump having said anything about a racial group.”

    At the beginning of his campaign, President Trump directly claimed that all of the one million undocumented workers from Mexico who pick our food were murderers and rapists because of their country of origin.

    But let’s cut to the chase: The phrase “people from shithole countries” is just a PC way of saying “niggers”. Using a different set of words doesn’t make the thought or the expression any more acceptable. No, understanding the clear meaning behind the words does not say more about me than about Trump.


  9. “I am really struck by the number of APs who don’t want to live with same sex families.”

    “I understand why young women don’t want to live with single dads.”

    Hmm.

    “… I do not judge their discomfort with it though.”

    Mighty white of her.

    “I am very judgy on the other hand with APs who put a “no” to same sex couples, or have a preference for a particular sex. You are not comfortable with living with same sex, I’m not comfortable with you. Your age, where you’re from etc, doesn’t matter to me in that case.”

    “I am not a man hater but I never hired a male childcare provider.”

    Oh my dear Seattle dweller, not even a gay male? The hypocrisy meter had already redlined but this blew it plain out.

  10. @philg – The fact that you don’t understand how Trump’s comments could be racist, especially given the historical issues involved, tells me one thing about you – you must be an engineer! What do his comments tell you about the listeners who think they’re racist? I’m honestly curious – is it that these listeners are racist themselves, or perhaps simply overly-sensitive? Or digging to find fault with any of Trump’s statements?

  11. Neal: I don’t think that a negative comment about an economically selected group of Mexicans can be considered “racist.” Mexico is a multiracial society, first of all, with a rainbow of diversity among its 127 million inhabitants. Trump thinks that the subset of Mexicans who are willing to cross the border to work illegally in the U.S. is an example of adverse selection? You’re entitled to disagree with him!

    (My anecdotal experience is that the Mexicans that I know who are from successful families, have advanced degrees, and enjoy high incomes have never been “undocumented” anywhere. They have generally worked in Mexico for their entire careers or, if they came to the U.S., did so on a student visa in order to obtain a Ph.D.)

    Michael: Yes, I do think someone who hears “Mexican” and thinks “racist” is probably a racist! Otherwise, why did the thought come to mind at all? A person whose only way of understanding the world is in terms of skin color is, by definition, a “racist”.

    [Candidate Trump’s actual words: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Trumps’ statement that “they’re bringing drugs” is supported by http://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2016/12/12/the-latest-book-dreamland/ ; Trump’s statement about “good people” is supported by those undocumented immigrants who are commonly profiled in our media.]

  12. @philg: Perhaps using some hypertechnical definition of the word Trump’s description of the one million undocumented workers from Mexico who pick our food as “rapists” is not “racist”. Do you also claim it is not a slur?

  13. Neal: Trump was clearly talking about subsets of the subset. So when he said “they’re rapists” he plainly meant that a proper subset of the 5+ million undocumented Mexicans might be rapists (see http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/27/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/ for some stats). You believe that Trump is wrong. The correct number of rapists among these 5 million is 0. Thus you’re in sync with our media, which tells us that undocumented Mexicans cannot be rapists. The same media also tells us that nearly 100 percent of American male college students ARE rapists! So if we believe the New York Times, Mexicans are way better than the native-born average.

    I just did a little Google search. It seems that not all of our media is “on the same page,” so to speak:

    http://katu.com/news/local/undocumented-immigrant-sentenced-to-35-years-in-jail-for-violent-rape-assault-sergio-martinez-ice from Dec 1, 2017:

    “An undocumented immigrant who has been deported to Mexico 20 times has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for two violent assaults earlier this year. Martinez sexually and physically assaulted a 65-year-old woman in NE Portland in the early morning hours of July 24, and then stole her car. Later that day, he assaulted a young woman at a NE Portland garage.”

    See also http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-rockville-high-school-rape-20170323-story.html

    Anyway, Neal, if you love Mexico (which I also do!), you can join your fellow Californians in San Miguel de Allende! (see http://www.thisisinsider.com/san-miguel-de-allende-voted-best-city-in-the-world-2017-7 )

  14. “Trump was clearly talking about subsets of the subset.”

    What Trump said was “They’re rapists”. I’ve listened to the tape many times. There isn’t any hint of subsets, shading or nuance in his words or manner.

    “The correct number of rapists among these 5 million is 0.”

    I don’t think I said this. Please quote back the statement I made which makes you think I meant to say this so I can clarify my intended meaning and try to express myself more clearly in the future.

  15. Neal: So you believe that Trump was communicating a belief that 100 percent of undocumented Mexicans in the U.S., including the female, the disabled, and the elderly, are rapists? (That would be 5 million undocumented Mexican rapists.) And that this is how his communication was understood by the average listener?

  16. philg: I believe Trump was communicating a slur against Mexicans in general and especially undocumented Mexican nationals in the U.S., and yes, I believe the communication was understood as such by the average listener.

  17. I heard a woman who formerly worked as a young au pair explain, “there are two kinds of men who hire young attractive female au pairs: those who are banging the au pair, and those are thinking about banging the au pair”.

  18. When the boston mcmansion suburbs send us their comments, they’re not sending their best. They’re sophists. They’re posturers. And some, I assume, are good people.

  19. I am a single dad with a female au pair. While some au pairs are reluctant to live with a single dad, I found that those are more than counterbalanced by stories of overbearing perfectionist moms making life difficult for the au pairs. Usually the dads are less demanding.

    > The phrase “people from shithole countries” is just a PC way of saying “niggers”.

    If so, then what about arguing that refugees should not be sent back to their home countries because those countries are in such bad shape? It seems like just another PC insult to me.

  20. Most of the Trump deplorable types consider Mexicans to non-white people. If you read comments on right wing blogs and websites like Breitbart during the Trayvon Martin saga, you’d know that many of these people though that there was no such thing as a white Hispanic, that the term was invented at that time. So the fact that Mexico is a multi-racial country is irrelevant.

    It’s true that some portion of all Mexican-born men present in the USA are racists, but the fact that it’s true doesn’t matter. You could the same about any group of people. There are probably at least a couple of million men present in the country who were born in Canada and at least a few percent of them probably raped a woman or molested a child at one time. There may be half a million of these men in Canada who’ve done such things and we have no program in place to keep them from coming into the country! If you heard someone ranting and raving about this topic, it would be reasonable to assume that the person has an animosity towards Canadians in general.

  21. @philg – Ok, I see, so Trump’s statements here are not racist, those who see his comments as racist are the racists.

    I disagree with this – using coded language to make racially biased appeals has a long history in American politics. Though I will cede that Trump may not be aware of things like the southern strategy and the historical usage of terms likes states rights, etc. to push racially motivated agendas while seeming benign.

    I wonder – are there any countries from central and south America or Africa from which Trump and people who agree with his policies like Phil would accept immigrants? If Ireland was in the condition it was in during the potato famine during modern times, would these same people advocate for accepting the Irish into our country, or not because it was a shithole? And if not, do those same people think the Irish have had a net-positive effect on our country or net-negative?

  22. I don’t want to live with someone who isn’t comfortable around all kinds of people.

    Choose your translation:

    “I am uncomfortable with someone who doesn’t think just like me.”

    “I am a someone who isn’t comfortable around all kinds of people.”

    “I am uncomfortable with myself.”

  23. @Jack D

    To be fair, the characteristics of men who are married to another man and men who are single fathers are probably different.

  24. @philg: Suppose I concede (only for the sake of argument) that “They’re rapists” was intended to be rewritten as “Subsets and subsets of them are rapists” so it is not a slur and that “people from shithole countries” was intended to mean “people with limited skills who will have difficulty assimilating and making it in America” rather than the meaning I suggested in #9. Even with this concession, what Trump actually said still disqualifies him from the Presidency because the slur and #9 meanings are still there as or more accessible than the more benign meanings you have suggested. Leaders should not use such broadly ambiguous language about sensitive topics, especially this sensitive topic. The President represents all Americans including those who could reasonably understand themselves to be targeted by the more offensive reading of the actual words used. Tens of millions of Americans would like to return to the days (within living memory) when the actual slurs could be used in polite company and it is important that our leaders not encourage them by using language which can be reasonably interpreted as PC stand-ins for the slurs.

  25. fd:

    You’re being overly literal. Everyone is uncomfortable around certain types of people, such as serial killers. Criminals, on the other hand, get uncomfortable when they see police officers.

  26. Neal, according to today’s university professors, there are only two kinds of speech from white people. Racist speech, and PC euphemisms for racist speech. Take your pick.

  27. More annoying than DH and DS are when they give them nicknames that are derivative of their online name, like referring to my wife as ScarletWife and my daughter as ScarletDaughter.

  28. Vince, Neal: I think you guys have now established your credentials as mind readers. You are sure what individuals are thinking and also know the collective thoughts of large groups of individuals. So I’m going to be nice to both of you in hopes that you will consider me one day to serve as First Officer on your Gulfstream G650. With your mind-reading skills you can make crazy money performing in Las Vegas and crazy $billions investing in the stock market (since if you know what everyone else thinks and feels you can predict whether they are going to buy or sell!).

    Mike: The Irish famine was in the 1840s. U.S. population in 1850 was 23 million. The U.S. offered no public housing, no food stamps, no Medicaid, and no Obamaphones. The U.S. economy had tremendous demand for unskilled labor. The western frontier wasn’t declared “over” until 1890 (i.e., there was still unclaimed and unused land in the U.S. for most of the 19th century). I don’t think that it makes sense to compare immigration circa 1850 to immigration circa 2018.

    Obviously there are people from every country on this planet whom we would be lucky to get as immigrants. So if we had employers paying for those immigrants that can help their businesses grow I would expect to see people showing up from every continent and every country. However, our current process is to pick people at random from various countries. If the only way that we can select immigrants is on a country-by-country basis, given there is no agreement among current citizens that the current U.S. population of 327 million is too small, it would therefore make sense to try to pick countries where PISA test scores are high, where the citizens have built a pleasant low-violence society, etc.

    [Note that the employer payment would probably have to be at least $1 million to cover the cost of providing infrastructure for the immigrant and descendants of that immigrant. See http://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2017/04/12/how-much-would-an-immigrant-have-to-earn-to-defray-the-cost-of-added-infrastructure/ The U.S. has about $114,000 in infrastructure per capita (see https://gizmodo.com/heres-how-much-americas-infrastructure-is-worth-compar-1739382781 ), but our cost of building new/additional stuff is much higher than the value of the old stuff. Maybe the number should be $1.5 million because the immigrant can also bring in parents via chain migration.]

  29. philg: You claim that when Trump used the word “They” he meant “subsets of subsets” and then you accuse ME of claiming to be a mind reader. Nice.

  30. philg: There’s no mind reading involved. My assertion is based on talking to Trump voters, reading the comments they make on blogs and news sites, etc. A years and a half ago, Paul Ryan, the speak of the house, called it a textbook definition of a racist remark when Trump made a statement about a Mexican-American judge. You’re expending quite a bit of effort to defend the president. It makes one wonder what the point is, why you would care so much.

    Here’s something else from a couple of weeks ago that you might have missed. This a quote from a casino executive who worked for Trump in Atlantic City. Here he relays a statement that Trump made about a black employee:

    “Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s doing. My accountants in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And it isn’t funny. I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.”

    I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. But Donald went on, “Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is. I believe that. It’s not anything they can control. . . . Don’t you agree?” He looked at me straight in the eye and waited for my reply.

    “Donald, you really shouldn’t say things like that to me or anybody else,” I said. “That is not the kind of image you want to project. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation, even if it’s the way you feel.”

    “Yeah, you’re right,” he said. “If anybody ever heard me say that . . . holy shit . . . I’d be in a lot of trouble. But I have to tell you, that’s the way I feel.”

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/trump-shithole-comment-racist-in-the-oval-office

  31. Vince: Where do you live that you actually talk to Trump voters? (And, why would you talk to Trump voters after finding out that they committed such a heinous act?)

    Paul Ryan can also read minds? Fantastic!

    The New Yorker article seems like dog bites man. A former employee of X, who tried to cash in his relationship to X by writing a book and therefore needed exciting stuff with which to fill the book (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trumped!_(book) ), has an exciting quote that is supposedly from X. It gets republished by a magazine that publishes anti-X content every week, if not every day.

    The Wikipedia page says “O’Donnell had been passed over for a key position, and angrily quit his job at Trump Plaza in April 1990”

    So this is allegedly a quote from 30 years ago. Even if we wanted to entertain this kind of hearsay, that was printed in an attempted to make some cash, why do we think that Trump hasn’t changed his mind in the intervening years? Look at how Hillary Clinton said that marriage was “a sacred bond between a man and a woman” back in 2004:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jun/17/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-change-position-same-sex-marriage/

    Today she feels differently, apparently.

    Let’s also look more carefully at the quote. The O’Donnell guy claims to have worked closely enough with Donald Trump to write a whole book about him. So they would have talked a few times per week. Why does Trump then have to deliver this soliloquy? If these folks talked regularly, wouldn’t O’Donnell have already known Trump’s general views? It seems like an obvious fabrication. People who are prejudiced don’t usually say “I am prejudiced and Group A has Trait B,” especially to someone with whom they regularly converse. It would more plausible if O’Donnell said that Trump told a joke in which the punchline had to do with blacks being lazy.

    Another problem with this purported quote is why Trump, if he had a strong prejudice against blacks, would hire a black accountant (or any black employee, for that matter). And if had been passionate about Orthodox Jews (why would he say “wear yarmulkes every day”? why not simply “wear yarmulkes” or “wear kepahs”?) as accountants, why hadn’t he hired an Orthodox staff?

  32. Phil: It’s possible large numbers of immigrants who are low-skilled, like the Irish, could be just what we need right now. It seems that skilled labor / manufacturing jobs are increasingly leaving the US.

    You cite the high cost of building infrastructure, and few of us would debate whether our current infrastructure is crumbling. It also seems true that Americans don’t want to take low paying jobs that require hard physical labor that rebuilding this infrastructure would produce. What about a massive infrastructure project where most of the labor comes from immigrants? You get a visa in exchange for working on the project for a fair wage for X years. At the end of the program you come up with citizenship and some real world job skills. Maybe you continue to work on the inevitable maintenance and upgrades such infrastructure projects produce. Are immigrants from “shithole countries” qualified for these jobs?

    Separately, why is it wrong that we should expect someone who is the elected representative of all Americans, the example for what America is and represents, to be diplomatic? Isn’t diplomacy one of the primary functions of the Presidency?

  33. From the “Compromise: Unlimited Haitians for communities that prepare to welcome them?” thread:

    “why would any existing resident care about this if his or her own income falls because immigration results in a falling GDP per capita and therefore a falling median per-capita income?”

    Falling GDP in the US has almost always been associated with obvious cyclic downturns so it is very unlikely that it has ever actually fallen because of immigration. Figure 1 suggests that it if anything it is periods of lower immigration which have been associated with lower per capita GDP growth. So who exactly is trying to “fool the arithmetically incompetent”?

    “The big political fights, I think, are from the folks who seek to have taxpayers six states away pay for their happiness at having 1,000 additional Haitians in the neighborhood.”

    The big political fights are from a low immigration minority seeking to block the current high immigration consensus (which is not to claim that the high immigration consensus is correct).

    “So my original proposal lets each city in the U.S. decide for itself what it wants in the way of a future population size and composition.”

    This proposed expansion of government involvement in a process which is currently market more oriented is remarkable for a self identified Libertarian. Yes, the Federal government currently sets an overall quota and carefully screens applicants, but where they eventually go is determined more by market demand. Typically, a small number of founders are attracted to a location by some (often quite specific) economic opportunity. Over time, the community grows in response to expanding economic opportunities with new members supported primarily by themselves and more established members of the community (not Americans “six states away”). In time the community starts to assimilate and look more “American” and less “immigrant”.

  34. Mike: That’s awesome! There is a shortage of low-skilled workers, therefore market wages will zoom upwards and we won’t need government planners to make it illegal for anyone to work at less than the $15/hour officially determined minimum wage.

    (In fact, we can streamline a lot of stuff and just eliminate the minimum wage altogether, if the market for low-skill labor is as strong as you say.)

  35. George: I’m afraid you’ll need to spell it out for a simpleton like me. I don’t even see how I’ve tried to justify anything. I rebutted two specific assertions (I omitted the link to supporting data on one because I provided that a few posts back) and pointed out how one aspect of Philip’s proposal seems to be inconsistent with his stated philosophy. My intention there was not to justify anything but simply to give the group something to think about (for the record I do think that market oriented approaches, where feasible, are preferable. With the addition of that statement I have turned my previous observation into a criticism of Philip’s proposal).

    To be honest I’m a bit gun-shy about advancing actual arguments in this forum because they must be crafted with extraordinary care in order to preemptively address the inevitable flurry of ad-hominem and mischaracterization arguments from our host (which often follow and must be painstakingly rebutted anyway). I would prefer to focus more on the substance of the issues, but this isn’t my playground.

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