Jeb Bush: “We should not have a multicultural society”

Jeb “Act of Love” Bush has a hot new take on immigration and assimilation:

Responding to a question about how he plans to help refugees that are already in the United States become part of American society, Bush channeled his inner Golden Dawn to insinuate that refugees who don’t ditch their culture to become American aren’t doing it right, going on to warn that America is “creeping toward multiculturalism.”

As Bush said, coming dangerously close to name-checking the so-called “no-go zones” that conservatives have warned constitute de-facto Muslim countries within our borders:

We should not have a multicultural society…When you create pockets of isolation, and in some cases, the assimilation process has been retarded, it’s wrong. It limits people’s aspirations.

Bush went on to say that refugees must learn English, and that our national identity is defined by “a set of values that people share” rather than race.

That much is all well and good, except for the implication that refugees don’t already understand these concepts. In reality, practically everyone coming to this country from abroad feels it’s important to learn English. What’s more, that “set of values” Bush is so concerned refugees embrace includes — you guessed it — multiculturalism!

But don’t tell that to the voters Bush has been hemorrhaging to Donald Trump — voters who have a very particular idea of what it means to be an American. According to a recent survey from Public Policy Polling, only 49% of Iowa Republicans believe that Islam should be legal in the United States; 30% think it should be outlawed. Given how much of the Republican Party’s discussion regarding the Syrian refugee crisis is over whether we can trust these refugees — how do we know they aren’t terrorists??? — Bush has been left to abandon his pretense of moderation in favor of winking and nodding to some of the West’s most racist impulses.

But given how well that kind of faux-Trumpism worked out for Scott Walker, one has to wonder what Jeb thinks he’s accomplishing in all of this. He gets no points for being an intellectual Donald; that’s an oxymoron. If anything, he cuts away at the media narrative he’s helped create for himself that he is somehow more moderate and sensible than any of his opponents.

For a guy the GOP establishment assumes is going to be the next president of the United States, this guy is remarkably bad at politics.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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