Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen knows the way to Trump's heart: racism.
All it took for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to save her embattled job was to more fully embrace the vile racism of her boss.
Over the past several weeks, Nielsen doubled-down on cruelty toward immigrants in word and deed, and her decisions seem to have satiated Trump's appetite for cruelty.
According to Politico, Nielsen "has shown off policy actions and political positioning that seem to have mollified Trump's criticism."
These actions, as described by Politico, are all nods to Trump's anti-immigrant positions, including efforts to highlight and defend violent and atrocious behavior.
When border patrol agents shot tear gas at families and children at the U.S.-Mexico border, Nielsen "jumped to Trump's public defense... amid blaring criticism," reports Politico.
Some of that criticism came from the American Academy of Pediatrics, who found it necessary to explain that using chemical weapons on infants and toddlers in diapers "goes against evidence-based recommendations, and threatens their short and long-term health."
Like many Republicans in Congress, Nielsen also supported Trump's racist pre-election border stunt, when he ordered thousands of troops to the southwest border. The stunt was meant to appeal to the anti-immigrant hostility in Republican voters in hopes of increasing turnout in the midterm elections.
The stunt failed, with Democrats gaining 40 seats in the House of Representatives, but Trump still demanded troops miss both Thanksgiving and Christmas while deployed at the border. Some troops are spending their time shoveling horse manure rather than celebrating the holidays with their family.
Nielsen praised this action as "the act of a leader" in an official statement. True, but not a good leader.
The outward embrace of Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric seems to have put Nielsen on solid footing with Trump. But her allies in the administration are still frustrated, they told Politico.
"One source close to the secretary said 'she's just now starting to bear fruit for all the work she's put in,' claiming that Nielsen has been a quiet steward of Trump's immigration agenda for months, but couldn't discuss several policies in public until recently," Politico reports.
The argument is that Nielsen has been a coldhearted monster all along, but she was just quietly ruining the lives of asylum-seekers and other immigrants.
If there is anything we know about Trump, it is that he does not hide his racism.
Now we know that he expects his loyal minions to be as outwardly racist as he is if they want to keep their jobs.
And that's no problem for Kirstjen Nielsen.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.