To begin with an understatement, Donald Trump's hump day was pretty darned interesting.
On Wednesday morning he flew to Mexico City to chat with his new amigo, President Enrique Peña Nieto. In the evening, he was in Phoenix to lay out his immigration policies to thousands of rabid supporters.
Not to pick on our pal Geraldo Rivera, but in this case he serves as a perfect human barometer. Rivera is a perspicacious observer who has spent decades advocating a humane approach to immigration.
This was Geraldo on the 8:00 PM edition of Wednesday's Factor: 'Donald Trump's tone was magnificent, this was a brilliant day for Trump. It was a smart and ballsy trip that came off well, he was great in Mexico City.'
Then, just three hours later, on the 11:00 PM Factor, Geraldo was singing from a completely different hymnal: 'Why in the world was he so strident? Wasn't the whole idea to broaden the base, wasn't the whole idea to get women on board? Trump's got to be presidential if he wants to be president!'
What happened in between those radically different observations? It's obvious: Donald Trump's speech in Arizona reinforced his tough positions on illegal immigration. Anyone who was anticipating and relishing a 'softening' was sorely disappointed.
True, the Republican candidate hedged on mass deportation, but his other proposals were firm: There will be a 'great wall' to be paid for by Mexico, criminal illegal aliens will be deported post haste, there will be 'extreme vetting' of prospective immigrants from some nations. Also, the Border Patrol will be expanded and supplied with the bureaucratic version of steroids.
Trump summarized his views thusly: 'There is only one core issue in the immigration debate, and that issue is the well-being of the American people!' That sounds reasonable, does it not? But to the chattering classes, that statement is downright hateful.
Trump also gave a ringing endorsement of 'Kate's Law,' which would harshly punish criminal felons who re-enter the United States of America. And he ended the Phoenix event by inviting moving testimonials from moms and dads whose children were killed by illegal immigrants who had no business being in the USA.
Who can possibly argue with the notion of getting very tough on illegal felons? George Soros and his fellow travelers on the left, that's who.
If you want a view from the anti-Trump, look to one of the most powerful men in all of Europe. Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Union, just said that national borders were 'the worst invention ever.'
Read that back. Slowly.
Mr. Juncker, who presumably lives in a safe and upscale Luxembourg neighborhood, probably protected by walls, is fine with Muslim refugees pouring into the continent's once-great cities. Most Europeans disagree with Juncker and want their borders honored, but he and other elites don't much care.
Juncker was saying aloud what many on the left actually believe. They want open borders, pure and simple, but use terms like 'comprehensive immigration reform' to disguise their true desires.
This is an issue where the differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are stark. Secretary Clinton has been strenuously avoiding press conferences and tough interviews, but her running mate Tim Kaine appeared on MSNBC the morning after Donald Trump's immigration address.
He vowed that a Clinton administration will 'reform our immigration system in a comprehensive way' and will enable illegal immigrants to 'earn the right to citizenship.' Donald Trump, meanwhile, declares that there will be no such path and no amnesty.
The New York Times editorial board, despite its waning influence, still gives daily marching orders to much of America's mainstream media. The Times' Thursday morning verdict: Donald Trump's speech was 'empty words strung together and repeated.'
The paper accused Trump of spewing 'relentless lies about the dangers' posed by immigrants. Consider telling that to the 'Angel Moms' who were sobbing as Donald Trump wrapped up his momentous and memorable Wednesday.
The choice is pretty simple. The swells of the New York Times, who reside in doorman-protected buildings on the Upper West Side of Manhattan? Or the citizens of Arizona and Texas, who deal with illegal immigration every day? As the old commercial said, You Make The Call.