Immigration is also important because other politicians can copy it. There is only one Trump, but any politician (or non-politician) who can attract a modicum of attention could use Trump's plain spoken "extremism" to rise.
Immigration was a hot button issue for a couple of basic reasons. First, it is a basic function of government, but USG has effectively left the border unguarded for 30 years. USG has increasingly abandoned its responsibility for border control as well, what was bad under Reagan, Bush, or Clinton, became very bad under Bush and then total chaos under Obama.
Defending the border is one of the primary jobs of government in the very basic sense of self-preservation. You can do a lot of nothing as a government, but if you allow another nation or government to walk in, and that sovereign begins policing the border, well good luck because you are now obsolete.
Trump advanced like a hot knife in a field of butter because he spoke common sense: we either have a country or we don't.
Now if border control is a basic function of government, Social Security and pensions are the basic function of the welfare state. Every welfare state started with old age pensions. Yet thanks to demographics and debt, this was coming to an end.
The story all across the West (and Japan, which doesn't care or prefers robots) says unfunded liabilities and existing debt are too high to service. Western governments must import young workers to pay the pensions of older workers. A logical solution and one that would requiring draining the brains of India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other countries with normal population pyramids. (China has its own demographic crisis and if you look at China's development strategy, it is successfully pulling brains and capital out of the West.)
Did Western governments flood their countries with the cream of the crop from Southeast and South Asia? Nope. They flooded their nations with people who consume more welfare than the natives, and also imported people in higher welfare use demographics, meaning the cost of welfare is rising at a permanently accelerating rate.
This is retarded. Deporting illegal aliens will improve the national balance sheet because it will save cash or keep debt from rising as quickly. The average voter doesn't think about this in these terms, but it's not hard to explain. They said we needed immigrants to pay for Social Security, but we're giving them welfare. This is as stupid as one can get, doing the exact opposite of what is needed.
Using the Richter scale of rising orders of magnitude, immigration is like a 7. It brings out massive crowds for Trump rallies, but people are generally upbeat. The destruction of a nation is unseen for most people. Those who experience it, or can extrapolate demographic trends, understand it is real, but most people probably favor a border wall and deportation because it is the right thing to do. Some understand there are economic costs, but fewer understand the political costs. When the pensions go, there is no theory involved. The money stops and retired people watch their dreams evaporate. They lose their homes. Then you will see a 9 or even 10 magnitude event in politics.
The pensions are already gone. They cannot pay their members in an economy that generates 0-1% interest rates, or 5% on long-term bonds. Things look OK at the moment, but pension funds are assuming long-term returns of 8%. At the current low rates of return, one bad bear market will erase the gains of the past 5 or 10 years. If the bond market falls along with the stock market, it is game over.
The government cannot bail out pension funds when it has to pay welfare to tens of millions of new welfare cases. Government pensions will also be on the chopping block, they are woefully underfunded in many states. In the future, when it comes time to fire teachers and police to pay the retired teachers and police, and the voters have watched their 401ks go up in smoke, the voters will not side with retirees.
AC: Pensions Will Go Away In The Apocalypse
Resources began to flow freely, and it changed the very way we viewed them. Suddenly, everybody had a right to a house, and college, and birth control, and diapers, and health insurance, and food, and cell phones, and anything else they could think of. Foreigners deserve citizenship, and free money, and they should even be allowed to send that money to their home country, so their families can have free money there. Nothing is worth anything, and money grows on trees. There was literally no way to communicate to the public that such profligacy would lead to a total collapse of the economic system which provided those resources, and even if there were, you probably couldn’t make people care enough to do something. Their amygdalae had grown too weak.
It is impossible for us to imagine a world where people who worked their whole lives, and contributed to a pension fund, could just have all their contributions wasted away, and end up in their golden years with nothing – unable to even afford housing or food.