It’s a new year but the only thing new about the president is his willingness to place even more weight on the phony facts he and his rabid right wing cohorts, like Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, have made up.
Some of these “alternative facts” support the idea that we now need a southern border wall so much that Trump has been willing to shut down much of the federal government for weeks, displacing hundreds of thousands of workers and weakening key services in hopes the Democrats will submit to his demands for wall funding.
That’s Trump’s idea of deal making: You succumb to his demands or get blamed for an unwillingness to negotiate.
Trump hasn’t acted like the wall was an emergency through his first two years in office. It’s an emergency now because the likes of Limbaugh and Coulter are calling him a phony for failing to act. Since he can’t get his way with Congress, calling the building of a wall an emergency may be his only way to escape the box he has placed himself in.
The matter would likely head straight to the courts, the government could be reopened and Trump can tell Rush and Anne and his base in general he really tried.
We don’t need a southern wall. Trump needs one to quiet his critical supporters. The Democrats are right to refuse to succumb, for the wall makes no sense.
Here are a few of facts from government sources that undermine his arguments for a wall:
1) The overwhelming quantity of drugs come across the border at points of entry not through the wilderness that Trump wants to fence off. Better search methods are needed, not a fence.
2) Despite Trump’s claim of thousands of terrorist suspects coming across the southern border, federal government reports suggest it was more like six in the first half of 2018. Yes, six. Forty-some came across the northern border that nobody talks about. Should we build a wall there, too? And first?
3) Most foreign terrorist suspects come into the country legally and then just overstay their visas.
4) Since 9/11, the large majority of terrorists attacks in the U. S. have come from home grown types who have become radicalized not from foreigners infiltrating our borders.
Certainly we could use better border security, not to mention a more humane way of treating the large increase of those simply seeking political asylum, but Trump’s wall seems to address none of these issues. It is a fake answer to our real border problems, not only a wasted effort but one that distracts from real needs to be addressed.
The five billion or so dollars he is demanding to start the wall is really, just a start. Estimates from 40 to 80 billion or more have been made for the total cost. So, this fake answer to a phony problem is also going to cost us a fortune.
By the way, I watched a clip of Trump at the border being given a briefing by border security. The officer was showing slides of a tunnel they recently discovered under a section of the wall already built. Trump just sat there nodding as if unaware the border agent had just provided one more tunnel undermining his argument for a wall.
No matter to him. It is all a Trump fabrication to shore up his base with a false solution to a mischaracterized problem.