The conventional logic here seems to be President Trump is insistent on getting $5 plus billion for his wall between some parts of the U.S. and Mexico because it would be an issue in the 2020 election if he fails. I would suggest it will be an issue in the 2020 election no matter what happens, and even a bigger issue if he succeeds.
Here is why.
The only people who believe what Trump has to say about the wall are the chunk of Republicans, perhaps more than half and perhaps not, who believe people coming from the south over the border are a threat to the nation’s security.
But most people only care about the issue at this point to the degree at which it has some effect on their lives. That would be federal employees who are not getting paid, people who depend on immigrants for labor and those Republicans who think Trump is a gift from Gawd (see Franklin Graham) who should be backed at any cost on whatever he wants.
The whole “Devil brigades from the south” argument simply doesn’t work because there is no legitimate document anywhere that shows the immigrants are a big threat to the public order. That is not to say they have not committed crimes, or maybe even a lot of crimes in some places. But we have law enforcement to deal with that. We don’t need a big wall.
It would do nothing to stop determined immigrants, in the first place, or criminals, in the second place, who know all about how to get into America from lots of different venues. A wall will have no effect on the people in the “first place” group, because they are determined, and in the “second place” group because they are criminals, a small but troublesome collection of folks.
So say it actually gets built. (It would take a good deal of time to construct a big shiny wall.) All it will take to make the whole project as ludicrous as it actually seems would be for someone to get into the U. S. from a southern locale and commit a big crime. Or at least bad crime. What good did your wall do you in that case?
The problem with drugs is not access to the border. The problem with drugs is demand in a nation that seems to have lost its larger purpose. I think it is heartbreaking that little boys and girls are pumping heroin into their veins so they can feel good and high. To my mind, the question is why can’t they feel good without a chemical? Could it be that they have seen the history of generations of Americans who filled their aching psyches with oodles of prescription drugs to feel good? Because they got their dope from a guy in a lab coat at Walgreens makes no difference to the thinking person. Dope is dope is dope.
That is not a border problem that will be solved with a wall.
And the president is a liar if he suggests that it is, but where’s the news in that assessment? It used to be radical to call a president a liar, almost as though you would sit at home at night and wait for a knock from the secret service. President Trump has changed all that by being a liar. No one is surprised by this any more.
Instead of agitating for or against a wall, we should be agitating for a conversation, a national conversation, about what this nation is about. We know all the mythologies, and they are rapidly evaporating in the face of realities they can’t address. We need to be talking about what kind of people we need to be, once again. Rich clearly isn’t the answer. Powerful is also a delusional choice.
Good would be a nice start.
And we don’t need a wall for that.