Donald Trump already built his wall – between us
President Donald Trump, in a prime-time address, blamed Democrats for the government shutdown. USA TODAY
Opinion: After two years of nonstop construction, brick by brick, the divide has only gotten higher and more impenetrable.
No one’s mind was changed by Tuesday’s speech by President Donald Trump, or by the Democratic response.
But the speech was a success for Trump.
He wasn’t trying to convince anyone. He was trying only to do what he does best, anger and divide us by way of name-calling, finger-pointing and fearmongering.
It always works.
Brick by brick for two years
The moment Trump announced his candidacy for president, he laid the first brick in a wall between us. After two years of nonstop construction, brick by brick, the divide has only gotten higher and more impenetrable.
And it’s not necessary.
We can have a discussion about border security that is fact-based, threat-assessment based and technologically, ecologically and financially doable.
He doesn’t seem to want that.
Instead, the president has chosen to spread what he knows to be untruths, and those who work for him and those who support a wall don’t seem to care.
Barrier between truth and lies
So now the wall Trump has built between us no longer separates those who believe in a 2,000-mile barrier along the southwest border and those who believe there are better and more secure ways to protect the border.
Now the wall is between truth and lies.
The number of people caught crossing the border is below levels under President Barack Obama according to the government’s own tallies.
Do undocumented migrants commit more crime proportionally than native-born Americans? No.
Even the libertarian Cato Institute points this out. Facts. Not fear.
Will the revamped NAFTA deal with Mexico pay for Trump’s wall? No.
First, the deal must be approved by Congress. That hasn’t happened. Second, even if it is approved the benefits go to private businesses, not the U.S. Treasury.
Not even Fox News is buying the bunk
Are illegal drugs pouring through unwalled border areas? No
The Drug Enforcement Administration says most of the drugs smuggled into the country come through existing ports of entry, not through open spaces along the border. They come in cars and trucks.
Over the weekend, the president’s press secretary Sarah Sanders tried to spread another lie, saying, “We know that roughly nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is southern border.”
Not even Fox News was buying that. Fox host Chris Wallace told her, “I know the statistic. I didn’t know if you were going to use it, but I studied up on this. Do you know what those 4,000 people come where they are captured? Airports.”
At year’s end there was no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established bases in Mexico, worked with Mexican drug cartels, or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.
The real emergency
On the matter of border security there is no disagreement. Everyone wants it.
But shouldn’t it be based on facts? On truth? A crisis, a “national emergency” as the president has suggested, would be obvious. There would be terror in the streets. Chaos. Rampant destruction.
What we have is an ongoing security problem, not an emergency.
At least on the border.
If there is a national emergency it is not going to be fixed by building a wall on the Southwest border but by tearing down the wall Trump already has built.
Reach Montini at email@example.com.
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