Brian Karem for Playboy on Trump's Government Shutdown

The Trump Doctrine: A Wall Is Sexy; Compromise Is Not

The president's visit to the Texas-Mexico border has done little to advance resolve

Mcml xxxiii

The president’s recent trip to the Texas-Mexico border, a move he'd previously declared to be a waste of time, accomplished what we all feared would happen should Donald Trump ever roll into south Texas. Once again, he began telling us how crimes, drugs, gangs and roving caravans of bad hombres were decimating the countryside. Should Trump have added that we were likely to be invaded by zombies if we don’t build his $5 billion wall, he probably would’ve had better luck changing minds. After all, no one wants a zombie invasion.

But Trump stuck to his tried yet untrue script of fear and aimed it at his base. His is a fear predicated on the idea that forces beyond our control are out to do us all in. Think of E.T. with an AK-47, a duffel bag full of heroin and a desire to flip a gang sign and you have the idea.

When CNN reporter Jim Acosta tweeted a video about his laconic experience along the border in advance of the president’s arrival, Trump took time to tweet back, “Dear Diary. . .” Others, including the president’s son and the press secretary, tweeted sarcastic comments.

It is amazing how Acosta and the reporters in this country seem to live rent free in Trump’s head, but even more amazing how childish, sarcastic and mean-spirited our country has become that many people cheered the president for taking such a low road. Meanwhile, others who understand the scam of the border wall debate wonder why we couldn’t just send our thoughts and prayers to the border, like when there’s a mass shooting.
Trump does deserve points for putting the border problem front and center.
Me? I miss Rositas. It was a great little restaurant in Laredo and one of my favorite places to eat when I lived there. It's gone now. What still exists are the real problems along the border that have always plagued it: Poverty, lack of health care, failing or nonexistent infrastructure and poor education. Trump’s monumental wall, to his own callow existence, will not solve the problems that have been a part of the border since the Monroe Doctrine. The United States created this mess and building a wall to hold it back won’t solve the problem.

Trump does deserve points for putting the border problem front and center. I’ve covered this area since the early 1980s and most administrations pay little if any heed to it, and that is part of the reason why it resonates so much among the members of Trump’s base. Everyone knows there’s a problem, but no one really wants to deal with it. Legitimate concerns are met by slogans and political games from both parties.

But drugs will not be stopped by a wall. Since there is a demand for drugs in this country, if building a wall has any effect, and somehow manages to stem the flow of drugs, it would only serve to raise the price of those drugs by decreasing the supply and thus bringing with it the threat of new violence as prices rise—the exact opposite result Trump and the Democrats want.
Drowning In a Swamp at the Border

If they want to keep out undesirables and drugs, most are smuggled in at ports of entry anyway, via boats, false walls in trucks, stacking illegal aliens like cordwood in U-Haul trailers and other nefarious ways. Cracking down at points of entry first would make more sense. But the truth is, you will never get rid of drugs as long as there is a demand for them.

That is why states across the country are legalizing marijuana and taxing it. Governments have never found a revenue stream, once tapped, they could let go of, so our nation is destined to enjoy legal weed at some point in the future.

Meanwhile, in Mission, Texas, Trump posed with Border Patrol officials, smiling and threatening to bring down the presidential hammer. He seemed to be closer to declaring a national emergency and continued his same tired rant aimed at those who already believe and many who do not know.

“This is common sense,” the president told us. “They need a barrier. They need a wall.” Without one, he said, there will be “death.”

The list of those who are being exploited and manipulated over a silly, useless wall continues to mount.
Common sense is not in use here, but would sorely be welcomed. The truth is life is already fairly cheap on the border. Gas is less than $2.00 a gallon. A home that would cost more than $1 million elsewhere goes for less than half of that. Those who live and work along the U.S.-Mexico border consists of millions of people who work longer, get paid less and have less than rudimentary access to healthcare. Their lives are cheap. They are grist for the mill; the modern day slave worker who makes sure you don’t pay $10 for a head of lettuce but are unwanted otherwise. Our economy couldn’t function without these workers, but no one wants to acknowledge they exist.

Many younger people here live futile lives: no education, no skills. If you’re truly worried about gang problems, take away the impetus which drives hopeless people into lives of dangerous despair. Educate them. Employ them. Give them healthcare. That would cure most of the ills of those who live here. If you say you want to Make America Great Again, you should make it a project worth pursuing.

There is no punch in that line of thinking however. It doesn’t have the snap of a "big wall." It isn’t an issue broken down into a simple campaign slogan or an online meme. It is a complicated issue exasperated by the fact that our foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere has created the refugees.
Why Militarizing the Border Will Launch a Culture War

We own this. We told the rest of the world long ago to stay out of the Western Hemisphere and this is what we got with our ineptitude during the last two centuries. We have never stepped up to the plate to accept our responsibility, so why should those who’ve been the recipient of our less-than-good will respect a wall? They’ll tunnel under it, go around it, use a ladder and drive right through it if they don’t saw and cut their way through it.

But if the president of the United States wants to declare a national emergency at the border, I for one would be all for it...provided he recognize the actual emergency and begin pumping money into infrastructure, education and healthcare. Otherwise, what’s the point?

He won’t do that. It’s not as sexy and simple as a wall. This is a wall the president hopes guarantees his re-election in 2020. Ann Coulter shot off her big mouth and kept Trump from compromising on this issue more than four weeks ago. He is now painted into a corner. TSA agents have called out sick, increasing wait times at security check points in airports around the country. More than 4,000 federal employees have filed for unemployment. More than 370,000 employees have been furloughed. Eight hundred thousand employees didn't receive their first pay checks after the Christmas holiday. People are being forced to go without; some may lose their homes or find themselves unable to pay rent. All because they work for the federal government. Seniors are suffering, as are military veterans. The list of those who are being exploited and manipulated over a silly, useless wall continues to mount.

The president won’t budge. Even as his approval rating dips below 40 percent, he wants that wall. A wall that, if built, will be nothing more than a monument to American stupidity.

Related Topics

Explore Categories