Trump went on prime time television tonight to appeal directly to the American public regarding the border wall with Mexico and the partial government shutdown. A high point was his quote (paraphrased a bit) “They say a wall is immoral but why do wealthy politicians build a wall around their houses? It’s not because they hate the people on the outside, it’s because they love the people on the inside.”
He called the situation at the border a humanitarian crisis, providing such details that one of every three women is raped on the passage, and how children are used and abused by “coyotes” who herd illegals over the border.
Trump emphasized that his plan for the $5.7 billion was not only for the ‘wall’ (now a steel barrier, at the behest of Democrats), but for electronic detection measures and more border patrol personnel. His plan has been vetted by Border Patrol Agents (the final word in border security), and is what they want and need.
He noted that this is being paid for indirectly by the trade deal with Mexico, referring to recent renegotiations of the NAFTA agreement that have gone in America’s favor.
Trump went on to mention that Democrats have been in favor of a wall in the past, and changed their mind only after he was elected President. He has invited them to a 45 minute meeting at the White House tomorrow and hopes that they can “rise above partisan politics.”
In closing, he said this was a “choice between right and wrong, between justice and injustice” and called upon everyone to contact their Representatives and Senators.
Democrat leaders Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer gave a brief, but cutting response after President Trump’s speech.
Pelosi accused Trump of misinformation and malice, being cruel and counterproductive, and of holding hostage critical services.
Schumer claimed that this was because Trump failed to get Mexico to fund the wall, and that “we don’t govern by temper tantrum.” He called for Trump to give up on his “ineffective, expensive wall.”
He said Trump was attempting to govern by “fear, not facts” and then ironically claimed that farmer were not getting loans they desperately need, and people were unable to get mortgages (clear fear-mongering…).
Editor’s commentary: The nature of propaganda is unfortunately that messages are judged by their emotional content, their reach, and their volume, not their logic, relevance or the effectiveness of the content.
I side squarely with the President in this case, a wall is a necessary physical barrier. The best security is in layers and consists of physical, electronic and administrative components. I also believe this has historic repercussions in the long term as third world populations grow and the pressure on our border becomes greater.
I find the Democrats arguments to be thin and insubstantial, a clear shot at the President’s agenda for strictuly political purpose, at great cost to the American people.
Dan Crenshaw tweeted this today, which seems to capture the moment most perfectly.
Definition of Border Denialism:
1) The belief that physical barriers can simply be “climbed over”…just like that.
2) The belief that there’s “no real problem” on the border because 400,000 illegals apprehended on border per year is “insignificant.”
3) The belief that because you can’t put a wall everywhere (i.e. the Rio Grande), that you should, therefore, put a wall nowhere.