Is Donald Trump politically tone deaf or just reckless?
If you paid attention to the establishment media last week, you’re probably wondering the same thing. The president pulled back from his threat to close the border with our southern neighbors if Mexican leaders didn’t do more to quell the massive wave of illegal aliens and drugs over their northern boundary. Journalists — including a couple conservative commentators — treated the action as though America retreated from its last ditch while hastily preparing to raise the white surrender flag.
In essence Trump did what the swampy establishment begged him to do — tone down his rhetoric and allow the status quo to perpetuate long enough until someone does something to fix the immigration problem (no one other than Trump ever would) — but the boo birds couldn’t resist expressing their foul displeasure at what looked like another boastful Trumpian warning meeting its logical conclusion when pitted against the powerful and unaccommodating elites.
Without support from his party’s congressional leaders the president had no choice. All options were bad, so Trump at least took one with a possible silver lining — an ultimatum. Rick Moran reported at PJ Media, “Donald Trump gave ground on his threat to close the border this week, saying that Mexico had one year to stop the flow of drugs and migrants into the U.S. or he would slap tariffs on cars manufactured there and close the border.
“Trump told reporters at the White House, ‘We’re going to give them a one-year warning and if the drugs don’t stop or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars. And if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border.’
“Trump’s threat to shut the U.S. border with Mexico came in response to the ever-growing number of Central American asylum seekers who are traveling the entire length of Mexico to show up at the U.S. border. The president called out Mexico for not enforcing their own immigration laws.”
Was there anything untrue or wrong about what Trump said? Does Mexico not have stringent immigration laws that it’s obviously disregarding while permitting hundreds of thousands of central Americans to cross the entire length of the country every year to reach the border with California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas? Couldn’t/shouldn’t the Mexicans be doing more? Similarly, aren’t the Mexican authorities doing precious little to stamp out the powerful drug cartels operating virtually sanction-free within the confines of their territory?
This subject has become controversial, but it needn’t be. The Constitution instructs Congress to set policy and fund it — including regulating our borders — and the president executes the laws. If questions arise, the federal courts interpret the statutes and issue orders to clarify or enforce them. Countless laws dealing with immigration already exist and past presidents to one degree or another either attempted to faithfully administer them or pulled back, callously letting the situation explode out of control.
But facts don’t lie — if apprehensions of illegal newcomers shot up to more than a hundred thousand in March alone, it means more and more foreigners see it as worthwhile and productive to try and jump the border seeking asylum. What’s the worst that can happen to them? A few bus rides and a couple hours in handcuffs while enjoying free food and doctoring for the kids. One might wonder why there aren’t more making the journey?
Then Trump proposes to do something about the crisis and his political adversaries — Democrats, the media and #NeverTrumpers — can’t restrain themselves from criticizing. Sadly but not unexpectedly, the border situation trumped other more newsworthy items last week, like the U.S. economy’s adding almost 200,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate holding steady at a near full-employment 3.8 percent. This and other positive developments should lead every media feature, but instead they’re tucked down beneath the sensational stuff.
Trump’s economic policies are working so well America’s draw is stronger than ever. Don’t we have a say about who gets in and who stays? Isn’t this essentially what Trump is arguing?
Impatient conservative firebrand Ann Coulter piled on as well, tweeting, “HEY! Who bet me that @realDonaldTrump was actually going to ‘close the border’?” Is such sharp criticism warranted? Is Trump not doing enough to fulfill his campaign promises?
No one ever said being president was easy but it’s clear Trump’s done everything in his power to address the illegal immigration problem and satisfy the people who voted for him by the millions precisely because he represented America’s last best hope to bring the border under control. Trump repeatedly indicated he was serious about closing the border… but no one else saw it that way. Granted, Trump’s done a number of things no other politician would dare do — like move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in Israel — but through sheer necessity he’s occasionally gone to extremes to make points. Otherwise nothing gets done.
Should Trump instead have spoken something more like, “We’ll continue doing what we’ve done for years and hopefully the aliens will just stop coming. Mexico’s a great friend and ally and they might do more but it’s really tough and we understand completely.”
Meanwhile, most Democrats continue the ruse that there’s not even a crisis to begin with. The border leaks like a sieve but it’s no great worry to a party bent on doing anything and everything to deny Trump a public relations victory.
Ever since Ronald Reagan left office the United States has become entirely too predictable. Yes, George H.W. Bush launched the first Gulf War, Bill Clinton lobbed cruise missiles at easy targets, George W. Bush used military might to wage the “War on Terror” and Obama waffled on his “line in the sand” — but foreign leaders understand most of the bluster coming from Washington is just that, substance-free hot air.
Trump changed the dynamic. In the process, he’s battled the worldly impression that America won’t do whatever it takes to protect its borders. It’s an uphill battle. And if he does do something, like agree to shut down the government to force Congress to fund a border wall, nothing but condemnation and blame ensues.
Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer wrote at Politico Magazine, “[T]he shutdown had revealed another great paradox of Donald John Trump: He often bragged about how big of a Republican he was, but he always seemed taken by the other party and its leaders. He cut deals with them, often projecting that he was willing to abandon the set of principles that got him elected in pursuit of bipartisan achievements, before being yanked back by his party…
“’They’re [Democrats] lousy politicians, they’re lousy on policy, they got the worst ideas in the world, but they stick together,’ Trump said of the Democrats in late November, just weeks before the shutdown. ‘And the Republicans do not stick together as well, OK? There’s no question about it. And I respect them for that, and I tell the Republicans that. I say, ‘These people stick together. Even if it’s bad, they stick together.’”
Predictably the Politico writers sold Trump as obsessed with whatever’s being said about him on Fox News to the point where he vacillates on policy, in addition to being obtuse for ignoring Paul Ryan’s and Mitch McConnell’s sage advice to cave on border wall funding — again. The GOP ruling class leaders wanted to live and fight another day, like they always do. Instead, Trump apparently accepted the counsel of Freedom Caucus members Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan and held out, triggering the government shutdown.
Sherman’s and Palmer’s was a sickeningly biased and slanted version of what happened before the closure (which again, no one talks about anymore). They depicted Ryan, Nancy Pelosi and “Chucky” Schumer as wise counselors trying to persuade Trump to see sound reason and his hopeless bargaining position. The story almost amounted to tabloid-like sensationalism.
We can’t depend on the media to report on the true situation at the border and the impossible negotiating position Congress forced on President Trump. Closing the border is the last and most drastic step to finally move Trump’s opponents off their rocks. Will they ever do it?
Veterans In Defense Of Liberty – Vidol