President Donald J. Trump’s presidency has been marked by scandal, federal investigations, and now his infamous wall, but how have we arrived at this point, and why does this seem to be the “new normal?”
To examine the situation accurately, we first need to address how we got to such a point in American politics: the 2016 presidential election cycle. The promise of an incredible border wall to keep out the foreigners was one of Trump’s selling points, one of his “battle cries” to the xenophobic “basket of deplorables,” as his opponent Hillary Clinton called them. When asked what his plan was for funding such a wall, he came back with a bill addressed to Mexico. This idea was absurd for a number of reasons: his border wall would be national infrastructure, which is our responsibility, the Mexican government doesn’t have the money to pay for such a wall, and the United States has no authority to charge Mexico with the cost of this wall. So why did the lunacy continue?
Trump’s wall was guaranteed by tactics employed by dictators throughout history, and these tactics have created the cult of Trump. These are your far right conservatives who wear crimson hats declaring “Make America Great Again,” a phrase used by the first modern conservative president Ronald Reagan in 1980s to describe the situation of the time: a time of economic ruin and stagflation. Trump hijacked this phrase in his campaign to ignite a portion of the population who longed for the days of Reagan, but unfortunately, Trump’s presidency doesn’t even come close to the political climate that is long since past. Hillary Clinton, in her 2016 presidential campaign criticized the use of this slogan by Trump as a promise to whites in the South to “give an economy (they) had 50 years ago.”
The cult got him elected and the first two years of his presidency are marred by controversy after controversy. However, the most bizarre part of this half-term is that Republicans have control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, but the border wall did not become an “emergency” until after the Democratic Party took control of the House of Representatives. One should ask: why did they not put more energy into the wall when they had nearly absolute certainty of receiving it?
As mentioned, Trump initially wanted Mexico to pay for the wall, and when he found out that was not possible, he turned the gun on the American people. After the infamous government shut down (which is still going on), a GoFundMe donation drive to help pay for the wall was started by cult of Trump member Brian Kolfage and the rest of the cult followed suit. Even when Trump falters on his promises, his base follows him regardless of facts or logic.
America needs to watch out in the matter of the border wall. Trump’s wall received $1.6 billion by Congress in March 2018, an amount that did not even come close to meeting the construction of a strong concrete border barrier, and characterized by Trump as a “down payment.” Trump later in the year proceeded to hold the American people hostage by refusing to sign any spending bill that did not have $5 billion for his border wall.
President Trump has committed egregious acts against the American people by deliberately prolonging this shutdown. He is attempting to embezzle money from the American taxpayer by lying and destroying the lives of the electorate he claims to represent. This wall is just an attempt for Trump to acquire money with absolutely no work, and anyone who believes he remotely cares about border security needs to wake up and smell the concrete.