That’s the image our current commander-in-chief seems to be cultivating. He has surrounded himself with generals, cavalierly threatened war with all “bad hombres,” drastically bulked up military spending, and imperiously slapped foreign leaders, people, and nations with demeaning tweets and public rants. Posing as Patton-on-the-Potomac, Trump is out to “Make America Feared Again.”
How’s that working out? Look south, to Mexico. Our bellicose president has repeatedly blasted Mexicans as marauding thieves, murderers, and rapists. Adding injury to insult, Trump pledged to seal-off Mexico by building an 1,800-mile-long, 30-foot high, “big, beautiful wall.” But the Big Man and his Big Wall are crumbling in the face of reality. Start with the cost: $21.6 billion! The congressional leaders of Trump’s own party couldn’t choke down a number that big, so the interim budget agreement they passed in April provided exactly zero dollars to start building his wall.
Then there’s the reality of illegal entry into our country. First, two-thirds of undocumented people living here enter legally, zipping through customs with a valid visa. Then, when their visa expires, they just stay here. No wall will affect this big majority of immigrants – they would walk through or fly over Trump’s massive monument to futility. Second, these days, most people crossing the Mexican border illegally are not Mexicans, but Central Americans, especially children fleeing gangs that are routinely kidnapping, raping, and murdering kids. Furthermore, the fastest growth in illegal immigration is not from Latinos, but people from Asian nations.
Far from making America feared, much less “great” – Trump’s foolish belligerence is making him a global laughingstock.
“Border wall logic riddled with holes,” Austin American Statesman, April 9, 2017.
“Trump Is Said to Abandon Contentious Border Tax on Imports,” New York Times, April 25, 2017.