THIS weekend marks the second anniversary of Donald J Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States of America and maybe, just maybe, some of the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost as he seems to be losing sight of reason and reality in his determination to get a wall between the US and Mexico built at all costs.
Shutting down government services for more than three weeks and leaving some 800,000 workers without paycheques in a fit of pique because the Democrats – who now hold the majority in the House of Representatives – won’t approve the more than .7bn he wants this year towards building the infamous wall seems churlish. They have offered .3bn dollars instead to beef up border security.
The overall cost of the almost 2,000-mile-long wall along the border has been estimated to cost somewhere between bn and bn and, even though he is denying it now, Trump campaigned for the presidency, promising that he would make Mexico pay the full cost. Speaking at Trump Tower in New York in 2015, he clearly stated: ‘I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.’
This made his denial last week rather disingenuous at very least, especially as it came just hours after White House strategic communications director Mercedes Schlapp had told CNN that the wall would have to be paid for by US taxpayers.
In trying to get his way, President Trump has thrown out all sorts of spurious arguments – his own version of fake news – one being that there is a crisis along the US-Mexico border, but this contradicts statistics which indicate that the number of illegal crossings is a only a fraction of what they were in 2000. He also argued the wall was needed to combat the smuggling of illegal drugs but the facts would indicate that most of this is done through air and sea ports.
His default position if he doesn’t get his way is to declare a national emergency over the issue, which would be nothing short of ludicrous, but then nothing this man does should surprise us. Trump’s token gesture of sitting down to negotiate with the Democrats was a bit of a farce as he stormed out when he wasn’t getting his way about the wall.
With such a leader, it’s a case of God help America!