The president’s speech last night was the best example of fear mongering I have seen in a long time and I taught Public Speaking for over 25-years. I watched it, along with the Democratic rebuttal and the analysis from a number of news organizations, including the usually conservative New York Times and Fox News. They all, without exception, panned the president’s presentation.
The fact-checking was immediate, honest and direct. The president’s numbers of those crossing the southern border were wrong, the number of “illegal aliens” committing crimes was inflated and drugs are coming through legal ports-of-call, not through the wilderness and backcountry of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The actual number of arrests of those crossing without documentation has dropped over the last ten years.
CBS News reported that nine congressional representatives in the border states are against funding the border wall, including one Republican. They want more money for beefing up the port-of-calls with more and better technology and border control officers.
However, I believe that the VOX.com headline said it all: “The real crisis is that Trump has no idea what he’s doing.”
Now, this should not be news to you. For the most part, “nones” (atheists, agnostics and unaffiliated) are liberals and independents. Yes, we have Republicans and Libertarians in our small but growing group of voters, but for the most part, we are left leaning.
It also should not surprise you to learn that the number of citizens who are against the wall has risen even before the 9-minute speech and the president’s strident base was not moved to the political center concerning the building of the wall. Because the major news networks and cable news are considered “fake news,” many Trumpsters believe that the Dems planned some sort of conspiracy against the president.
What the president did not say made as much noise as his speech itself. He did not offer any new compromise, he did not offer any new ideas and, most of all, and he did not declare a national emergency so he could build his wall using discretionary arm forces funds.
A lot of people are critical of the mainstream and cable news networks for airing the president’s speech when they did not air President Obama’s speech on the same subject. This was one of those “damn if you do, damn if you don’t” situations that is becoming a norm under this administration. By airing the speech, many liberals and progressives are angry. By not airing the speech, the news networks would have been considered left-wing partisans. However, with the unprecedented coverage and instant analysis, I believe the news channels have redeemed themselves.
The “crisis” at the southern border is a conspiracy that many Trump supporters and Christian-conservatives find easy to buy into. Many are homophobic, anti-immigration and just plain bigoted. But not all Trumpsers was that way. Some have seen the light and are turning away from the president.
According to a Reuters’ poll taken the first week of January, “51% of Americans believe Trump “deserves most of the blame” for the shutdown. It found a that 41% support a border wall, but only 25% support Trump’s keeping the government closed as a means to secure funding for the wall.”
How does this translate into the 2020 election cycles? Many believe that if the shutdown lasts much longer and the numbers increase on Trump holding the blame, his chances for re-election would be slim to none. “The Shutdown is only because of the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump tweeted last week, claiming that the Democrats are flagrantly using the shutdown to their political advantage.
But the 2018 mid-terms were a referendum on the wall and the continued misinformation coming from the White House. Trump is still blaming the Democrats for the shutdown even after he told Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, in front of the press and cameras, that he, Trump, would take the full blame for the shutdown. This statement alone is having many looking behind the curtain to see the true Trump, the liar, braggart and bigot that he truly is.
Yes, the right-wing conservative Christians will again back the president in 2020, believing him to be chosen by their god as our nation’s leader. However, many will see the light and no longer forgive the president of his actions and statements since deciding to become President of the United States in 2015.
Someone will have to bend in this fight over the wall and budget. The Dems are introducing legislation that would reopen the government without the $5,700,000,000 Trump wants for his wall. Will the president agree to this tactic? It is truly doubtful. Once the hackles on his neck have raised, once there is a political fight brewing, Trump is like a pit-bull, not wanting to let go.
The money can be put to better use. Start to fix America’s infrastructure, shoring up Social Security and Medicare systems, or providing free tuition are junior colleges for anyone who wants to attend. I can think of many more important projects to be completed by this administration than to build that silly wall along our southern border.
In short, he lied, he lied, he lied.