So as the US nears its most historic (longest) government shutdown, it is probably worth noting that Trump’s approach to the issue of the wall has changed. It is still one of the only campaign promises he made that he is somewhat dedicated to, but now even his support base must realise how unfeasible the wall really is and how dangerous this shutdown will be for ordinary Americans.
There is endless criticism about the wall, so I won’t go in depth about it. Key points are:
- It will not stop the flow of immigrants, legal or otherwise,
- It will not prevent drug trafficking across the border any more than the current border system,
- The cost to build it would far exceed the planned amount, plus the cost of maintenance will endure beyond that as yet another unnecessary burden on future generations,
- The current wave of people coming up from Central America are NOT even illegal immigrants, but people legally seeking asylum (ironically) in the country that caused them to flee in the first place.
The important development from this week, however (other than the length of the shutdown), is that Trump has dropped his lie about who will be paying for the wall. All throughout his campaign in 2016 he had crowds literally chanting ‘Mexico’ as he repeated the question “Who’s paying for the wall?” This slowly shifted from Mexico funding the wall to them paying back the US who was going to strongarm them into it by funding it themselves and then throwing Mexico the bill. Now, as if the last three years of promises meant nothing (who would have imagined?), Trump is denying that he ever said that Mexico was going to pay. It is 100% the US taxpayer who is taking on this burden, and Mexico was apparently never part of the equation.
The majority of people do not even want the wall built; an even higher number (around 75% if I recall correctly) do not want the wall if the cost is as high as it is. This is an important figure even if it is a little high, because that bites into Trump’s estimated base. The longer this circus of an administration continues, the more people are starting to realise that the man they elected is not only unhinged but has been lying to them for years. They seemed fine when his promise to back the US out of international conflicts fell through. They supported him as the Republicans weren’t even able to revoke the ACA, let alone agree on their own alternative. But the wall was a constant that many clung to, and now that dedication has been in vain.
Trump’s wall, from the start, was an absurd idea, but it is good to see that his own supporters are now starting to question the legitimacy of his claims. One can only hope the rest, who by now firmly believe Mexico wasn’t paying for the wall despite years of videos and statements proving otherwise, will come around too. Eventually.
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