Trump is all about fear and anger

Cecil Whig - - OPINION - Ann McFeat­ters Ann McFeat­ters is a colum­nist for Tri­bune News Ser­vice. Read­ers may send her email at am­cfeat­[email protected] na­tion­al­

— On the day Don­ald Trump used the Oval Of­fice to say the na­tion is in cri­sis from peo­ple try­ing to en­ter the United States il­le­gally, he sent a fundrais­ing let­ter to sup­port­ers ask­ing them to give him $500,000 in one day.

This isn’t about bor­der se­cu­rity, which is not a cri­sis. This is not about a costly wall, which no ex­pert says is fea­si­ble or will do any good. This is about cre­at­ing fear and anger. It’s about pol­i­tics. It’s about Trump’s re­elec­tion.

If Trump thought this is a na­tional cri­sis, he would have done some­thing about it dur­ing the two years he has been in of­fice.


If Trump truly cared about na­tional se­cu­rity, he would not en­dan­ger it by not pay­ing air con­trollers and TSA agents. Most would-be ter­ror­ists come by air­plane to le­gal ports. If he cared about bor­der se­cu­rity, he wouldn’t deny funds to the Coast Guard, which in­ter­dicts huge quan­ti­ties of il­le­gal drugs be­fore they get to the coun­try.

If Trump cared about bor­der se­cu­rity, he would worry about the U.S. bor­der with Canada. More sus­pected ter­ror­ists have tried to cross there than at the bor­der with Mex­ico.

If he cared about se­cu­rity, he wouldn’t threaten to take money away from the men and women in the mil­i­tary to use De­fense Depart­ment dol­lars to try to build a wall over hun­dreds of miles of pri­vate land.

If he cared about bor­der se­cu­rity, he would have spent the $1.6 bil­lion he was given last year for bor­der se­cu­rity. He would have ac­cepted a com­pro­mise Repub­li­cans and Democrats alike forged be­fore the hol­i­days or one that would have locked in $25 bil­lion over 10 years for bor­der se­cu­rity.

If he cared about Amer­ica, he would not have put hun­dreds of thou­sands of fam­i­lies in fi­nan­cial jeop­ardy by re­fus­ing to pay fed­eral work­ers, let alone con­sul­tants who won’t get back pay. He alone said on TV that he would “own” a par­tial shut­down of govern­ment. He did it, re­fus­ing a bi­par­ti­san com­pro­mise, be­cause con­ser­va­tive pun­dits mocked him for not honor­ing a spur-of-the-mo­ment cam­paign pledge.

If Trump cared about Amer­ica, he wouldn’t have ru­ined her rep­u­ta­tion abroad as a har­bor for the home­less and des­ti­tute by tear-gassing peo­ple seek­ing le­gal asy­lum, by tak­ing chil­dren from their par­ents, by brand­ing whole groups of peo­ple as un­wanted.

If he cared about Amer­ica, he would have ac­cepted the com­pro­mise to let Dream­ers -un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants brought here as chil­dren- stay in this coun­try. Now they are in limbo, ter­ri­fied of de­por­ta­tion.

If he cared about Amer­ica, Trump would not have told more than 6,000 doc­u­mented lies in of­fice, in­clud­ing say­ing he had al­ready start­ing build­ing a wall. No, he has not. He has done lit­tle to im­prove bor­der se­cu­rity dur­ing two years in of­fice ex­cept hire more bor­der guards. He has not put forth any com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form plan nor en­cour­aged any new leg­is­la­tion from Con­gress.

De­spite Trump’s claim, there is no “un­con­trolled il­le­gal mi­gra­tion” into this coun­try. The num­ber has steadily de­clined for decades. What is new and sad is that thou­sands of women and chil­dren try­ing to escape gangs and poverty in Latin Amer­ica and South Amer­ica try­ing to get to the U.S. are now be­ing held in dread­ful con­di­tions in Mex­ico.

Drug car­tels trans­fer most il­le­gal drugs to this coun­try on peo­ple ad­mit­ted through le­gal ports of en­try. A wall would not change that. Most opi­oid drugs such as fen­tanyl are com­ing from China through air­ports. No wall would change that.

The ex­perts con­sider walls in­ef­fec­tive. They ad­vo­cate tak­ing ad­van­tage of new tech­nol­ogy. But that’s not what Trump promised his sup­port­ers; he promised a con­crete wall that would stretch 2,000 miles. So when White House aides said he didn’t re­ally mean that, he ex­ploded and said that, yes, that is what he meant. And means.

What he wants is a way to save face, a way to keep his sup­port­ers ad­dicted to his pe­cu­liar brand of out­rage, the­atrics and re­sent­ment. He wants an­other White House term, even if it comes at the cost of a govern­ment shut­down af­fect­ing mil­lions and sul­ly­ing Amer­ica’s im­age in the world.

There is a word this: pa­thetic. for all

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