While at a tax reform roundtable in Ohio on Saturday, Trump went on a fairly standard-issue riff on border security and immigration, with the predictable gripes over inaction from Congress and missed opportunities to obtain funding for the wall. The media seized on one of the unscripted comments typical of the president that “we may need to close up the country.” This prompted the usual deluge of sensational headlines across the spectrum in a lively gaslighting display we’ve come to expect from the media.
From the media’s lips to Trump’s ears.
Of course, once you listen to the actual clip (I was inoculated against these headlines because I heard it live on the radio as it aired) you quickly realize the media is reaching levels of context denial that shouldn’t even be possible.
“We are fixing and building walls now, but we need much more money to do the job right … we’re gonna do the job and we may have to close up our country to get this straight because we either have a country or we don’t.”
As the president has stated in recent weeks, he intends to shut down government on September 30th if wall funds are not included as part of the CR. For those of you out in Rio Rhinelander, that stands for “Continuing Resolution” and this is what he is somewhat hamfistedly referring to here.
In Trumpspeak, “close up the country” really means “shutting down the government,” though we’d all prefer it really meant quite literally closing the borders.
What was the purpose of this gaslighting effort by the media you might ask? It was twofold:
First and foremost, to electrify a Democratic base reeling from the sobering reality that impeachment isn’t coming anytime soon. The media know a broad swath of low info voters on the left won’t bother to see the context of the quote and run with the narrative that evil, racist, orange Trump wants to shutter the country to the 3rd world. (If only!)
Second, low-info voters on the right will pick up their narrative and run with it, thus signal-boosting their first objective.
One glaring blindspot in their strategy is that closed borders are what a majority of Americans really want: zero illegal immigration and highly limited legal immigration for those who do not hail from Shithole Countries™. And it might not be a bad idea to just shut the whole thing down for a while until we can figure out what the hell is going on.
We are a nation under siege. You know it. I know it. The hordes invading our country definitely know it.
With the caravan already becoming a yet another embarrassing blunder, Trump should call the media’s bluff and take significant steps to stop further incursions on our border. Doing so would be easy, as Catch-and-Release is not existing law, but merely unofficial protocol that is followed by ICE and CBP at the direction of DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen. Trump can order this change at any time and the DHS Secretary can set the policy just as easily to Catch-and-Detain, or even better, Catch-and-Return. She can clear existing detention centers of anyone who qualifies for Expedited Removal (under current law, that’s virtually anyone who isn’t claiming asylum) and send them all back. If necessary, use FEMA to setup additional detention centers while immigration judges are staffed up in order to clear out the backlog.
Trump could wake up tomorrow and suspend NAFTA negotiations until Mexico upholds its end of the bargain on immigration. He could also impose economic sanctions on Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatamala, indexing the severity of the sanctions to the number of illegals that have been returned to their respective countries. Though even these are nothing more than stopgap measures, they would be effective and pay immediate dividends while a substantial lobbying effort is set in motion using the DACA suit as leverage to force action from Congress.
We elected a transformative president who promised to challenge the status quo in Washington. Ultimately, immigration should be nothing more than an administrative issue and 3rd world dregs should never have been afforded the same constitutional rights and protections we enjoy as U.S. Citizens.
If not Trump, who? And if not now, when?