Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Border Wall Bailout

This weeks Government drama will be passing a budget to keep the government functioning. The president is threatening to veto any bill that does not give him 1.4 billion dollars for the border wall. During his campaign he insisted that Mexico would pay for it. Now the story is that Mexico will reimburse us for it.
Meanwhile, the building of the wall is opposed by 62 percent of Americans with only 34 percent in favor. So, he doesn't have taxpayer support and it appears he is far short of the support he needs in Congress. In reaction, his spokespeople are using a now familiar line of attack which is that people just aren't accepting that he won the election.
Actually, there are several things he is failing to accept. First, he did not win by a majority and second that this is a democracy, not an aristocracy. He was not crowned to rule. He is called to serve and to serve ALL citizens not just the ones who elected him. Many of his supporters appear to be quite confused about that as well.
While his policies are highly popular with a minority who voted for him, (except when they realize personal implications) they are extremely unpopular with those who did not vote for him. So unpopular, that a sleeping giant has awakened and is rising up against him. Unlike him, this giant represents the majority and congress is well aware of it. Many in congress are faced with a difficult choice, side with this administration and enact policies that are against the will of the majority and get crushed by the giant, or break ranks and start actually representing the whole of their constituents. They are not yet sure about this new giant.
Governing is not easy - especially in a democracy and in a way that preserves a democracy. It's hard and requires reaching compromise and consensus with a long term vision of what is truly best for the nation. Yes, there will be unpopular choices that are actually good for the nation. But if those choices are based in fact and reason, and show results, citizens can come around.
This border wall is not based on fact and reason. It's as irrational as was the promise that Mexico would pay for it. Now demanding that it be funded by taxpayers or he'll shut down the government is also irrational. Congress needs to focus on an actual budget that serves the needs of the country not the ego of someone who suddenly realizes that he needs taxpayers to bail him out of a campaign promise he couldn't possibly keep.

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