Tuesday night Donald Trump held his first address to a joint session of congress. Much of the commentary, after the address and on Wednesday by the talking heads, was on the toning down of Trump’s political rhetoric. To be sure his demeanor was much more subdued. His agenda remains the same, but it seems his hatred has been put in check. I noticed two things that merit further discussion. The first is the wall on the U.S.-México border and the second is on immigration.
Today, I’d like to focus on the wall that is the hallmark of Donald Trump’s hatred of Mexicans and México. Although Trump mentioned building the wall, he did not remind everyone that he expects México to pay for it. Instead, Trump just ignored the payment debate entirely.
Is his failure to mention the payment of the wall the realization that México will not be paying for it? Or, is it just a simple case of not mentioning it because of time constraints or because of political necessities. Paying for the wall has been Trump’s rallying cry since he embarked on demonizing Mexicans. For him not to mention the payment has likely more to do with the new Trump and nothing to do with time constraints.
In late January, Enrique Peña Nieto and Donald Trump, after a bitter back-and-forth that resulted in canceling the scheduled meeting between the two heads of state, both Peña Nieto and Trump agreed not to discuss México paying for the wall publicly.
Since then, Donald Trump has not brought up the payment issue again. Trump did not mention it during his speech on Tuesday night.
However, on Wednesday morning, Mike Pence, during a segment of Good Morning America reiterated that the Trump administration’s position that México will pay for the wall.
Whether this is true or not remains in much dispute.
However, there are two takeaways from Trump’s failure to mention it during his speech.
The first is that he seems to clearly understand that much of his recent troubles have to do with his unrestrained rhetoric of hate, especially against Mexicans.
But, the most important takeaway is the México is not the weakling country that Trump and his supporters think that it is. México has demonstrated that it has the wherewithal to stand against Trump’s hatred of it.
Whether the lack of mentioning the payment of the wall has to do with the agreement between Peña Nieto and Trump not to publicly mention it, or that the new Trump has decided to measure his words in public, or that he has realized it is better to have México as a friend is immaterial because all of those scenarios means that México is starting to flex its muscles against the Trump agenda.
In tomorrow’s edition, I’ll point out how Donald Trump is pivoting in immigration.
In the mean time feel free to share my two posters on your social media channels:
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