The Donald Trump Wall Folly

Donald Trump made many promises to his voters leading up to the election. Trump promised you that he would bring his business acumen and negotiating skills to Washington and work diligently to deliver the promises he made to you within the first 100 days of being in office. How’d that work out for you?

Trump can only claim two delivered promises, the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the tax reform package he signed a few days ago. How much voters will appreciate the tax reform package is still up for debate. But the promises of abolishing the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, and building a wall on the U.S.-México border have remained unfulfilled.

Although the healthcare mandate has been abolished for 2019, ObamaCare remains intact. The Wall, however, remains illusive for Donald Trump. As evidenced by Trump’s insistence that México pretends it will pay for the wall, Trump sees the wall as the signature item he feels he must deliver.

But it has been almost a year and the wall is no closer to being built, not withstanding the mockups. Even though Trump’s party controls both houses of Congress, there are not enough Republicans willing to alienate Mexicans because their jurisdictions depend on Mexican trade. Texas, for example, depends on the Mexican trade for its economy. México has been clear that it opposes the symbolism the wall represents and will likely retaliate against those congressmen that vote to fund the wall.

There are Donald Trump supporters that will likely point to the declining immigration apprehensions as the raison d’état for the wall. But, immigration flows are governed by many factors, including the availability of jobs and the economy within the source country. To equate declining immigration apprehensions with the threat of the wall is disingenuous.

Nonetheless, the original stated purpose of the wall was securing the U.S. borders from external threats. The numerous examples of recent massacres and terrorism within the borders of the U.S. prove that the real threat to the United States lies not on the U.S.-México border but from somewhere else.

But the threat of the wall has been destructive to the U.S.-México relationship and has strained the Mexican economy. It has created a level of animosity that wasn’t needed and has distracted the U.S. from the real threat from other areas of the world.

Ultimately, I still believe that the wall will never be built. But the cost to the safety of the United States because of Trump’s unwarranted attacks upon Mexicans is immeasurable. That is the legacy that Donald Trump has created and likely will leave when he leaves office.