Donald Trump was in El Paso last night. I can’t tell you much because the coverage was lackluster on national television. I had to sit through Fox News to watch Trump’s remarks. Obviously, The Wall reared its ugly head again. Not only is the fence NOT a wall, but Trump had the audacity to say that a wall is being built right smack in the middle of the Rio Grande, as he spoke last night.
Since Trump is a proven serial liar, the fence that is not a wall on the El Paso border and the fake wall being finished isn’t enough for Trump. Now, instead of “build the wall” signage and chants, it is now being transformed into “finish the wall” in the hopes that people are too stupid to realize that The Wall doesn’t even have one brick.
To Dee Margo’s credit, he challenged Donald Trump on the facts about crime in El Paso and the effects the fence has had on El Paso’s crime statistics. Trump went so far as to single out Margo in his El Paso speech. It was interesting to note that not one local politico was singled out by Trump at the rally. All the politicos singled out by Trump were Texas officials (red state) and others from the GOP-controlled parts of the state.
But much to my dismay, there were at least 10,000 to 11,000 El Pasoans chanting “build the wall” last night. Some media outlets have claimed many more Trump supporters were outside. I’ve written before how El Paso is unfriendly towards Mexican citizens, like me, and even to immigrants. Last night you witnessed proof of that.
There were about four to five interruptions of Trump’s speech by protesters at the Coliseum. It was unclear from the television broadcast what they were about and how many individuals were involved. But they managed to interrupt Trump’s speech.
Beto O’Rourke ran a counter protest. I couldn’t find it on national television, so I have no idea how it went. Media reports seem to indicate that he mustered about 7,000 El Pasoans to rally. If this is true, then it is more indicative of El Pasoans distaste for immigrants, especially Mexican ones.
To be clear, I still believe that The Wall will not be built no matter how much Trump pontificates.
But, the saddest part for me is that America is divided between 30-40% in support of The Wall. El Paso, just by the numbers last night, showed a very vocal and supportive pro-Wall crowd. This is in a border city. Those optics are very hurtful to me.