The Only Talking Point: The Wall Is a Lie

When Democrats oppose Donald Trump on his fantasy of a wall/barrier/fence/whatever on the border with Mexico, they often bury the easiest, clearest reason to oppose it. Sure, yeah, it's racist, since, you know, none of the wall-humpers are talking about the extraordinarily porous border with Canada.  Sure, Nancy Pelosi is right that the wall is "immoral, expensive, and unwise."

But the easiest way to explain why Democrats have refused to fund it is that it's all a goddamn lie. That's it. That's all you have to say. No other explanation is needed: "The President is lying when he says that a border wall is needed. We may as well build a castle for his unicorn."

There is no national security crisis on the southern border of the United States. There is no terrorism crisis on the border: only six people on the Terrorist Watch List (itself a problematic entity, but let's focus here) were stopped by Border Patrol in the first half of 2018. That doesn't mean actual terrorists but people on the watch list. It's like saying you caught a half-dozen robbery suspects. There's a good chance most of 'em didn't rob shit. And, in his pummeling of White House spokestooge Sarah Sanders, Fox "news" host Chris Wallace, of all people, made the point that "the State Department says, quote, ‘There were no credible evidence of any terrorist coming across the border from Mexico.'" If Fox "news" agrees that Donald Trump is a fucking liar, he's a fucking liar.

There is no criminal crisis caused by undocumented immigrants coming through the southern border. According to Customs and Border Protection's own numbers, the Border Patrol arrested about 6300 "criminal aliens" (people who were convicted of previous crimes) in most of fiscal year 2018 (final numbers aren't in because, well, government shutdown). Over half were convicted of previously entering the country illegally. You can cut almost 2000 more for either driving under the influence or drug possession. 

The actual number of violent criminals who make it into the country is incredibly small, and even conservatives like the Cato Institute know that undocumented immigrants commit far fewer crimes (other than being in the country undocumented) than Americans because, well, it's pretty fuckin' obvious why. The lowest rate for crimes is among documented immigrants, even lower than among Americans. So, by the logic of crime prevention, we should be letting more immigrants in. That would legitimately make the nation safer. And, yeah, it's fucked up whenever anyone is murdered, whether it's by an immigrant or an American-born asshole. But that's a law enforcement issue that a fuckin' wall ain't gonna do shit to solve. 

Besides, how many children need to die or be kept in cages just so a bunch of paranoid racists can delude themselves into believing they're safer? I don't find that a fair trade-off.

As for the huge amount of drugs that get into the U.S. through the southern border, put aside that most of it comes in hidden in trucks and trains and cars and boats and planes that cross completely legally. Put aside the use of tunnels that are already dug under places where there isn't even a wall. Put aside all the things that our deranged cockmite of a president said at his lunatic press conference on Friday. Instead, focus on this: If you talk about stopping drug abuse in the United States and you don't support a comprehensive national health plan that includes help for addicts, you aren't serious about stopping drug abuse in the United States. You are bullshitting and preening for the cameras. You don't actually give a shit about addiction.

There are lies upon lies. The wall ain't gonna happen. How fucking long do you think cases are going to work their way through courts when the federal government attempts to seize private property through eminent domain? How fucking long do you think any cases dealing with water rights and access will take to get decided? How fucking long do you think cases that deal with the environmental impact of a goddamn barrier in the middle of migratory routes and feeding grounds are gonna take? How about cases involving lands that are sacred to indigenous people? How much money is all that costing? How much time? Gimme a fuckin' break. 

Trump likes to pretend that he knew that going to war in Iraq in 2003 was a mistake and that he knew that the whole case for war was based on lies. But what he's doing here is a mirror of the propaganda prior to the invasion of Iraq: a hyped crisis that is based on readily disputed information. He likes to pretend that he is saving the nation money by getting us out of Syria (even if he really isn't) or Afghanistan (which, if he does, that's actually a good thing). Meanwhile, he's willing to just piss away billions upon untold billions of dollars on this lie. The big difference now is that there are many on the left and right who aren't getting fooled this time.

Tomorrow night Trump's going to give some kind of rambling, incoherent, belligerent speech about the "Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border," as he tweeted in his over-capitalizing way today. The only humanitarian crisis is the one that the United States has created by its cruel policies, made even crueler by this administration in violating laws and treaties on refugees and those seeking amnesty. The only national security crisis is in the greedy, diseased brains of those who need someone to demonize in order to maintain power (and probably get some sweet contracts to donors, like, say, the steel industry).

And those who oppose this nonsense have to take a stand for facts, for truth, for reality. Too many of us have given in too many times to the dangerous whims of our leaders, with many believing that the liars were acting in good faith. It has always led, at the very least, to distracting from solving real problems or, at worst, to disaster.

The wall is a lie. Everything about it is a lie. Everyone who wants to build it is a liar. That should be the message.

(Note: Nothing in here should be construed to mean that I don't want any border security. That's fuckin' stupid and only fuckin' stupid people would get that from this post.)

(Correction: I originally fucked up and wrote "Mike Wallace," the great reporter who was damned to be Chris Wallace's father.)