Reeling from criticism from the likes of Ann Coulter and Fox News, President Trump seems to think his presidency is a reality show and it’s time for the episode where he shows up as the strong man who takes decisive action. Unfortunately for him, the presidency isn’t a reality show; he’s already proved how incompetent he is at his job; and the decisive action he promises is a wasteful, idiotic public relations stunt.
This decision isn’t about border security. The facts are these: unauthorized border crossings are at the lowest level in 46 years. A bipartisan commitment to border security over the past four administrations has led to a huge investment of technology, infrastructure, and border patrol agents. This, plus the growth of the Mexican economy, has led to a significant reduction in border apprehensions. Given that U.S. law and common sense prohibit putting soldiers – who are trained to apply force against enemies overseas – from performing domestic law enforcement roles, National Guards sent to the border will end up doing relatively menial tasks.
The voters will have their say this November. We hope and expect they will get this one right.
No, this decision is about Trump’s incompetence and narcissism. He’s upset that he and his sidekick Stephen Miller recently torpedoed a bipartisan deal that would have led to $25 billion in funding for his stupid border wall in exchange for the enactment of the Dream Act. He’s upset that Congress negotiated a spending bill without funding his border wall. And he’s upset that he didn’t even realize how boneheaded he had been until Ann Coulter and company lit him up after he signed the spending bill.
Trump’s National Guard ploy is just plain stupid. Yes, it’s an outrageous waste of money. Yes, it’s an outrageous misuse of our military capabilities. And yes, it was both when Bush and Obama did it, too. But let’s not kid ourselves. This is about Trump’s incompetence, petulance, and xenophobia. He gets to make this National Guard move because, after all, he’s the President. But the voters will have their say this November. We hope and expect they will get this one right.
By Frank Sharry
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of América’s Voice.