Weekly Opinion Editorial
GOING BIG IS REALLY SMALL!
by Steve Fair
President Trump threatened- via Twitter- on Friday to close the southern border if Congress doesn’t fund a border wall. He also threatened to cut off aid to Central America if they don’t stop the forming of caravans in their countries. His incoming Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said the POTUS is serious and would close the border if the Democrats don’t give him funding for the wall. This came after congressional Democrats ‘walked away from the table,’ according to Mulvaney. 'The Democrats have simply shutdown the discussions. They did not even counter us,” he said. Apparently Trump had backed off his $5 billion dollar request to a smaller number, but the Democrats believe by holding their position, Trump will cave to their removing the request from the overall budget. Three observations:
First, border security should not be a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree that knowing who is entering the country is important and that keeping criminals out of the U.S. is good policy. Illegal immigration is what it is- illegal. The United States has a very defined method of entering the country. Those who choose to ignore it are breaking our laws- pure and simple. When Democrats claim people entering our country illegally have a right to do so, they ignore the rule of law and we cease to be a country.
Second, permanent immigration reform must be addressed. Many of those who come to America illegally do so because the current legal process is cumbersome and takes years to complete. Because of our Laissez-faire attitude toward illegal immigration, they simply break the law because the law is not enforced. Both Parties agree the process needs fixing, but they can’t come to a common sense solution because of partisanship. Without true immigration reform, the wall will be just a deterrent to illegal immigration- it will not stop it.
Third, this standoff is about the 2020 elections. Democrats believe they can take back the White House and both chambers in two years if they energize their base. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D, California, said, “young voters in the country are telling the Democrat Party to “go big.” ‘Going Big’ means to get angry at someone, to catch an attitude and get in someone’s face. Young progressive voters want the newly elected Ds to do something about guns, immigration and climate change. Meanwhile, President Trump needs to deliver on one of his chief campaign promises- to build a big beautiful wall on the southern border. If he doesn’t deliver, he will likely not be reelected. If the Democrats don’t deliver on their promises, they will likely suffer defeat at the ballot box. Both have to ‘go big,’ or disappoint their political base that is critical for electoral success in 2020.
‘Going Big,’ will get a lot of attention and media coverage and play well with a political base, but it will not solve the nation’s problems. Civil discourse, focusing on fixing the obvious problems, bipartisanship and finding common ground will. Not negotiating is not ‘going big’- it’s going home.