Little Donnie Dark wanted a new toy. It was a very expensive toy, and not at all practical in fact, it was a very dangerous toy, so Donnie’s parents said “no” and that was the end of that, right? Wrong. Little Donnie, spoiled by years of always having his own way, pitched a fit. First he yelled invectives at his mum and dad, then later even at his grandparents when they came for a visit. He told them all that he hated them and threatened to ‘get even’. Then he threatened to start breaking things around the house, and just to prove his point he broke several of his mum’s favourite dishes before she could stop him. Little Donnie needs a timeout, or, though this writer is not a proponent of corporal punishment, a good whack on the posterior. Little Donnie is a spoiled brat.
The above story is fiction, but has its basis in reality. Little Donnie, of course, is none other than Donald Trump, and the coveted toy is his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. The wall that he promised his faithful followers he would build because it would keep all the “rapists and murderers” out of the U.S. The wall that he promised he would somehow, in his wild imaginings, force an independent nation, Mexico, to pay for. A wall that will hinder the U.S. economy by scaling back both trade and tourism. A wall that will greatly damage U.S.-Mexico relations. A wall that could potentially cost as much as $70 billion. A wall that will do little or nothing to alter crime rates nor scale back immigration.
Still, Donald Trump is willing to fight for his wall. How far he is willing to go remains to be seen, but if his threats are to be believed, he is willing to go so far as shutting down the U.S. government and defaulting on U.S. debt … a move that would have the effect of panicking the markets and jeopardizing trillions of dollars in holdings and retirement savings, among other potentially severe global consequences. When we elect a president, we do so with the expectation that he will make decisions based on what is best for the nation as a whole. We have a right to those expectations. If Donald Trump follows through with his threats to shut down government until we, the taxpayers, are willing to sacrifice more important expenditures in order for him to have his damned wall, then he will have failed miserably at the job for which he was elected. He will have proven in the strongest possible language that he does not care about We The People, and that his desires outweigh our needs.
“If we have to close down our government,” he said, at his rally in Phoenix last week, “we’re building that wall.” And the masses cheered. I have noted at some length that it is my belief his supporters lack a clear understanding of how government works and what the consequences of Trump’s actions are. This is simply more proof of that. A 16-day shutdown in 2013 resulted in an estimated loss of $24 billion in economic output and shaved 0.6 percent off the nation’s economic growth. But failure to raise the debt limit would be even more serious.
Unless a law is passed to raise the debt limit, the government will run out of money to pay its bills, which would trigger a default. This would jeopardize the world’s faith in America’s ability to pay its bills and that faith serves as the underpinning of the entire global financial system. Does Trump’s cheering section fail to understand this, or do they simply not care? Do they not realize that this will have a direct effect on them, on their investments and retirement plans? Do they actually trust him to that extent?
In seven months, Trump has proven time and time again that he is unfit for the office to which he was elected, yet there is a core group of voters who still cheer him, support him, and seem to be deaf and blind to the ramifications of all he does. If the government shuts down at the end of September because Donald Trump is too much a spoiled brat to put our needs ahead of his whims, perhaps it will be the wake-up call Trump supporters need. Unfortunately, those who have urged common sense, who have not fallen prey to his horrid rhetoric, will also pay the price. It is a steep price, particularly if the debt default transpires, but sadly it may be what it takes to finally convince Congress and Trump supporters that he must be removed from office.
And now, with mass devastation and destruction in the wake of Hurricane Harvey that hit Texas hard last weekend, Mexico has offered aid and assistance comparable to what they provided in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. A delegation from the Mexican Armed Forces arrived in Louisiana following that hurricane, including engineers and doctors. Sent by then-President Vicente Fox, they spent three weeks serving meals, distributing supplies, and ensuring New Orleans’ residents were given medical assistance. That aid saved lives—and it could again. But …
On Sunday, Trump tweeted … “With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world (they are at #24, the U.S. is at #99), we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other.” Mexico responded that no, they will not pay for the wall, but they offered assistance, nonetheless …
“The government of Mexico takes this opportunity to express its full solidarity with the people and government of the United States for the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and reports that we have offered the US government all the help and cooperation that can be provided by the different Mexican governmental agencies to deal with the impacts of this natural disaster, as good neighbors should always do in times of difficulty,”
However, the megalomaniac in the White House is considering refusing their offer of help unless they offer to pay for the wall. He is perfectly willing to shoot his own country, the citizens who elected him, in the foot in order to prove a point. Seemingly stymied for a proper response, a State Department official merely said, “If a need for assistance does arise, we will work with our partners, including Mexico, to determine the best way forward.” IF A NEED DOES ARISE??? Did he seriously say “if”? What does this look like?
The ‘wall’ has become far too much of a divisive issue, and now a bargaining chip with people’s lives at stake. The wall has no value but very high cost. Little Donnie needs to come down out of his ivory tower and let those with a degree of common sense govern. Those who said he would learn his job, he would learn to be presidential, must surely be convinced that this is not going to happen. The facts are all there, and one does not even have to look hard or dig deep. It is time for Little Donnie Dark to be shown that his job is to act in the best interests of the entire nation, not merely himself and his wealthy cohorts.
featured image Artist Sam Sisco
You can follow Jill Dennison at her webpage Filosofa’s