THIS IS A DECISIVE MOMENT
IN OUR NATION’S HISTORY
I had the feeling Tuesday night that we were watching a truly historic event. A decisive moment, as it were.
We’ve heard his appeal before, of course. The media never tire of categorizing it as his “key campaign promise,” as if that somehow minimizes its importance.
His delivery was much more subdued than usual. More presidential — evincing a style and tone which Democrats complain they’ve so sadly missed since the days of the Great O.
He argued that fortifying the border with a strong, permanent structure would not only enhance the nation’s safety, it would discourage illegal attempts to enter the U.S. which have cost the lives of so many desperate people. Thus, he presented it not only as an issue of security, but of humanitarian concern.
He also quite effectively presented the government shut-down as the product of Democrat intransigence, stressing his readiness to be flexible (steel vs. concrete), and his understanding that border security requires more than just building walls.
I thought he was convincing, although I felt he might have been a tad firmer in stressing that defense of the nation is government’s first responsibility (important as other services might be). I also thought it a clever touch to suggest that building a steel barrier would be a boon to the nation’s steel industry. That was good politics.
In contrast, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi came off as rather petty. Standing together in front of a row of flags, looking like that “American Gothic” couple (minus the pitchfork), they had very little of substance to say.
They reminded us, somewhat snidely, that Trump had promised Mexico would pay for the wall. Not that anybody ever actually took that idea seriously. Tuesday’s talk aside, it should be clear by now that most of what The Donald says is expressed in metaphors. Like a medieval theologian, he speaks to the longings of the soul, not to the realities of physics.
The bottom line of Schumer and Pelosi’s rebuttal was that the Democrats don’t intend to give an inch. While in the past both have advocated strengthening the border (as those videos of their old speeches circulating on Facebook attest clearly), their objective at the moment is simply to stop Trump.
They know — and The Donald knows they know — that if they kill the wall, they kill his presidency. The Dems will be running the show, and Trump will have lost all credibility. And that’s the only thing that matters.
So it’s high noon in Washington. A classic showdown situation. Or, given the present context, maybe we should call it a Mexican standoff. The question is: Who will stand firm and prevail?
At the moment, my money’s on Trump. He’s the one who’s dealt with those New York unions and their mob connections (any analogy with today’s Democratic Party being purely coincidental, naturally).
But this is indeed a decisive moment. As I wrote recently…
“The Left has never understood that, right from the beginning, [Trump’s election] wasn’t about Donald Trump, per se. It was about resisting the wave of Progressivist destruction. It was about holding onto something in the nature of our American character that’s in danger of being swept away.”
If Schumer and Pelosi succeed in eviscerating the Trump presidency, we may very well have passed a point of no return. In which case, it might begin to look like we’ve exceeded the resilience of our constitutional republic. Some people could very well decide that it’s time to explore new arrangements of governance.
And I’m not talking here about paranoid Catholic bloggers (meaning myself). I’m talking about people who have the power and resources to make real change happen.
Are we approaching such a level of danger?
I pray not.
And right now, things are looking pretty good for Trump and his wall.
All the same — be strong, Donald.
The Donald has some significant advantages in this standoff, and has had for some time now. A Harvard poll of a year ago showed nearly 80 percent support for border security and tightened immigration controls. As reported by the Washington Times…
“eight out of 10 of all U.S. voters — 79 percent — say the U.S. needs secure borders; 93 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree with that.
“Meanwhile, 68 percent overall oppose a lottery-based immigration system which is meant to ensure “greater diversity: in the U.S.; 78 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and 62 percent of Democrats agree.”
After all the recent hubbub about the so-called migrant caravans, I’d speculate that support is even higher…
Now, it’s true that not everybody who’s concerned about border security necessarily wants a wall. CBS News maintains that 59 percent of respondents to a poll conducted in November were against it. As usual, you have to ask who was sampled and how the question was posed. Frankly, I don’t believe that number. Border security has too much appeal, even among folks who aren’t fond of The Donald…
Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen thinks that the calm, reasonable, humane tone of the President’s presentation made him seem like “the adult in the room.” He thinks Trump outclassed Schumer and Pelosi, winning the night…
“Until now, Trump has owned the 18-day government shutdown that prompted this address, because he’s the one who started it. But if Democrats continue to attack him, and won’t entertain any compromise, soon the shutdown will be all theirs — because they’re the ones who have refused to end it.”