‘No,’ now: GOP leaders must speak power to truth over the border wall and Trump threats

The threat is on again: Give me my wall or I will throw a tantrum.

It has been said of Donald Trump that the only problems he can solve are those of his own creation.

In the case of Trump’s latest grandstanding on this self-generated and divisive topic — building a wall on the Mexico border — the time has come for all of us to help our president fix this problem, because it is a grave threat to society, his threat to shut down government if he does not get his way. Too many critical programs are at stake to be left to bake in the toxic heat of this contrived debate.

Trump raised the topic once again over the weekend, live and via Twitter, repeating his willingness to “shut down the government” if Democrats do not relent.

Americans should also question the president’s practice of making a bold statement about a domestic policy question while sharing the stage with a visiting foreign leader, as he did Sunday in front of Italian premier Giuseppe Conte. Who is he trying to impress?

Americans should say, “No, President Trump. No more holding us all emotionally hostage over this craven game of ‘I want my wall.’”

He needs to hear, loud and clear, “No, Mr. President, society as a whole understands that a wider, policy-based answer lies at the heart of finding any resolution to the nagging issue of the immigration problem.” (It is actually multiple problems: Social, bureaucratic, cultural and political, but one sentiment must fuel all of them: The United States’ soul as a nation is predicated on welcoming people from other lands, and treating them with human respect.)

Our leaders should invoke Ronald Reagan and say, “Mr. President, tear down this whole ‘wall’ idea.”

Certainly it falls essentially to our Republicans in Congress. For example, our own U.S. Rep. Greg Walden needs to leave the normal platitudes (“our-immigration-system-is-broken-and-it’s-going-to-take-hard-work-from-both-sides-of-the-aisle-to-find-a-sustainable-solution”) and use his position to move the needle. The congressman must begin to speak power to truth on this — and a great many other things.

Trump might not listen to even his own GOP, but he certainly won’t listen to anyone else. He won’t listen to the many people who have advised him that a border wall is probably impossible to build, but moreover a fiscal and environmental sham and a morally irresponsible project to pursue or even pretend to pursue.

The “wall” is the surface on which the emperor hangs the clothes he is not wearing. It is a 40-foot tall Potemkin façade that pleases no one except Trump, and it is time to tell the man he needs to get real.

The time has come to tell him “No.” (Which, in Italian, by the way, is “no.”)



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