My chops as a boundary dispute attorney gives me both credibility and pause to step into the fray of our nation’s border wall debate.
This matter is not strictly similar to a boundary dispute between neighbors because neither side is seeking to redefine the location of the line.
What is at issue is at issue which is very similar to boundary disputes is that at least one side wants to be clear as to what is acceptable on its side of the line.
The other side doesn’t seem to give a hoot what happens. Though not wanting to minimize the issue, a large degree of the debate can be analogized to a neighbor who likes to maintain a pristine yard getting frustrated with the neighbor who has an unruly tree which is unmaintained and sheds its leaves onto the first neighbors lawn.
In most boundary disputes there is some degree of what I have come to call: “an external manifestation of an internal problem.”
There is plenty which has been said about President Trump regarding his uncommonplace antics to suggest that he is the one with the problem.
But that is an incomplete picture. In any boundary dispute, both disputants have a problem simply for the fact that there is a lack of harmony.
Who wants to be in harmony with Donald Trump? He certainly doesn’t make it easy!
But, to a certain extent – some much more and some much less – we all share aspects which are more pronounced in other people.
Trump appears to have a very dark side. This is a side which many seek to delimit exposure.
People do this because it is much easier to castigate that which is “out there” than to seek to change that which is “in here” … at a person’s core.
Trump is living this out too. He is on record as indicating that (some of) those who cross the border into the U.S. are “murderers and rapists.”
By building a wall – at least with respect to political symbolism – he is keeping that “element” at abeyance.
Perhaps a better way to consider what’s going on is that as – or at least a representative of a those who are – conservative, Trump exhibits one of the primary factors for which conservatives are known – low openness and low agreeableness.
For folks like this, that which is beyond the boundary – in this case normalcy and order – is a threat.
But instead of this being a threat which remains just that, because the border is porous … there is the perception of an invasion.
Overall, the whole thing seems silly to me. Because at the other end, it is in large part because of the liberal entitlements which appear to create the economic vacuum which the border crossers seek to illegally fill because people are unwilling to pay minimum wages for the value of work which falls below these arbitrarily identified values.
That is simple economics which is something it seems that most liberals are unwilling to publicly acknowledge.
To fully understand the perspective that conservative thinkers have with respect to the idea of building a wall, I encourage you to review this message from the late, Charles Krauthammer [HERE].
Krauthammer indicates that the wall serves the purpose of both allowing the illegal immigrants who are already here to have an amnesty – but not ability – to become citizens, but their children will be citizens while future illegal immigration is prevented.
When viewed in this light and as expressed calmly by Krauthammer, the border wall actually does make sense.
The problem is that we have a deal maker in the role of president, who fails to alter his conduct from that of a top-down businessman to a consensus building politician.
I suspect that Trump will wait this governmental, shut-down out and get his wall not just for what it represents to America, but also because he can’t lose by not holding pat to this position.
If he compromises here, there will be a perception that there is blood in the water and the investigations against him will gain additional momentum.
On the other hand, if he is forced out there will be plenty of backers that indicate that the president that they sought to have represent them was illegitimately pushed out and point to his iron will to hold fast on the point of the border wall.
Trump appears to be someone who enjoys the game in the moment and this is just another one of the many moments that we will see from him. I have no doubt he will find an exit.
Is all of this making America better? That’s really hard to tell. But, if the legacy of the Trump presidency becomes that of a nation which comes together across political lines to expel that which is deemed abhorrent – the incivility which is so much a centerpiece of Trump’s personality – he might actually turn out to be one of the greatest presidents … despite himself!
Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection as per https://abc3340.com/news/nation-world/go-fund-me-launched-to-pay-for-trumps-border-wall-nears-1m-in-two-days