Monday, December 31, 2018

What’s With the Wall?

As a liberal/progressive, I think the wall is a bad idea for a variety of reasons.  It’s also a terrible image that the United States should not be associated with.

But is funding for the wall something that Democrats should shut down the government over?

We all agree, I think, that immigration should happen in an orderly manner, in accordance with the procedures and numbers set forth by Congress.  No one, not even the most fervent progressive, is in favor of illegal immigration.  This is completely separate from the issue of what we should do with the illegal immigrants who are already here and have become part of the fabric of their communities.

As a result, Democrats are in favor of increased security, improving fencing, etc.  But Democrats and the leadership in Congress draw the line at money for the wall.

Why?  I don’t think it’s primarily because of the negative image or it’s being a bad idea.  But it has become a symbol of resistance to Trump’s stand on immigration policy.  He not only wants the wall, but he has vilified illegal immigrants throughout his campaign and time in office.  The wall has been made repulsive because it has been tainted with his offensive language.  

But even given all that, is this something you shut down the government over?  I think that if it wasn’t for the revulsion that most Democrats/liberals/progressives feel towards Trump on a daily basis, the answer would clearly be, no.  The issue of the wall itself does not rise to the level of importance that would lead to a shutdown.

Now of course once could ask, why should the Democrats blink?  Why doesn’t Trump back down?  And that’s a fair question.  But this is not a game of chicken, or at least it shouldn't be.  It’s not even a question of right or wrong.  We are talking about the welfare of our country and the livelihood of millions of Federal employees.

The Democratic leadership should hold their noses and give Trump the initial funding for the wall, making a very strong point as they do so about their commitment to the welfare of the country and a reformed immigration law.

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