Do you remember how totally touched we all were by that 4-year-old girl in Virginia who, during the Vietnam War, asked her father, “What if they gave a war and nobody showed up?” Is it true she’s now 57 and asking people, “What if they gave a partial government shutdown and nobody noticed except for a miniscule fraction of the population directly affected?”
Once, Albert Einstein was asked to explain his Theory of Relativity to a stranger. Sensing that the stranger lacked sufficient knowledge of physics to benefit from the real thing, Einstein decided to punt. “Well, it’s rather like this,” the eminent scientist explained. “One hour in the arms of a lover feels like a minute. And one minute sitting on a hot stove feels like an hour.” That satisfied the questioner.
Where did we get the impression that government shutdowns felt like sitting on a hot stove for hours on end? Politicians of all stripes have long proceeded as carefully as a nudist crossing a barbed-wire fence, because it was writ large that whatever infirmities may afflict the American voter, you may be sure he’ll never forget or forgive who was responsible for the shutdown. Yet the Democratic recalcitrance has given Trump an opportunity to show the American people that he doesn’t take his political promises lightly.
How might this stalemate over “The Wall” end? Among the more appealing out-of-the-box remedies is that President Trump, as commander in chief of America’s armed forces, might declare a national emergency and use the military to start The Wall. Who says our only enemies have to be Germans, Japanese or Communists? Can’t the right mixture of murderers, human traffickers, drug cartels and other illegal infiltrators of our frontier pass muster?
War is war, right? When we destroyed Nazi Germany’s Atlantic Wall on D-Day, that was an act of war. Why, then, isn’t our mounting of a defensive wall along our southern border likewise an act of war? President Donald Trump doesn’t need Nancy Pelosi’s or Charles Schumer’s permission to help enable America to defend itself. Oh, but how can you compare illegal border-crossers to Hitler’s German army? Not necessary. There’ve been plenty of hideous crimes committed by illegal entrants to America. Don’t forget, 100 percent of all illegals have violated American law in the first place. Where does it say you have to have a formidable foe before you’re allowed to defend yourself? The common flea, though not a fearsome foe, does as much damage as it can arrange to do. Don’t feel guilty about defending yourself.
I’m surprised that the idea of Trump enthusiasts turning their backs on Congress and government altogether has not yet been seriously proposed. Admittedly, you’d have to stage quite a few bake sales and sell quite a few Girl Scout cookies to erect the kind of wall we’re talking about. Never mind. We don’t need $5 billion all at once. We raise some funds and we build some wall. Trump enjoys a broad base. Contributions gratefully accepted. During World War II, we sold billions of dollars in war bonds. That was when Congress was our ally, like the British and French. What a stunning rebuke a self-financing wall would be to those Americans who hate Trump more than they love America!
You don’t have to be the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to have a dream. I have one, too.
In my dream President Trump faces a galaxy of microphones and TV cameras and says, “Senator Schumer, I will relent. I will recant. I’ll fold my cards and sign the Homeland Security measure without funding for a wall, provided that you face these microphones and answer one simple question. A very few years ago you, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Dick Durban – your whole leadership – voted for a wall along our southern border, funding and all. Now you won’t even discuss it. Tell me, and tell the nation. What changed?”
That gambit would force Schumer at political gunpoint to run, hide, or even pretend he’s a mere lookalike often mistaken for Sen. Schumer – or force him to tell the truth, namely that “We Democrats will never grant a victory to President Donald Trump!”