mussolini and trump Il Duce and Il Donald.

Trump’s wall must be worst policy proposal

It's an asinine, counterproductive and unrealistic farce

From A.D. 300, for a millennium, every daughter knew less than her mother, every son less than his father. Now, as we dispute over the exact moment when we engaged this autobahn downward again – hurtling in a tinny Cadillac fueled by idleness, greed and superstition – our great-grandfathers (the ones who could read and write) drape themselves white to hear our diminished chicken-cackle language in the parliament of fools.

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─ Donald Hall, The Museum of Clear Ideas (1993)

There once was a rather odd-looking man with stubby fingers who was worshipped as a cult figure. He spoke plainly about rebuilding a country in endemic economic decline after years of war.

He blamed his country’s economic and social problems on outsiders, on agitators, on people of different races, nationalities and political views. He liked building things – huge projects. He wasn’t a great orator, but he was full of bravado, and passed himself off as a master negotiator.

He seemed to say what the poor and uneducated were thinking, even if those things were nonsensical. He manipulated the media almost effortlessly. The more outrageous his sexist and misogynist and racist public comments became, the more he was loved.

At political rallies, protesters who opposed his policies were routinely bludgeoned and bullied. Of course everyone knows who I’m talking about – Benito Mussolini.

My Mexican university colleagues and students frequently ask me about the popularity of Donald Trump, amazed that such a brazenly unprincipled charlatan and egomaniacal monster could be the putative Republican nominee for president of the United States. They assume that as an American I have some special insight this particular brand of psychosis. I do not.

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Social psychologists and political scientists are cranking out think pieces literally by the hour to explain Trump’s popularity, while at the same time the tiny minority of Republican leaders and intellectuals unafflicted by jingoism, racism and other mental illnesses, are trying to figure out how to stop him.

But the other day a former student who is now a Mexican consular officer in the U.S. asked me a very interesting question. He asked what I thought Trump’s worst policy proposal was.

The question is difficult because one is absolutely spoiled for choice – everything Trump proposes to “make America great again” is either patently unconstitutional, otherwise illegal, naïve or simply moronic.

If I had to choose, though, it would have to be the building of his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexican border, and making Mexico pay for it.

Calling this canard an “idea” or “policy proposal” risks bastardizing the English language to the point of unintelligibility. It’s more analogous to the semi-coherent ramblings of your drunk racist uncle at Thanksgiving dinner. But be that as it may, here’s why Trump’s wall is even a worse idea than subprime mortgages were.

First, and most obviously, Mexico is not going to pay for a wall. Unable to ignore this fact, Trump ran down a list of ideas to finance the wall: (1) increase fees for visas and border crossing cards; (2) impound remittance payments derived from illegal sources; (3) cut foreign aid and use the savings to build the wall; and of course the main target, (4) tax Mexican imports to the United States.

Surely at the bargain basement cost of a mere $8 billion, these measures would pay for the wall at Mexico’s expense!

Cue reality.

The Washington Post was skeptical of Trump’s $8 billion cost estimate for the wall and decided to consult with the top construction engineers and economists. The cost of the concrete and rebar required would be about $15 billion. The construction would take 40,000 workers four years to build. Realistic estimates put the total price anywhere between $25 billion and $42 billion.

A president can’t unilaterally raise fees for visas or border crossing cards; that’s why we have a Congress and a State Department. But even if the fee sweet spot could be reached (extracting the maximum amount of money but not so much that Mexicans simply eschew the formal visa process), the additional revenue would amount to a few million dollars.

Cutting foreign aid would amount to a savings of around $200 million. Impounding remittance payments would not only be unconstitutional, it is entirely unclear how one could figure out which ones were gained from “illegal sources.” But let’s be generous and throw in another couple of hundred million dollars.

The central part of Trump’s plan to make Mexico pay for the wall, though, is to reduce the trade deficit with Mexico by slapping import taxes and tariffs on Mexican goods. Forget for the moment that this too would be illegal under NAFTA, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as well as the rules enforced by the World Trade Organization.

It would result in endless litigation which the U.S. would ultimately lose, and start a trade war with Mexico – another war the U.S. is ill-equipped to fight.

When doing the simple math, no matter how you slice it, Trump’s “plan” might conceivably raise 1% to 5%  of the money needed to build that big beautiful wall, and would be both an economic and diplomatic fiasco for America.

But if that were not enough, let me come to my second point: the wall is a solution to a problem that exists only in the minds of Trump cultists. The fact is, we already have a wall, and it’s deadlier than any wall could be. It’s called the Arizona desert.

After 9/11, border security was beefed up, walls and fences built, and traditional human smuggling routes near cities and highways closed, forcing migrants into the desert wilderness of America’s desolate southwest. According to a new documentary, The Empire’s War on the Border, in Arizona alone, state officials have registered over 7,000 desiccated human remains of migrants, including women and children.

Humanitarian aid groups leave bottled water, which is routinely destroyed by border patrol agents. When not dying from dehydration or heat stroke, or captured by the border patrol, these humans are hunted down by mostly overweight, unemployed white men calling themselves “militias.”

Rejected for military service, these patriots chose the next best thing: hunting the most disadvantaged, poor, and desperate of our species for sport (no license required, no quotas enforced).

Meanwhile, the Mexican economy is expanding while families are having fewer children, leading to an easing of Mexico’s traditional excess labor problem. Deportations are nonetheless at all-time highs, despite there being a reverse diaspora in the works: demographers have documented more Mexicans returning home to Mexico than migrating to the U.S.

When you add the fact that even some conservative groups admit that immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are a net benefit to the U.S. economy, it isn’t difficult to see why the big beautiful wall is such an asinine, counterproductive farce.

But like Il Duce, Il Donald isn’t much interested in facts. And neither are his supporters. Facts, after all, are pesky, troubling, and emotionally unsatisfying. They often contradict our political philosophy and our immensely pleasurable tribal impulses.

Glen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a regular contributor to Mexico News Daily. Some of his other non-academic work can be viewed at glenolives.com

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  • Doug Stead

    Sorry Professor, you may be over educated but you’re not very smart. The reason we in the US need a wall is because your government has failed it’s people. We give you $142 million USD every year and yet your people still flee in droves. The wall is the fruit of a country on the other side of the border out of control and full of corruption and failed economic policies. You just have to read this paper to know this. You are very naive to underestimate Donald Trump who is probably going to negotiate himself into the White House with the support of a large majority of the American people who are tired of our failed policies and your countries failed policies. Half the prison population here in California are illegal immigrants who’ve committed crimes, including rape and murder. That’s 50% of the total of 116,000 male inmates according to the California Department of Corrections, so approximately 58,000 are illegal immigrants, or people who walked across the border because there was no wall. This is just California. Multiply it by all the other states and there’s over half a million that cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars. Mexico is happy to leave them here because for sure you don’t want these characters back in your country causing havoc there. Before you attack our politicians you need to look in the mirror. The big problem for Mexico is the fallout of the American people making massive political changes to the system of establishment that will change the course of politics in this country, if not for centuries, at least for decades. This is sending shivers down the spines of those currently in power in your country because they see the writing on the wall for themselves. Rather than resort to ad hominem attacks try to see the lesson.

    • Happygirl

      Wow….what a pile of drivel.

      • Ms Vallarta

        HAPPY GIRL: you live in a make believe world..I’m from mexico … Doug is so right and go trump we Mexicans went to the USA legally to be safe and have good jobs..the illegals we are not safe & they work for less ….

        • Jorge Koch

          Poor Ms Vallarta & Doug… Ms Vallarta because is so Doug so naive… Hell i know for a fact that in the US there is Corruption up to the ying yang !!! But its how you want to see it !!! Close your eyes and time will tell you how worng you are… Have you ghuys even thought that maybe Trump is in Cahooks with Hillary???? He was a Democrat first you know… you know dam right that in the past he had dinners with these guys as well…

          There are so many people moving to Mexico… i know because i build some of their houses…Just look at your back yard or allies in your home towns… there is more shooting and violence in the US then in Mexico…. but you guys see too much crappy TV Media that is also controlled either by the goverment or people with a shit load on money… Arabs owns FOX NEWS and some other channels..

          Wake up American and smell the Coffee… Either African, Columbian, Mexiccan Beans etc….

        • Beau

          Happy girl is actually in living in Mexico

      • Doug Stead

        Okay Happygirl, instead of being like the professor with his name calling give me specifics as to why you think this is drivel and please cite your references. Refute the numbers on incarcerated felons in California and how many are illegal aliens. Cite statistics that show the Mexican economic successes. Tell me why the peso is at an all time low against the dollar. Here’s your chance to shine! Go for it, I can’t wait for your intellectual rebuttal. Maybe the professor will come to your aid, perhaps you should ask him.

        • Glen Olives

          Happy Girl is no need of a defense from me, but since you asked… The peso is at an all-time low because of rock bottom oil prices. One doesn’t require a Phd in economics to figure that one out. Business interest in the US and Mexico love the low peso — exports are cheaper and the dollar goes much further for tourists. The Mexican economy? Surely you’re joking. Inflation is at an historic low and PPP-adjusted GDP growth is at near-historic high. $16.6 billion USD in new infrastructure spending. Someone with even a rudimentary knowledge of social science methodology knows that incarceration rates based on ethnicity or citizenship have no connection to criminality. But then again, if you got your undergraduate degree from Fox News University, what can you expect?

          • Güerito

            “PPP-adjusted GDP growth is at near-historic high.”

            Not sure what “PPP-adjusted GDP” is, but: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/mexico/gdp-growth-annual

          • Glen Olives

            Purchasing Power Parity. Nothing in the API analysis conflicts with what I’ve said. Just look at 196 and 2009 and do the averages. Better yet, superimpose the US annual GDP growth rate. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth Super!

          • Güerito

            “Nothing in the API analysis conflicts with what I’ve said.”

            Except GDP growth in Mexico the last few years is not at “near-historic high.” Nowhere near.

          • Glen Olives

            Well, if we can’t even agree on obvious, demonstrable facts, then a productive conversation is unlikely, at best. http://data.worldbank.org/country/mexico But let’s assume you’re right. (Karl Popper would be proud of me.) What would I be forced to change in my analysis? Nothing. When you put political philosophy ahead of facts you’ll more often lose than win. (At least if we can agree that logic and reason are the geographies we inhabit.)

          • Doug Stead

            appy girl and I worked it out on a reply that you obviously didn’t read. She’s Canadian and as such does not suffer the vagaries of illegal immigration and all that comes with it. I’m impressed with all your facts and figures Doc, but they just don’t translate to the average Mexican in the street, and they don’t translate to those disenfranchised Mexicans desperate to head North to find a better life. Gas prices in Mexico are the same as they were 3 years ago, at least where I live in the Yucatan, and yes you can blame all of that on the state run cartel of Pemex, but the reality is the low peso translates into less buying power and more expensive imports (Mexico really doesn’t export that much in the way of hard goods unless you count all the American, Japanese and Chinese companies here) to the general population. You don’t need a PhD to figure that one out either. The infrastructure spending is driven by US investments that bring in billions of dollars every year along with the billions of dollars sent home by Mexican expats living in the states, legal or otherwise. Without the U.S. who knows what Mexico would look like, not that US investment is a bad thing unless you talk to all the unemployed workers in the US who’ve lost their jobs because manufacturing has been moved overseas, but I digress, you were telling what a fantastic economy there was in Mexico which would suggest there’s really no need for anyone to ever leave Mexico. By the way have you seen the fantastic wall on the border between Mexico and Guatemala? You should go take a look at it sometime. They’ve even got guard towers like the old Berlin wall. Go on tell me walls don’t work. Here’s a link to go take a look if you’re too busy to go in person: http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/mexicos-southern-border-fence.jpg or look at the photo below. If you’re so against Trump’s (not really his, it will belong to the American people) wall, perhaps you’ll lobby the Mexican government to tear down their wall on their southern border. I won’t hold my breath on that one. As for ethnicity and incarceration rates (citizenship is irrelevant and anyone who uses that is full of you know what) ask the African American community leaders what they think about that. Here is what the Bureau of Justice says:

            The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men. 2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.

            The NAACP and many other organizations and institutions have similar statistics. Ethnicity and color are very much connected to criminality and study after study concludes that socioeconomic standing plays a big part as well as the underpinnings of the family unit.

            There you go again impugning my education and my intelligence, without knowing who I am and where I come from. Typical liberal response, possibly socialist, to cast aspersions when all else fails instead of accepting that perhaps their view of the world is not the only and possibly not even the correct one. But then again you did write the hit piece on the Trump wall and therefore invited this invective. I do love a good debate, hopefully you can remain civil as I’m sure you will respond to this in order to prove me wrong. If not I get the last word and I really don’t see you living with that.

          • Glen Olives

            That was quite a bit of throat clearing. Impressive. Indeed, you seem to have a certain talent for stating the obvious. I can’t seem, though, to find a point where we disagree. What specifically have I gotten wrong in this Trump “hit piece”? Have I claimed that Mexico’s immigration policies toward Central American countries are enlightened and progressive? Have I claimed that Mexico’s government in not corrupt? I’m glad that you and Happy Girl patched things up, but that conversation is apparently private, and I couldn’t care less. If I’ve misstepped on facts or analysis, please let me know. Nothing you’ve written above suggests that I have. But I like surprises.

    • Andrew Alex

      Maybe you can learn from history – any empire who started building walls to isolate themselves from imaginary danger from neighbors are on the bring of collapse. ie. Chinese Wall – never deterred Mongols, Hadrian Wall never did what it was supposed to do – to protect Romans from hordes of Scots, the same with Berlin Wall – fall of Eastern bloc was soon after. Unfortunately our elected politician are not very smart and like to play on fears of people.

    • garth watson

      you are an idiot

      • Doug Stead

        Thank you for your loquacious and intelligent response and for all of the reference based facts you used to rebut my post. Unfortunately for you the only idiot in this equation appears to be you. If you don’t have anything intelligent to say, then don’t say anything.

        • garth watson

          that was my exact interpretation of your idiotic drivel..showing your complete lack of intelligence….using your bug owrds you rlooked up in the dictionary changes nothing….. you are still an idiot

          • Doug Stead

            Thank you once again for underlining and validating my earlier response to you. I don’t need a dictionary and if my words are too big for you, then again perhaps you need to refrain from posting your own unintelligent comments. Hopefully there aren’t any words in this response that are too long or too “big” for you.

          • garth watson

            your rebuttal changes nothing you are still an idiot

    • Glen Olives

      You, perhaps understandably, assume I’m Mexican. I’m an American, Californian, and US Army veteran. Do I underestimate Donald Trump? Not at all. He may very well be our next president. Even a cursory look at crime statistics reveals a commonality you’ve (intentionally?) overlooked. Poor people, minorities and immigrants are not (surprise!) genetically predisposed to criminality, but are incarcerated at higher rates. The biggest lobby in opposition to immigration reform is (another surprise!) the private prison industry. Read more and watch Fox News less. You’ll be better informed.

      • Doug Stead

        I never made that assumption as I took your name as Glen Thompson, definitely not a Hispanic name by any means. How the “Olives” got in there only you know. I’m an American too by way of being born and educated in London UK, having lived in Canada and currently reside in California as well as Mexico. I agree poor people and especially minorities, which tend to be predisposed to being poor, are incarcerated at higher rates. American poor people, especially the young, predominantly live in poor neighborhoods and are subject to the temptations of being swept into gangs and a life of crime. This is especially true of African American youth and perhaps less so of Hispanic youth who come from stronger family units. We can debate crime and punishment all day long, but it really has nothing to do with building a wall to keep potential criminals and terrorists out of our country no matter where they originate from. I’m not surprised the private prison industry is opposed to a wall, after all isn’t their bread and butter contingent upon an ever growing prison population. At least they perhaps in their opposition to border security surreptitiously acknowledge that a large part of their enterprise depends on an open border, thus underlining the need for a secure border. All one has to do is follow the money in order to find the truth. As for why illegal immigrants become criminals is understandable to some degree. I see them here in California waiting on corners looking for work and living in makeshift camps in river beds, as many of them come here without a job or place to live. Sooner or later in order to survive they have to beg or steal and eventually end up on the wrong side of the law. And so it goes… As for Fox News, this debate came about because I read the Mexico News Daily along with a host of other publications. Please do not assume that because one watches Fox News that one is a mindless lemming without an original thought or opinion. Trust me I can hold my own with the best. Thank you for responding as most correspondents or writers do not respond, so this is refreshing to say the least.

      • Herradura Plata

        Reading……The “World Culture Score Index,” in a survey measuring reading habits (hrs./wk.), places the US at the lower end of the pack — 23rd on a list of 30. China ranks 3rd. Quite a difference, a notable imbalance, similar to the trade imbalance between the two countries. Does the nation that reads more, trade more, and smarter?

  • Herradura Plata

    The tragic events in Brussels today just won Trump another million votes. Or multiples of same. So best to focus on the real possibility of Donald Trump “making America great again…” from the Oval Office.
    But to the point: it is obvious, that, wall or no “wall to pay for”, Trump would drastically reconstruct NAFTA. Or perhaps simply abrogate the trade deal entirely. This in spite of the facts that show NAFTA has been of enormous benefit to Corporate America. As just one example, the US agricultural sector, aided by Mexican manual labour, and at the expense of Mexican “campesinos,” grew by 156% with NAFTA.
    Is it realistic to think Trump would intentionally crash that figure? Just to “show Mexico who´s boss?”
    Mussolini declared war against Britain in May, 1940 (the day Hitler´s divisions rolled up France, forcing its surrender) with a view to seizing the Suez Canal and showing Britain who not to mess with. That idea didn´t work out well at all for ´ole Benito. Nor would bulding a Wall while tearing down NAFTA work for the Donald.

    • Happygirl

      I disagree with your first sentence…today Trump lost a million voters because Americans need a experienced, intelligent leader…someone who knows ISIS …not a reality star, who sells steaks, wine and over priced real estate.

      • Herradura Plata

        Well, I hope you are right, believe me. But, as Trump declared: “There are 25 countries in the world better than we are at education.” It shows,

      • Beau

        Trump as a perfect example of the Dunning Kruger effect: unskilled individuals rate their competence much higher than it actually is. People are angry at the Government and voting for Trump is a way to show them the middle finger. A disaster waiting to happen that would bring the USA to it’s knees.

        • Happygirl

          That is why Trump loves the uneducated…people need to wake up and realize that voting is really, really important…it is not a joke…they need to research their candidate…just because you are unhappy, angry, hurt…a day dreamer – if you vote and you chose wrong, you and your children are going to pay the price. The world is totally horrified by Trump …totally dumbfounded by American support. Think, read, listen, delve…talk…make an educated choice…and vote.

        • Güerito

          Beau Alert: commenter liking his own comment….

      • Doug Stead

        Trump is not riding a wave of success in the primaries because he sells steaks, wine or real estate. He is leading because the American people like his message, especially after 8 years of Obama, who had, possibly still has, less experience than Trump when he took office in 2008. The voters will decide the next President, not some obscure professor from Mexico. The point I was making to the professor was that the reason the Mexican establishment hates Trump so much, and he is one of them, like the US establishment does as well, is because Trump is waking up the US electorate who are fed up with the status quo and want serious change. The establishment both in the US and Mexico are afraid of change because they will lose power over the people and their cushy positions which pay them too well at the expense of the people. As for those who claim they live in Mexico and try to diminish my words, I will tell you I too have a home in Mexico and see first hand what goes on there. You do not have a superior position by any means, and if you want to defend the policies of Mexico that drive so many of their people north, then hopefully you live there and not the the US. If you live in the US then your moral superiority is completely misplaced.

        • Happygirl

          I am not an American but rather a Canadian…so I have no vote…I do have an opinion just like you. I respect yours and everyone else’s. I have fears and worries…I know history and am glad to be old. When the USA gets a cold we get put on life support…

          • Geoffrey Rogg

            Canadians, US Citizens and Mexicans are all North Americans hence the much over-rated NAFTA agreement includes Canada, USA and Mexico being all three part of the North America Free Trade Agreement. So Happygirl be happy, you too are an American!

          • Doug Stead

            If you respect my opinion then why call it drivel? Rebut it with facts not unfiltered emotions. I agree with Geoffrey below although I know many Canadians resent this, but Canada is a part of the United States whether they like it or not. I lived and worked in Toronto for 5 years before moving to the states and just about everything there is either American made or American owned despite Canadian content laws. Yes, a lot of other countries are invested in Canada, but the U.S. has the most effect and influence. So, I agree with you that when the U.S. goes down, then not only does Canada go down, but the rest of the world too. Personally I believe the Trump phenomenon is a good thing, even Cruz, as the establishment not only in the U.S., but in Mexico too, needs to be shaken up and changed, drastically!

        • Geoffrey Rogg

          Doug, you and I alike love and have invested in Mexico and know what is going on there as well as in the US.

    • Güerito

      “According to the Post, Trump “outlined an unabashedly non-interventionist approach to world affairs” in his conversation with the newspaper’s editors.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-foreign-policy_us_56f02fd3e4b09bf44a9df5c8

      Not much like Il Duce…..

  • Don Neilson

    Bravo, Glen! However, picking some nits here: the Sonora desert extends well beyond Arizona’s borders. There’s Texas, New Mexico and California deserts to consider. Then, I have trouble with your comment about border patrol agents destroying cached water. IF the water caches get dumped, it is more likely to have happened at the hands of the “militia” men or at the hands of vandals. Some of those who provide that life saving water here in San Diego county, have no such tales to tell. Otherwise, well done, Sir.

    • Glen Olives

      Hi Don. Of course you’re right about the geography. Most of the Southwest is part of the Great Chihuahua desert, but few people realize this. As far as water dumping by border patrol goes, the evidence is, unfortunately, clear and convincing. And documented on video. Starting at 3:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e94K30251MI

  • Güerito

  • Güerito
    • Glen Olives

      Obama has deported more illegals than any other president in history. Not something in my view to be proud of, but a fact. I think we might be talking at cross purposes here. The US is in an endemic free fall. It could be that immigrants are the problem. But that seems unlikely. Can you think of another reason?

      • Güerito

        “There is a reason that Wall Street likes immigration reform,” Sanders said. “What I think they’re interested in is seeing a process by which we can bring low-wage labor into this county.”

        “What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that.”

        • Glen Olives

          As do I. Isn’t it so deliciously ironic ironic that anti-immigration drum beaters for political reasons are also secret advocates or open borders for economic reasons?

          • Güerito

            OK, Glen. So you agree with Trump on trade and you agree with Trump that illegal immigration drives down wages for working Americans. That’s your ticket for the Trump Train. Now all you need to do is climb aboard!

          • PintorEnMexico

            ” illegal immigration drives down wages for working Americans… It has to be more complicated than that. Unions, public and private, have been gutted. The world’s insatiable demand for cheap stuff is driving down wages as well, from aerospace to textiles. We’re fighting over the effects, not the causes….

          • Güerito

            The Michoacano goes to the US and drives down wages for US construction workers. He’s “doing the work the Americans won’t do.”

            The Chiapaneco goes to Michoacán and drives down wages for Michoacán agricultural workers. He’s “doing the work the Michoacanos won’t do.”

            The Guatemalan goes to Chiapas and drives down wages for Chiapas coffee pickers. He’s “doing the work the Chiapanecos won’t do.”

            Of course all of them would prefer to stay home, but free trade (and immigration) makes that impossible by distorting the local labor market. That’s the way it works. Wages go down everywhere, hurting everyone except the multinationals.

            Free trade and the immigration that goes along with it, is nothing more than a gigantic transfer of wealth from the working class to the business class.

          • PintorEnMexico

            Local vs global, proximate cause vs cause in fact. For how long has the US been demanding access to foreign markets more or less unilaterally? For how long has the US been meddling in the affairs of Mexico if not outright invading? A long time. Look at the record in Latin America:

            http://www.zompist.com/latam.html

            The US has invaded 70 countries since 1776. We started right off the bat with invading Canada (I know, it was England then. And I’m happy we got kicked out because Canadians are not too numerous and therefore great keepers of their national parks which I love – one for you Herradura Plata:).

            The chicken shit is coming home to roost, to mix a few metaphors…

            As countries grew up they said no more unilateral trade. They started demanding industrial participation in things like production of aircraft. Boeing had to export low-value work (union work like wire bundles to Mexico, and other minor assemblies) or lose sales to Europe, Brazil, Canada, China, and Russia. And that wouldn’t go well on Wall Street. In fact, Wall Street is the big winner in all this bickering.

            Immigrants, papered or not, are only taking advantage of forces whose origins are way out of our sight. Follow the money.

            Do you imagine American exporters can survive on local markets only? Are American jobs and products the only ones that matter in the world? After we had destroyed the industrial capacity of the world in WWII, the
            US enjoyed a near monopoly in the production of durable goods. We enjoyed it so long we began to think it was our god given right. We were lazy and unresponsive to global markets until it was too late.

            Nixon’s race-baiting, and Regan’s god politics played to the South’s insecurities and gave them a solid bloc willing to vote against their economic interests. See my comment above for how the Democrats betrayed the working class. All along the way, wall street has been funding the best candidates they could buy.

            Don’t blame Mexicans, and find something more salient than trade agreements for today’s problems. Overpopulation, income inequality, and climate change are really going to redraw the map…

          • Glen Olives

            Factually, there is little to disagree with here. But are we to do? Pretend that globalization doesn’t exist?

          • Glen Olives

            Nope. Exactly backwards. We have to live in the world we have now, not the one we wish we had. If there’s a ticket for the Trump Train, I don’t wan’t one. I have an odd liking for sanity. Call me crazy.

      • Herradura Plata

        Three reasons: “…idleness, greed and superstition…..A “click” for above-quoted Donald Hall. Who´s he? Not aware of that name…..

        • Glen Olives

          In my view, Donald Hall is the greatest American poet since Walt Whitman.

  • Güerito

    “Kobach, an influential hard-liner on immigration who also serves as a lawyer at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, cited a provision within the PATRIOT Act he said the U.S. can use to ensure Mexico does, in fact, pay for the wall.

    “We have the ability to shut down the flow of remittances to Mexico from illegal aliens working in the United States,” he said. “Mexico will then have to make a choice: Either make a single payment of $5 billion to $10 billion to the United States to pay for the wall, or lose most of the $23 billion in remittances that Mexico receives every year from its nationals working illegally in the United States.”

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/02/kris-kobach-endorse-donald-trump-219989

    • Glen Olives

      Come on, Guerito. You’re a smart guy. We can make blue eyes illegal if we want to. We can pass any law we want to. Are you purposefully missing thing point here?

      • Güerito

        Yale Law School is a little better than the law school I attended. How about you, Glen?

        • Glen Olives

          Ha! Now we can have some fun. Southwestern. A shit-hole of a law school. Your point being?

          • Güerito

            “In 2013, Southwestern fell out of the rankings in the U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings into an “unranked” category.”

  • Güerito

    Bernie is with Trump on trade deals:

    “The wages that high school graduates received today are significantly less, whether you are white or black, then they used to be. Why is that? Because of the series of disastrous trade policies which have allowed corporate America through NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China, Secretary Clinton and I disagree on those issues.

    But the idea is that those trade issues have abled corporate America to shut down in this country, so millions of people are out on the street. No no one thinks working in the factory is the greatest job in the world. But you know what, you can make a middle class wage, you have decent health care, decent benefits. You once had a pension. Those jobs in many cases are now gone. They’re off to China.

    Now you are a worker, white worker, black worker, who had a decent job, that manufacturing job is gone. What are you doing now, working in McDonald’s. That is why there is massive despair all over this country.

    People have worked their entire lives. They’re making a half, two-thirds what they used to make. Their kids are having a hard time finding any work at all. And that’s why this study which shows that, if you can believe it today, for white, working-class people between 45 and 54, life expectancy is actually going down.”

    http://www.vox.com/2016/2/12/10976592/democratic-debate-highlights

    • Glen Olives

      You’re right — Trump and Sanders are closer on trade policy than either might want to admit. So what? I say NAFTA was bad, Trump says NAFTA bad. Sanders says NAFTA was bad. We’re not a manufacturing country anymore, and haven’t been for a half a century.

      • Güerito

        “everything Trump proposes to “make America great again” is either patently unconstitutional, otherwise illegal, naïve or simply moronic.”‘

        Glen, I know you’re not moronic, so what gives?

        • Glen Olives

          Exactly.

      • Güerito

        “Trump says NAFTA bad.”

        Aren’t we missing an auxiliary verb or something here? Or was this purposeful?

  • First lesson for you… you can’t compare chickens to apples and expect anyone to understand… you’re assesment of Trump is premature and you have no evidence of how he will accomplish the securing of the border as he hasn’t detailed that… doesn’t matter how long and expensive the project is… the idea is to move forward on it rather than not… think of building a wall as more of a metaphor… In the mean time he will implement the border patrol to start doing their jobs correctly… this is what a majority of Americans prefer… rather than the Obama plan to remove borders and establish a (New World Order)… Maybe you’re not aware that there are Millions of Mexican Americans who agree with Trump. Unfortunately you’re apparent liberal education has not allowed you to employ common sense or respect for opposing opinions… I hope the young minds you’re influencing can sort through your narrow opinion and see other perspectives… I live in Mexico and love this country but also love my home country (USA)… and am hoping it can overcome this current administrations failures to preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all… securing the border does not mean shutting out Mexicans… they’re always welcome and if they would like to stay… there are legal channels to accomplish that… Trump followers are not haters!!! and did you ever consider how many poor Mexican lives might be saved if there wasn’t the temptation to risk the travel which involves expensive trafficking coyotes and crossing the sonoran desert, many of the fee’s involve getting involved in the drug trade if they’re too poor to pay… I lived 25 miles form the Mexican border @ Lukeville for 5 years and know first hand what’s going on… I am a US Army Vietnam Veteran and have a vested right to my opinion…

    • Herradura Plata

      Your right to an opinión is clear. Not so clear is the link between America´s disastrous intervention in Vietnam, your participation in it, and your right to that opinión.

      • Let me clear up your question as to my link to the Vietnam War… I was drafted and did what I was ordered to do… Other choice would have been to break the law, cut and run… A tough decision for a young 19 year old don’t you think??? Anyway I was involved with building rather than destroying so what’s your point about interventions and my right to an opinion???

        • Herradura Plata

          The direct implication seemed to be that because you carried arms for your country you have what you call ” a vested right to my opinión.” Why even mention your military history — it is irrelevant to you holding an opinión. But glad to hear you were “building” and not “destroying.” We like to think you are contributing in some way, even today, to the removal of American-dropped, Vietnam-era ordnance in Laos and Kampuchea-Cambodia.

          • At least I assign my name to an opinion rather than hide behind a bottle of tequila…

          • Herradura Plata

            Limp reply. L-I-M-P, as is any attempted defense of US actions in Vietnam. I wouldn´t call anyone out on being suckered in by the ´60´s draft, and going off to “search and destroy” people struggling for their own freedom. What is condemnable is a government, a national mind-set, that sets out and pursues that policy, imagining all the while that only ´Muricans understand “freedom.”
            We don´t fear Trump re-introducing the draft. No, more that Trump will dispatch nuclear armed B-2 bombers, just because, well, he´s Donald Trump. The man is unstable, not presidential material in the least, and his candidacy is as scary as being targeted by an F-4 napalm strike.

          • You can spew your perceived academic all you want… doesn’t appear anyone’s listening… see ya…

  • Güerito

    “Job growth” in Mexico is almost exclusively in low paying (below poverty-level) employment:

    http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/periodismo-de-datos/2015/12/6/crece-empleo-en-el-pais-mal-pagado

    Nearly 60% of those working in Mexico are working in the informal (illegal) economy:

    http://www.sinembargo.mx/15-03-2016/1636148

    • Glen Olives

      Nothing to disagree with here. Your point being?

      • Güerito

        Just the way you said: “Meanwhile, the Mexican economy is expanding.”

        • Glen Olives

          The tired and poor and desperate will always be heading north. I don’t think I’ve ever implied that was not the case. But your comments taken in whole seem to suggest you’re missing, perhaps intentionally, the larger point. Illegal immigration is a political problem, not a practical one. Robert Nilsen’s comment below beautifully illustrates this.

          • Güerito

            I’m just glad you’ve stopped talking about that “booming” Mexican economy.

          • Glen Olives

            I hope our apparent disagreement isn’t primarily based on adjectives. If you don’t like booming, fine.

          • Güerito

            I prefer “stagnant” or “sluggish.”

            “What I see is economic stagnation without an immediate escape. I see a prolonged stagnation.”

            Mexico’s economy was supposed to soar. It’s starting to flop:

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexicos-economy-was-supposed-to-soar-its-starting-to-flop/2015/08/07/ecbf00dc-3ab4-11e5-b759-e3c43f009486_story.html

          • Glen Olives

            Partlow’s piece is revealing. Please read all of it. And stop over-arguing your case. Please. You’re not a demagogue. You’re not dumb. You’ve just bought-on to an failed ideology. And the defenses of you positions, while sometimes artful, are mostly silly.

  • Güerito

    Downturn in emigration from Mexico to US 2009-2013, reversed in last two years (2014-2015):

    http://www.omi.gob.mx/es/OMI/Poblacion_mexicana_residente_en_Estados_Unidos_2015

    • Glen Olives

      Not so fast, Guerito. Demography is a bitch. It took the best and brightest from three universities to make the net-loss conclusion, reviewing a half-decade of data. Is there now a net gain of illegals? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. When the data is correlated, we will know more, but it won’t change the argument. Net loss. Net gain. Tablas.

      • Güerito

        If what you claim is true, that illegal immigration to the US is net zero or a non-facor, it would be very important and relevant. It’s just that it’s not true.

        • Glen Olives

          Really? I’d love to see the data. But be that as it may, you seem to be on the bandwagon that thinks that illegal immigration is the cause of our decline. It’s an easy target to be sure. Let’s blame it illegals. Forget about corporations paying no taxes.

          • Güerito

            I’m surpised – I thought you could read Spanish.

            The Mexican Government, using US Census figures, shows a large increase in Mexicans living in the US. See above.

            But Glen, why do you never, and I mean never, address the huge surge in illegals heading to the US from Central America other parts of the World?

            I understand it doesn’t fit your your narrative, but that’s a reason to rethink things, no?

            That’s what I do.

          • Glen Olives

            I read, write, speak, and sometimes publish in Spanish. I have written quite a lot about immigration to the US, including migrants from Central America and Asia, and Obama’s record deportation numbers. Just Google it.

  • Güerito
  • Geoffrey Rogg

    A totally biased and obviously partisan piece unworthy of critique but requiring rebuttal. Trump is not a double talking politician, he does shoot from the hip – often with exaggeration – but much of what he says so bluntly has a lot of common sense behind it and the disastrous state of so much of the world, due to corrupt, inept or hate mongering politicians or dictatorships, is such that the US has to retrench and define itself without equivocation. By setting straight our domestic priorities first and foremost we are far stronger to take leadership of the high ground internationally.

    Unfortunately Mexico has been close to being a failed state for generations with endemic social problems ever since the Spanish Colonial conquest which brought with it the virus of corruption, misappropriation, deprivation and misery which exists till today. Nevertheless, the indomitable spirit of the Mexican native is one of making the best and better with the little they have by themselves and for themselves. I don’t know what the future has in store for the Mexican peoples but in the short term I expect more of the same.

    NAFTA cannot be compared to the EEC as it is no more and no less than a corporate club for the multi-nationals and whereas it has brought employment is has sent innumerable Mexican SME’s to the wall, more than wiping out any net socio-economic advantage that would have accrued if NAFTA indeed had replicated the socially responsible goals and conditions of the EEC, but it did not.

    Trump’s wall can take many forms, more important than concrete or barbed wire, high tech above and below ground surveillance systems have been proven most effective in detecting and stopping illegal penetration when supported by airborne or ground forces. Trump’s goal is to stop illegal, undocumented immigration which has strong support as the elections will bare out, especially from hard-working, honest immigrants who came to the US legally and have proven to be excellent citizens. Absolutely Mexico should share in the cost as they are the biggest exporters of illegal drugs to the US and Canada, doing damn all to eradicate the cursed trade and the vicious cartels who control it, whose tentacles of corruption reach as far as Los Pinos.

    Remember Mexican politicians are amongst the highest paid in the world and include the most corrupt and ruthless from the highest echelons of the Federal Government to the lowest echelons of Municipal and Ejido administrations.

    One can only hope and pray that the good in the indomitable spirit of the Mexican native will prevail over the bad in their midst.

    Viva Mexico, Miva Mexicanos, Viva la heroica Raza!

  • David Howell

    I disagree , The Wall may so so bad – taste . A Country has the right to know Who and Were are its Border are being cross ..

    • Quite so, and walls do work. Ask Israel, for example. I always get a chuckle when I hear teary-eyed people comparing the U.S. border wall with the Berlin Wall. They overlook the essential difference. The Berlin Wall was a prison wall to keep people in. The U.S. border wall is to keep people out. It’s akin to locking the door of your house at night.

      • PintorEnMexico

        The wall in Israel is only going to be around 400 miles long. While I hope it eventually becomes unnecessary, it is being built to divide two people at bloody, bus-bombing, settlement land-grabbing war. That is not the case with US/Mexico where the two countries enjoy $40,466,500,000 of peaceful trade between them. Apples and horses….

        • Israel did not build its quite-effective wall to “divide two people,” a moral equivalency waltz. It was built to keep the murderous Palestinian out of Israel. Works pretty good too.

          • PintorEnMexico

            Yes of course, Israel is blameless. Pfft. The point is that Mexicans aren’t bombing US buses, talk about moral equivalency dancing… and it doesn’t make sense to erect walls, if only to curtail immigration, and threaten to make Mexico fund it, with someone you trade over 40 trillion dollars.

  • Three score and ten

    Don’t think I’ve seen this many comments before. Way to stir things up, Glen. I’m with you on this except for just one small thing. Trump may have brought up the idea, but all of the other candidates have repeated the same promise except for making Mexico pay for the wall. As for why Trump has gained so many followers, here’s my view as an American that has lived in Mexico for 18 years. Americans are feeling oppressed by a small group of wealthy people and by politicians who ignore the clearly demonstrated concerns of a large percentage of the population. Things like gun control, terrorism, and economic disparity.Trump (although he is actually one of the rich mainstream group) places the blame for American ills on Mexicans, Democrats, Muslims, etc. and promises to make changes for the better. It’s the same tactic that has been used by every revolutionary and dictator since the beginning of time. I think many Americans recognize the dangers of putting Trump in the Oval Office, but they are so angry that they are willing to take the risk in order to make the Washington mafia pay attention.

    • Herradura Plata

      Agreed, although I´d modify your final observation that Americans “…are so angry they are willing to take the risk….” It is much more likely that Americans don´t know and don´t understand the risks, in all its implications. Folks with little sense of history –not taught, never learned –just can´t get there.

      • Three score and ten

        You’re right, most Americans are so historically incompetent (courtesy of the educational system and the media) that they don’t recognize the risks.

  • Jonathan

    This article breaks it down that 1,000 miles of highway sound barrier would be about $5 billion. That would not be anywhere as strong or technically difficult as this wall. $42 billion sounds more appropriate.

    https://www.newhomefinder.ca/news/Trump-Wall-better-than-China's,-says-Trump

  • PintorEnMexico

    After a conversation with my brother a couple of days ago, I’ve given up on the hope that fact checking, assessments of his checkered business acumen, philandering, obvious race baiting, bigotry and xenophobia, as well as being belittled by the world’s best comic minds – none of this is going to bring
    Drumph down. My brother related a conversation he recently had with a long-time friend and ex-photojournalist in which they justified their turn Drumph-ward by adducing Jefferson’s line, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” Never mind that this line is from a letter to James Madison and that writer and recipient were political insiders, vastly more intelligent than most of us, fresh off of a HUGE rebellion the success of which was far from certain, the constitution having yet to be ratified by the former colonies. Rebellion was in the air and tossing about such words was just insider-insider speak. It wasn’t part of a public address such as the state of the union.

    The Huffington Post made the mistake of relegating Trump coverage to the entertainment section before having to back pedal and admit that they can’t belittle him away.

    The white working class’ willingness to follow their piper over the cliff can’t be explained alone by the failure of the GOP elite to bring back the good ole days of John-boy Walton. Among their ranks are also disaffected Democrats, who in the past were willing to hold their nose when the Dems talked about racial and gender equality so long as the Dems brought home the bacon with respect to union rights. Gary Hart (in Senate campaigns), Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton all did their part to assault New Deal reforms, regulatory networks, and pushed free trade agreements that put the laser’s dot on relatively unskilled and less educated workers. Trying to sell them on educating their way out of the assembly lines didn’t do so well either. Americans owe almost 250 billion to for-profit schools, apart from debt for non-profit schools loans. Dem’s have looked down our noses at “white trash” for as long as the GOP has been trending fascist.

    Unfortunately, it could be Hispanics that come up short the most. By embracing Drumph, the GOP has solidified a significant bloc of voters for the Dems without the Dems having to anything concrete in their favor, other than to oppose an unbuildable wall and mass deportations as likely to occur as Trump Wall. Sad.

    Let’s get on with it. Time for the parties to coalesce around their nominees, however repugnant they may seem to their opponents, and work on getting as many people to the polls (I do believe that the GOP’s craven efforts to restrict voting rights in the name of solving a non-existent problem is as disgusting a thing as they have ever done) and settle the direction of the country for the next few years. I hope for, but can’t expect, participation rates approaching 80 percent, not seen since 1876. Then we will know where we stand, or not.

    • James Smith

      More confirmation as if we needed any that you are a modern marvel and miracle. A dude walking around with no brain. Amazing.

      • PintorEnMexico

        “Wow…another substantive response from the cheap seats!”

        • Justin

          For what it’s worth, I support Trump and I think you make all of the obvious arguments against his candidacy along with a few that are of some genuine depth. I think it makes everyone dumber when someone ignores every point, to the word, that someone raises to attack them in away that feels more appropriate for Dodgers-Yankees than for discussion between people.

          My main problem with your style of argument is that it is transparently partisan, ideological, and therefore oft-putting to many of the readers whose minds might be changed by all of this.

          The partisanship and the ideology do not just reveal bias – they reveal blind spots in your awareness of the “whole picture” of events.

          For a Mexican-based journalist who is trying to step above the fray of “I am Mexican and angry about what Trump said,” which you clearly are, this does yourself a disservice.

          In the US and I am sure in Mexico and the rest of the world, we compete in debates that assign a position at the last moment. I am not sure what this says about our political culture or its view of “facts” or “truth,” but I do know that it humanizes the opposition and even teaches you a few things you don’t already know.

          The two forces of globalization and technology are the obvious factors towards increased inequality, polarization, etc in the US. However it has arguably been a godsend for Mexico, which has seen its best years of growth since NAFTA. You cannot blame people who were told one thing and clearly never compensated for experiencing the opposite, from being mistrustful of those who try to paint them as “trailer trash.” It looks even worse when being done from the other side of the Rio Grande.

          That’s as critical as I can really be, I guess. Bring more depth into what you do and that way even if Trump doesn’t make America great again, you can write a better column than what passes for commentary in every American newspaper.

          • PintorEnMexico

            I’m not sure who you are replying to. It’s not my column and you seem to assume my citizenship with no foundation. And on a macro scale NAFTA looks good for Mexico, while being a disaster for the many poor Mexicans who left the countryside for the promise of a better life in the maquiladoras. Filthy politicians in Mexico and foreign companies are the beneficiaries not Mexican families.

            And words matter, never moreso than from would be presidents. So I don’t know how anybody other than disaffected workers grasping at straws could view Trump’s words as coming from other than a lying, mysogynistic, xenophobic, race-baiting, narcissist. Do you want a president who is in favor of nuclear proliferation as Trump is? Do you want a president whose position on issues changes day to day?

  • James Smith

    Catch me before I faint! Have pigs just learned how to fly? Is the Pope still Catholic? Did Glen actually post a commentary which was not ridiculous on its face? If one can plough through his rabid anti-gringo hatred and platitudinous nonsense……one may if he reads carefully conclude that just may possibly be true. The idea of the wall is nonsense and of course will never be built. It would help however if Mexicans and other Latinos would come to the realization that Americans get a little upset when foreigners basically tell us to Go F Ourselves while breaking all of our laws to enter our nation; not to assimilate and become Americans of course….perish the thought! But only to take from the hated gringos as much as they can without giving anything back in return. But then that may be a bit much to ask, huh? Question to my Mexican neighbor: “Why don’t your people have any respect for our laws?” Answer: “Simple. They have no respect for their own”. Touche.

    • PintorEnMexico

      Yes, you learned to fly…

      • James Smith

        Wow…another substantive response from the cheap seats!

  • Sorensen

    Even in the height of the cold war Americans never thought about closing borders. Why? Because most of them were the BRAVE people of the Greatest Generation. People who fought the depression and one horrendous war and they won both. Now we have from babyboomers to millennials who scare like chickens because a bunch of goat lovers send some fire which compared to the aerial bombardment that the English, German and the Japanese had to endure in WWII are just firecrackers. Close the Borders! The Sky is falling! Nothing good has come from those generations who NEVER won a war in a clear way (don’t tell me about the crap of the First Gulf War, Please!), Who avoided the call of duty and began taking drugs like fools, and now these old people try to tell to the rest of us what to do next. “The Land of the Brave” Gimme a break! (end of my rant).

    • Herradura Plata

      Saw Brokaw´s book on the WW2 generation (can´t recall the name) on a bookshelf recently, read the DJ notes….. and passed it by. Will return to the spot soon, hoping it is still there.

  • Güerito

    “It’s startling to have to actually put this on the record, but let me be clear: Trump is no fascist. He’s not even particularly extreme. In fact, it’s Trump’s lack of ideology that most Republicans have a problem with. Trump doesn’t pontificate about the holiness of the constitution, or American exceptionalism, or “freedom.” The real agony the establishment is facing is not that Donald Trump has beaten their preferred candidates; rather, it’s the dawning realization that no one in the world cares about ‘conservatism’, not even GOP voters.” …. “Trump is a Nixon-Kissinger realist. Trump candidly states the Iraq war was an unmitigated disaster, is pragmatic about Russia and Assad in Syria, supports normalizing relations with Cuba, and expects American allies in Europe and East Asia to do more for their own national defense. On all of these subjects, Trump has given reasons as to why.

    None of these prescriptions is accepted Republican orthodoxy. In the context of America’s national interest, however, Trump is certainly correct.”

    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/trump-sees-the-united-states-country-any-other-15589

    • Glen Olives

      No much to disagree with, other than Trump can be defined in any meaningful way. He’s all over the map. His lack of political ideology and religious convictions are good things in my view. It’s just that everything else about him is bad. Getting inside his head and defining what he’s “really” about is a Sisyphean exercise in futility. Dubya was dumb as a rock but principled. Nixon was smart as hell (despite being a Whittier College graduate) but malevolent and Machiavellian. Clinton was a glad-handing political opportunist who’s legacy of support of neoliberal economic ideas like NAFTA, his welfare reform, his Jim Crow sentencing reform, are all looking increasingly tarnished. Trump? I honestly don’t know what he stands for. But I don’t think he does either. He will be the Republican nominee. And when he crosses that threshold, the GOP will cease to be the party of stupid and become the party of the mentally ill. What a deliciously bizarre interesting political year this is.

    • Herradura Plata

      Güerito, Trump´s support doesn´t follow on his foreign policy “positions,” such as they can be identified. His support comes from his clearly identified targeting of racial and religious minorities at home. In this regard he is extreme, and if not a fascist, many of his followers are, which we may discover should he lose in November, esp. by a narrow margin. Should he win, what would be key is who gets seats around his cabinet table. David Duke for a newly-created Interior Ministry?

      • PintorEnMexico

        HP, I just had to be the 100th comment on this article!! (Yay, I’m relevant too!) The US has no ministries, thought I’d be happy to co-opt Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks in a heartbeat. The Department of the Interior has been existence for over 150 years…. 😉

  • Güerito

    “This week, while people everywhere were fretting over his violent talk, the candidate came to Washington and dropped a peace bomb on the neocon editorial writers at The Washington Post and the war lobby. Trump wants to get the United States out of fighting other people’s wars. He thinks maybe NATO has outlived its usefulness. He asks why Americans are still paying for South Korea’s national defense. Or Germany’s or Saudi Arabia’s.” …

    “Will anybody give him an amen? Yes, lots of folks. People who read The Nation (myself included) have been saying something similar for a long time. So have libertarian Republicans on the right. But this sort of thinking is mega-heresy among the political establishment of both parties. The foreign-policy operators consider themselves in charge of the “indispensable nation.”’ …

    “This new Trump talk is definitely career-threatening for the military-industrial complex. It was particularly playful of Trump to choose The Washington Post as the place to drop his bomb; after all, it’s the Post that has made itself such a righteous preacher for endless war-making.”

    http://www.thenation.com/article/donald-trump-could-be-the-military-industrial-complexs-worst-nightmare/

    • Glen Olives

      Sometimes even a blind bird catches a worm (referring to Trump). As bad a Trump is, he would be a better president than Ted Cruz, and for precisely the reason Cruz gave in claiming that Trump would be a disaster — he’s “malleable.”

  • PintorEnMexico

    “The Donald, usually bellicose in style and substance, is singing, ‘Give peace a chance.’ What does his detour portend for national policy? We can’t know for sure, since Trump also has a tendency to casually contradict himself before different audiences. Later on the same day, he addressed AIPAC’s convention and sounded like a warrior for Zion. He got thunderous applause after making the ritual promises that candidates from both parties always make at AIPAC meetings.”

    http://www.thenation.com/article/donald-trump-could-be-the-military-industrial-complexs-worst-nightmare/

    • Güerito

      “I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’d be blown up,” Trump told the editors. “And we’d build another one and it would get blown up. And we would rebuild it three times. And yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn.… at what point do you say hey, we have to take care of ourselves. So, you know, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that but at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially in the inner cities.”

      http://www.thenation.com/article/donald-trump-could-be-the-military-industrial-complexs-worst-nightmare/

      • PintorEnMexico

        So he says now. The question is, when is he lying? Answer: whenever his lips are moving.

    • Three score and ten

      Trump is learning to be a politician.

  • PintorEnMexico
    • Güerito

      I can see the heads are really exploding over my last two posts!

      • PintorEnMexico

        Yes, you’re relevant.

      • Glen Olives

        A few head, including mine, shaking, but none exploding.

  • alance

    Trump is a far better candidate than Hillary Clinton because he is not a neocon who would start WW3.
    Calling Trump a Hitler or Mussolini is a cheap shot.

  • Güerito

    ….

  • Güerito

    Food for thought:

    “During my many years as a correspondent in Mexico, some of my best reporting happened around dinner tables. So on a recent trip back, I dined with a range of old contacts to catch up on how Mexico was handling its most pressing challenges, like the 2014 student massacre in southern Mexico, which shocked the world and ignited protests across the country.

    But all anyone wanted to talk about was Donald Trump.

    My dinner companions were not alone in their fixation. About a week later, the Mexican government announced that it was shaking up its diplomatic corps to address the anti-Mexico rhetoric spewing from the Trump campaign, which a Mexican official told The Washington Post threatened to “damage the image of Mexico in the United States.”

    On Sunday, however, Mexico showed that the deeper damage to the country’s image is self-inflicted.

    An independent investigative panel released its final report on the massacre in the state of Guerrero, which left 43 students of a rural teachers college in Ayotzinapa missing and presumed dead. Its findings were devastating. ….

    Government officials appear to be more concerned with Mr. Trump’s sweeping statements about their country and its people — among them, referring to Mexicans as “rapists.” These are, of course, unfounded and offensive. But how can Mexico’s image really improve when its leaders fail to demonstrate some level of commitment to ending the abuses and impunity that matter most to its own people? …

    Mr. Trump is partly used by the government as a distraction. It’s simpler to focus on foreign demons, rather than on internal ones, particularly when the foreigner spouts the racist attitudes they suspect many Americans share. “It’s always been easier for the Mexican government to unify people around concerns about outside intervention than around the hard work that needs to be done to reform the country,” said Andrew Selee, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/opinion/mexicos-self-image-problem.html

    • PintorEnMexico

      Hola Güerito, Ginger is talking about diversionary foreign policy (DFP), a well-worn tool of both democratic and authoritarian states, in this case Mexico, which is a little of both.

      http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/politics/faculty/smith/Smith96_diversion.pdf
      http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1293&context=jss

      In Trump’s case, he is doing everything he can to incite paranoia in Mexico. People here were upset by Trump the second he hit the news. They didn’t have to wait for their “leaders” to get ahead of the situation.

      And the Mexican people can get a pass if they overreact a bit because of a very real history of US intervention in Mexico (talk about your diversionary foreign policy). If Guatemala had said they are building a wall, Mexico would fall down laughing, never mind the little fishing war in the fifties.

      Anyway, it could be argued that Trump is using DFP to cover for his lack of………..everything.

      So, very corrupt or a little corrupt, authoritarian or democratic, most governors thank god for events, real or imagined, that pull their public’s attention away from their failings. El Salvador, Granada, Iraq, Ethiopia, on and on. Which is the pea and which is the shell in this game?

      So, not news Ginger and NY Times….

      • Güerito

        Hey, PEM. I agree with most of what you’re saying.

        I just saw this opinion piece, and I couldn’t help but think of a certain editorialist for a certain English language Mexican news site who’s written a lot about Trump lately. I mean he had to begin his last editorial by stating, “I’m not gonna write about Trump … well, at least not directly.” LOL

  • Güerito

    Vicente Fox apologizes to Trump for wall outburst

    “More than two months after his expletive-laden outburst over Donald Trump’s plan for a massive border wall, former Mexican President Vicente Fox is apologizing to Trump and has invited the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to Mexico.

    “If I offended you, I’m sorry,” Fox said, referring to Trump in an interview with Breitbart on Wednesday.”

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/05/vicente-fox-apologizes-trump-222842

    Vicente Fox agrees U.S., Mexico could work together on border fence

    “Former Mexican President Vicente Fox agreed Wednesday night with Fox News host Megyn Kelly that the U.S. and Mexico could work together on an effective border fence.

    Fox told Kelly that he believes the countries could partner to install a secure barrier on the 2,000-mile southern border. The Mexican politician said both countries could benefit from less cartel activity and human trafficking.

    “Yes … I am with you. I’m not for open borders,” Fox said.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/vicente-fox-agrees-u.s.-mexico-could-work-together-on-border-fence/article/2590426

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