There’s a reason that there’s a hashtag #PresidentDunce. Because solving his self-inflicted border wall problem is extremely easy.
Since his descent (in all senses of the word) into politics on that elevator in 2015, Donald Trump has been promising the G.O.P. (gullible old people) that he would build a “big, beautiful wall.” Notwithstanding its expense, unfeasibility, and utter fecklessness, an in-your-face wall has become sine quo non for his MAGA base.
Now, there’s no way there’s ever really going to be a wall; however, as far as Trump is concerned, that shouldn’t prove a problem. Here’s why.
Since at least March, Trump has been telling his sycophants the work on the wall has already begun, that the $1.6 billion that went to repair existing fencing actually went to begin work on the benighted border wall (see here at Factchecker and here at NPR and here at the Washington Post). Trump even tweeted deceptive photos to make it appear as if there were construction of 1,000 miles of border wall 40 feet tall. On Christmas Day, Trump pretended he’d given out a contract for building 115 miles of border wall in Texas, which he legally can’t do.
All of this is, of course, nonsense, as even Congressman Jim Jordan, founder of the extremist House Freedom Caucus, acknowledged; there’s no stomach for an overpriced white elephant of a wall. In fact, most Americans have consistently opposed the border-wall boondoggle.
In November, 55 percent of registered voters opined that a border wall wasn’t worth a government shutdown. That grew to 57 percent to 36 percent in an NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll from early December. In that same poll, 69 percent thought a wall shouldn’t be an immediate priority at all. And border patrol agents themselves dispute that a wall is needed or effective.
That said, the Trump base will swallow whatever Trump is serving. Only 26 percent of Americans agree with the statement “Construction has begun on a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico,” according to a Washington Post Fact Checker poll, but you can be sure that the ones who do are Trumpistas through and through. Which brings us to the solution to the impasse on the border wall.
So, here’s the simple solution: All Donald Trump has to do is just tell his feckless flock that the wall is being built. They’ll believe it. Every three months or so, he poses in front of the replacement fencing on the levee in Hidalgo County, Texas, or some of the fencing provided by the Secure Fencing Act of 2006—or, really, it could just be some wall from anywhere in the world Photoshopped into the background of a photo of a grinning Trump—and the Trumpistas who are dying for a “wall” will be happy. The more the media and the discerning point out the fraud, the more entrenched the true believers will be.
So unless Ann Coulter decides to rain on Trump’s parade again, he’ll be free to declare victory and pull out of his Vietnam.