The Stupid Wall

The current Trump upset over the Stupid border Wall is fascinating as a lesson in the danger of making improvident promises that you don’t think you will ever be in a position to break. Presidential candidates do this all the time; I don’t think Trump’s Stupid Wall was even the worst of the 2016 crop.  The President almost certainly thought he had no chance of winning when he began promising to build the SW, then doubled down when he said, ridiculously, that he would make Mexico pay for it.

A lie is still a lie when it is said to deceive even if only the gullible and dim will be fooled, as the old Ethics Scoreboard (current down, but it will rise again) used to  remind readers when it celebrated such lies in its David Manning Lie of the Month, named after Sony’s fake movie reviewer that Sony argued wasn’t fraudulent since nobody believed those review snippets in movie ads anyway. “Manning” had said that Rob Schneider’s  idiotic comedy “The Animal” was a comic masterpiece.

It’s not certain that the President knew the idea of the SW was ridiculous since he is—well, you know. Either way, however, it was a promise that shouldn’t have been made, just like Bernie Sanders’ promise only to appoint SCOTUS justices  who would “repeal” Citizens United should never have been made. Luckily for Sanders (and the rest of us), he wasn’t elected, and never had to try to deliver. That’s just moral luck, though. A promise you cannot keep is unethical when you make it, whether your ethical breach is dishonesty or incompetence.

The right thing for the President to do now is to simply admit that the Stupid Wall is not feasible or wise, based on what he now knows.  This is how President Obama explained many, though not all, of his broken promises, of which there were many. The SW should be one of the easiest promises to backtrack on, since Trump can truthfully argue that the number of illegal immigrants is already declining due to the stunningly simple policy of not telling eager border-breachers that they are regarded as the salt of the earth and that we welcome them with open arms. Deporting currently illegal residents who either flaunt their illicit status or further abuse it helps a lot.  Trump would be speaking the truth to say that we don’t need a Stupid Wall any more, though “any more” would be something of a lie,  since we never needed it.

The President’s problem, though, is that this is not the first improvident promise he would be breaking. He, like the Republicans in Congress, promised to repeal and replace Obamacare with something that would be “great” without having given a modicum of thought to how this could be done. He also promised a tax cut, like Obama promised to eliminate the so called Bush tax cuts. That’s also going to be a tough haul.

I don’t think President Trump is a fan of Westerns, movies, or culture in general, heavy or popular.  If he were capable of learning at this advanced stage in life, he would have benefited from seeing the marvelous mini-series “Lonesome Dove,” or better yet, the Larry McMurtry  masterpiece it was based on.  Toward the end of the saga, an old Texas Ranger,Captain Woodrow Call, promises  his dying friend Gus McCrae that he will bury him in a grove in Texas, and they are both in Montana. That’s a ridiculously long way to transport a corpse, but the Captain is a man of his word. Despite his advanced age, he buries Gus in the Texas grove, although the journey almost kills him.

Standing by the fresh grave of his friend, clad only in his longjohns (for he’s lost his clothes on his odyssey), Call says, as wipes a tear from his eye,

Well there ya are, Augustus. I guess this’ll teach me to be more careful about what I promise in the future. 

At least he could be taught.

8 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Government & Politics, Leadership, Literature, Popular Culture, Quotes

8 responses to “The Stupid Wall

  1. Isaac

    If he would just stick to undoing all of the insane Obama executive orders, cutting some spending, appointing reasonable Supreme Court justices, and not having any grandiose ideas of his own he’d be a very useful and helpful President. Oh, and stop tweeting things. Not gonna happen though.

    Health care reform can wait a year or two. Once all of the penalties kick in every middle class person on the Left and Right will be clamoring for a straight repeal anyway.

    • Joe Fowler

      I tend to agree with you on health care. It was built to fail, and it will. Attempts to shore it up won’t be a real option as the collapse gains momentum. The planned outcome of failure: universal single payer, was predicated on greater Democratic control of government than is foreseeable for at least until Trump is out of office. Hey, that’s yet another reason the left will do and say anything to derail this President!

      • This dies beg the question of why no state legislature has enacted universal health care.

        surely there would be broad support of taking universal health care national if there were examples of success at the state level.

  2. The lessons of Lonesome Dove, in 25 words:

    1. Watch for snakes.
    2. Stay with the herd.
    3. Don’t ride with strangers.
    4. Don’t be rude.
    5. Drop the baby.
    6. Don’t chase buffalo.
    7. Be careful what you promise.

  3. “Luckily for Sanders (and the rest of us), he wasn’t elected, and never had to try to deliver. That’s just moral luck, though. A promise you cannot keep is unethical when you make it, whether your ethical breach is dishonesty or incompetence.”

    Up here in Canada where we have a multi-party system, almost every political position is either safe, or contested among two front running parties. It’s to be expected, in a first part the post system, people supporting the third place contender tend to peel off and hold their noses while they vote for a less ideal candidate, if for no reason other than to block the person they really don’t want in power.

    What that means is that the people who are losing, tend to know they are losing…. Maybe not always the second place finisher, but definitely the third, fourth and in some cases fifth+. And that’s led to a phenomenon I’ve noticed, but maybe have never put words to… And that is that when you have no hope of winning, no hope of forming government, no hope that your vote if you form government will actually effect policy, you are much more free to act in a way that is less party line… Either more true to yourself, or more true to your image, it’s not always the same thing… than you would if you thought your actions really mattered. I think one of the better examples of this South of the border is Rand Paul; If he was actually a swing vote in a lot of the bills that he routinely votes against as part of his libertarian shtick, I doubt very much that his voting record would actually be his voting record. I’m just saying.

    Because we have such an amazing slew of third-place-plus losers in literally every riding, in literally every race, not from third party wackos but from major national parties who routinely do an absolutely abysmal job in vetting people they know aren’t going to win*, I’m perhaps more familiar with the behavior of people who plan to lose, but want to win.

    I believe that had Bernie Sanders won, he would have immediately choked on his pudding cup in an amazing caramel-flavored spit take, because no one would have been as surprised as he was. Since when does a joke candidate actually w… Oh. Hah. Never mind. His entire campaign was to try to push the Democratic party to a more socialist position, and I don’t think they ever thought that he would be as successful as he was. If nothing else, chalk that up as yet more proof that Hillary Clinton was the worst candidate ever. She almost lost to a communist. In America. My God. Regardless… Because he thought he wouldn’t win, he was free to say crazy things. And so he did. Things he knew were impossible, improbable, or downright doddering… Because he never thought he’d have to follow through. And then… all of a sudden… The lies got traction.

    And this is perhaps the most frightening thing out of the Trump/Sanders insurgencies… The lies got traction. There’s this perfect storm in America where a dereliction of duty and common sense by the mainstream parties, a lack of strong leadership for either, and the general ignorance and… selfishness (I struggled with that word, but it fits) of the public that has culminated in an environment where the crazy people who should be third+ place finishers all of a sudden have to be contended with and their lies debunked, but the public is. basically unwilling to do so, because they’ve already bought into the lies, and the truth… Feels bad, man.

    *which on it’s own is an issue, to the embarrassment of many a party… Google “Canadian Conservative candidate pees in sink” and you’ll find video of a prospective conservative MP (not really), who while working as a plumber, couldn’t wait to use the loo and pissed in a customer’s glass and poured the glass down their sink. I mean… at least he rinsed it out. I guess.

  4. I have always been leery of the Wall thing… because the damn thing might trap me here when the SJWs start imprisoning and executing conservatives.

    We don’t need a wall if we put those hiring illegals in jail.

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