Thursday, September 3, 2015

The circus

It really doesn't matter what your political views are to see some of what is happening in the US Presidential campaign as a circus.

I have to admit to a certain pleasure at Contender Donald Trump's irreverent, unconventional, oft idiotic approach to presidential politics.  Certainly, given the abysmal records of both House and Senate over the past few years, almost anything that is different is refreshing.

It is hard to select one item to comment on about Trump's campaign, but the selection was made much easier this week by Contender Scott Walker (Governor of Wisconsin).  More of that later.

My choice of one item of Contender Trump's campaign to talk about is THE WALL.

In general, Contender Trump has been pretty light of detail in his broad-ranging proposals, but a couple of weeks ago he released his detailed policy on immigration.  He promises to triple the number of US immigration officers, to end job visas for foreign students, to deport undocumented migrants, and, in contradiction to the Fourteen Amendment, to end automatic citizenship for babies born on US soil.

In addition (fanfare please), Contender Trump has proposed to build a wall all along the 2000 mile (3200 km) border between the USA and Mexico, and to make Mexico pay for it.  To be fair, some of it (less than a third) has already been built, mainly in Arizona.

"“The Mexican government has taken the United States to the cleaners,” says the Trump policy paper. “They are responsible for this problem and they must help pay to clean it up.”

When questioned about the viability of such a fence, especially given the enormous costs and limited success rate of the existing George W. Bush mandated fence, Contender Trump had this to say: "Building a wall is easy, and it can be done inexpensively.  It's not even a difficult project if you know what you are doing."

Almost everyone involved in policing the US-Mexican border, almost everyone involved in building the existing fence, says that it is an impossible task, not worth the money both to build and maintain. Not only impossible to build, but it won't stop the flow anyway, much like George W. Bush's high-tech virtual wall was an inordinate failure.

Needless to say he would want the world to know such a magnificent structure to be known as The Trump Wall.

I mentioned above that it was Wisconsin Governor, Contender Scott Waker, that made me pick The Trump Wall as the one Trump policies to comment on.  The reason for that is in a recent NBC interview Contender Walker, when asked whether it would be necessary to build a wall between the USA and Canada, said it was worth considering.

My friend Steve Alessi (a founder member with Annamaria Alfieri of Sicilians for Kubu) sent me an article about Contender Walker's pronouncement and suggested it was to keep Canadians flooding across the border to take advantage of the US's free health care.

Anyway, as ambitious as The Trump Wall is, the Walker Wall is off the charts.  The border between the two countries is the longest border between any two countries and has severe problems associated with it.  However, to be fair, a start has been made already - it is policy to maintain a clear path along the border for its entire length.

To give some insight into the enormity of Contender Walker's idea, take a look at this fascinating video.

The two candidates arguing as to whose wall is biggest.
We are now only fourteen months away from the election - gasp - and have much more of this to look forward to.  I've lost track as to how many candidates have thrown their hats in the ring, but it must be in the mid-twenties.  So watch this space for updates on how the most powerful country on the planet elects its leader.

Stan - Thursday

PS.  In researching this blog, I discovered to my amazement that there are dozens of walls or fences between countries around the world.  You can find out about them here.


  1. Stan, from time to time, I have toyed with the idea of throwing my hat in the ring and running for President. Everybody else is doing it. Why not me? I would not build a wall though. All the walls around towns and countries that I have seen were built in the Middle Ages. "Medieval" is not an adjective I would like to embrace when it comes to politics.

    But this post has changed my mind by giving me a better goal. I have already visited all the tiny countries of Europe (the two surrounded by Italy and Andorra). Now I want to visit the bits of Canada that are in US and vice versa. Why my own grandchildren are undisputed, but shared "territory" between the US and our lovely northern neighbor, so It seems a fitting thing to do. Besides, anything that involves seeing puffins and eating lobster recommends itself HIGHLY to me.

  2. Doesn't it amaze you that invariably the high water mark for American Presidential Candidates of all parties is the lowest common denominator?

  3. I had an American academic in for treatment yesterday. I said 'Can I ask you a question?'
    'Of course,' she said.
    'Donald Trump?'
    She slowly started hitting her head against the wall.
    Actions speak louder etc...

  4. I'd vote for Annamaria in any election.

    What does the rest of the world think about this group of loony fanatics running for the highest position in the U.S.?

    Trump is the worst. His vocabulary is very limited to, "I am the greatest. People love me. He's a great person. He (she) is a horrible person, etc." He throws out rhetoric with no logic at all, just to whip up his rightwing followers who also seem not to let the facts get in the way.

    And the rest of the genuises, each also defying logic, history, facts with their own specialties. Scott Walker, about health care: Canada has single payer health care; 37 million here still don't have any coverage.

    And many of them are using Planned Parenthood as a bunching bag: Who can criticize them more? Think of worse punishments? That group helps millions of low-income women with cancer screenings, family planning, etc. It's unbelievable.

    They're all trying to whip up their right-wing base to vote for them. I really worry about people who get behind them and do not think -- perhaps not read newspapers, books, history, nor are they open to new people or ideas.

    We're all in for months of this insanity. Sometimes, it's just better to open up a work of crime fiction and submerge oneself. I'm thinking of turning of the TV for months -- or avoiding news. Even my favorite news commentary shows are focusing on Trump's inane comments.

    Well, I read last night that Ivana Trump, Trump's first spouse, told her attorney in 1990 that he kept a book of Hitler's speeches near his bed in a cabinet and frequently read them. Need I say more?

    This guy, perhaps all of them, are dangerous.

  5. Errata: "bunching bags" should be "punching bags," and also it should say "turn off the TV."