In his late essay ‘Perpetual Peace,’ Immanuel Kant lauded the ideal of ‘universal hospitality.’
In his first Oval Office speech Tuesday night, President Donald Trump took issue with Kant (though not by name), noting that the porous Southern border of the United States represented a serious humanitarian and security crisis.
Everyone who can spell ‘Google’ knows that the Democrats, until November 7, 2016, supported robust border security and, indeed, a physical barrier — otherwise known as a wall — to retard the flow of illegal immigrants into this country. The election of Donald Trump was not something they had bargained for, so they promptly put politics before people and were happy to ‘shut down the government’ (actually, it never shuts down, and more’s the pity) in a partisan mud-slinging match with Donald Trump.
Those who believe the President will blink and cave are, I’ll wager, wrong. The pain — whatever it really is — from the shutdown is something he is happy to countenance for as long as it takes.
In his brief speech — it was hardly more than 1,000 words — the President eloquently made the case for border security. Congress, the holder of the federal purse strings, oversees a budget of some $4.5 trillion. Don’t even try to imagine that number. It is beyond the ken of most mortals. Donald Trump has asked for $5.7 billion — somewhere between the amount of money devoted to saving the spotted owl and landmarking Al Gore’s home as a national treasure — to enhance our border security.
Meaning what, exactly? First, to provide beds and other facilities for the hordes that attempt to enter our country illegally.
Second, to provide funds for that physical barrier which Homeland Security has requested to secure the border.
Some politicians — hello, Nancy! — have said that a wall is ‘immoral.’ But President Trump was 100 percent correct in observing that those same politicians have built formidable walls around their own homes. Not, he observed, because they dislike the people outside the walls but because ‘they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral,’ the President went on to say, ‘is the politicians who do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.’
Amen to that.
Like the action of the snicker-snee in The Mikado, this speech delivered a ‘short, sharp, shock.’ There was no name-calling, no histrionics. This was the President of the United States calling attention to a national emergency and inviting his colleagues across the aisle to put aside partisan point-scoring for a moment in order to accomplish something important for the commonweal.
A country without borders is not a country. The United States already has perhaps the most generous immigration policy in the world. My own predilection is to sharply limit immigration, and to favor those who 1. speak English and 2. have something to offer to the country — and I am not talking about people with exotic sexual tastes or a commitment to totalitarian ideologies of one shape or another. A decade or two ago this would have been taken as common sense. Now, of course, to articulate this view is to sin against the gods of identity politics.
I believe that the American people, even that subset that supports the President, do not appreciate what this man is attempting to do for the country. In brief, he is attempting to roll back the forces of barbarism and dissolution.
Will it work? Let’s see. But hark unto the President’s concluding remarks: ‘This is a choice between right and wrong,’ he said, ‘justice and Injustice.’ Either we secure our border and protect our people or we surrender to the progressive mob. That is the choice.
I particularly admired the last thing that President Trump said. ‘When I took the oath of office, I swore to protect our country and its people. And that is what I will always do, so help me God.’
That’s what this discussion is all about. Protecting our country and its people. The wind-up toys that are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will mount a different drama, but I know that the vast majority of Americans understand just how preposterous they are.