#NationalEmergency: Are We Surprised Trump's Gone This Far?
It's a mistake.
When I saw on Twitter that #NationalEmergency was trending, I had a sneaking hunch I knew why. Really, it's sad that the ongoing saga of funding for a wall along the United States' southern border has even come to this, but what surprises me is that no one seems to have seen this coming from the moment now-President Trump started talking about it on the campaign trail. To be fair, back then there were quite a lot of us who honestly didn't think he'd even be elected to the highest seat of power in the United States, but that's another story.
Anyhow, I'm a Canadian and political conversations of any stripe tend to aggravate me lately. I find people have gotten incredibly aggressive when discussing politics, to the point where our respective humanity is all but forgotten. Perhaps that's why when I was quite a bit younger, my parents used to tell me that issues like religion and politics were never really topics for polite conversation.
So I decided, albeit a little reluctantly, to see exactly why the term "national emergency" was trending. Needless to say, a snort escaped me within a split second of reading the first hit on Twitter. Quite frankly, news that Trump is probably going to say the words "national emergency" at some point on Twitter or even via some sort of statement is probably the least surprising bit of news out there right now.
Did anyone honestly think he was going to be able to put Mexico on the hook for paying for a border wall? Former Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto reportedly (per Washington Post) scrapped plans to visit the United States for the first time back in February 2018 because he and Trump had reached an impasse about the border wall. In essence, Trump wanted to put Mexico on the hook for the wall and Peña Nieto said no. Current Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (#AMLO) has been quoted as saying "we won't allow [Trump's] wall or mistreatment of our fellow migrants in the US" in an article by Independent. It's sort of like when someone takes you out on a dinner date and then expects you to pay for the meal.
Over the last year, Trump appears to have been working steadily towards having the American public fund the wall, and even partially shut the US government down as a result when he wasn't getting the money he wanted. He continues to say that there are a flood of gangs coming through at various points along the States' southern border, yet Rep. Ted Lieu posted a video on his Twitter feed that said, "Trump is declaring a #NationalEmergency to build a wall we don’t need to address a crisis that doesn’t exist! It's time for @POTUS to face the facts on this episode of #TruthWithTed." From there, Lieu uses facts from a range of sources in a video that's about a minute and a half long to explain why there is no "national emergency."
According to Washington Examiner, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer said of Trump declaring a national emergency, "Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency, and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for the wall."
Trump breaking a promise is right in line with what we've learned of his character during his ongoing rise to notoriety, and questionable legalities aside, none of us should be entirely surprised. Unless the man is removed from office, he's going to do what he wants, when he wants, and it won't matter how far he drives the American people into debt or how far he'll go to destroy his nation's reputation.