WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2015 – While the presidential campaign limps forward and the candidates are pressed to explain their campaign promises in more detail, it is time for a reality check on all those campaign statements.
Immigration and the Wall: Donald Trump is constantly appealing to voters’ fears that our nation is being conquered by 20 million people from south of our border, extending from California on the west to Texas on the east, a distance of over 1,200 miles. Mexico borders four U.S. states, California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Presently, our border fence spans half of that expanse. He wants to build a wall, a Trump wall, which will be better and stronger and taller than any wall a Mexican can scale.
He is even willing to guarantee that this impervious barrier will repel Guatemalan and Nicaraguan children and mothers who dare to cross the southern border by land.
For those who believe the wall is a good idea, consider these facts:
–We already have a fence that cost the American taxpayers over $4 billion to build. Presently, our fence bill as a nation is only halfway there, with the rest awaiting congressional approval.
–Even though Trump has declared that he will make Mexico pay for this wall, he refuses to explain how he will do that.
–Although Trump has declared that walls are a deterrent to illegal invasion and has cited the Great Wall of China as a shining example of how walls can prevent our immigration problem, consider this: The Great Wall of China did not deter the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan, and as much as 8 percent of today’s Chinese population can find Khan in their DNA. It seems that the wall did not deter invasion or insemination since the invention of ramps and ladders.
–There are approximately 650 tunnels under the southern border to the United States, and approximately 20 million immigrants from south of that border have established residence here.
–Any politician who contends that we can order 20 million people onto buses for deportation back over the southern border and keep them there should consider how they got here in the first place. Even more important to whether a wall is the solution to the immigration problem is the conundrum of how we will get all of the immigrants on the bus.
ICE agents have been deporting criminals back to Mexico, and, as recent tragedies have confirmed, they are back in the U.S. committing crimes within weeks. Forcing families at gunpoint onto a bus brings to mind atrocities committed by Nazis against Jews, and no politician wants to be aligned with those comparisons.
The Supreme Court: Sen. Ted Cruz is a smart guy, having served as a law clerk for former Chief Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist in the early days of his legal career. In his run for president, Cruz has stated that his vote to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court was a mistake. His statement stretches reality by suggesting that if two other justices had been confirmed in the place of Justice Souter and Chief Justice Roberts, we would have a nation without Obamacare and gay marriage.
Cruz’s fantasy of bringing America back to days gone by resounds with voters who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court of the United States is a constitutionally established and tested branch of government. Cruz knows this, and is pandering to those who have not found the time in their busy schedules to actually read the Constitution and who believe that a newly elected president can eliminate the Supreme Court by a stroke of the pen.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the end of the road. When it decides an issue, no presidential declaration and no act of Congress can set their decisions aside. Granted, our country has been forever changed by the Supreme Court’s decisions during the last session, but that is what they were appointed to do.
Nine people, approved by Congress after a recommendation by the president have decided the future of American society. Our legislative branch can tweak it, defund it, and complain endlessly about it, but decisions by the Supreme Court don’t go away. They are the precedent for future decisions, and no candidate can change that.
E-Mails and the Server: Let’s face it. Hillary Clinton had a year or more to sanitize her involvement in Benghazi while she was secretary of state. Consider the context of the situation: Sept. 11 was the anniversary of the largest terrorist attack inside the borders of the United States. Barack Obama was running for re-election against Mitt Romney, and the election was looming. Who believes that the White House didn’t order the secretary of state to avoid any issue that conflicted with Obama’s message that we had defeated terrorism?
Who honestly believes that Hillary Clinton and those who served under her didn’t order our very capable armed forces to stand down when it became apparent that our consulate in Benghazi was under attack? We had drones in the air and a protection force on standby. It took the efforts of two Marines, who disobeyed orders, to protect our embassy. They died in the effort.
Hillary Clinton’s response to Congress, “What does it matter?” should be a campaign issue for America to consider.
What was contained in the emails before they were filtered and sanitized? The unbelievable aspect of the Benghazi terrorist attack is the government’s immediate deception: Do they still expect us to believe that the attack on our embassy was inspired by a movie or video by an unknown person?Hillary’s server has been sanitized purer than the first snow of winter, and truth has been buried in denial.
Paranoia: Lindsey Graham has appealed to the fears of the electorate. He contends that the enemy, as yet undefined for the purpose of his message, is on their way to the doorsteps of America to do us harm. ISIS and North Korea are the main subjects of his warmongering.
Graham’s ISIS concerns are legitimate until they are examined in detail. We don’t know who is coming into our country or the safeguards that are in place. The United States has committed to accept a large number of refugees from the Middle East, and we must insist on strict review of each person entering our country.
Fearmongering as a campaign tactic is tenuous unless we are in imminent danger of attack by a foreign foe. In this case, the prospect of the most powerful nation and its military’s being attacked by a puppet dictator or a predatory terrorist group that lacks a navy and an air force, is remote at best.
Now that John Boehner has announced his resignation as speaker of the House and his simultaneous retirement from Congress, he has the unique freedom to speak his mind.
Where he maintained a policy of not attacking members of his own party, he has now criticized Republican presidential candidates for pledging to repeal Obamacare, outlaw abortion, secure our borders and reverse the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. Boehner’s ire was directed at Ted Cruz, whom he had indirectly labeled a “jackass.” This time, he implied that Cruz was a “false prophet” for engineering the government shutdown in an effort to derail Obamacare.
“Beware of false prophets,” he warned.
Maybe we should require that all presidential candidates back up their campaign pledges with plans to carry them out. So far, the false prophets have captured our attention with grandiose promises, while the government faces yet another shutdown, this time over funding for Planned Parenthood. It is time for the voters to demand that Congress and the candidates stop grandstanding by the use of smoke and mirrors and perform their primary constitutional duty: Pass a budget.
While the candidates are running, Congress has a country to run.