Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!
Analysis (April 25, 2019) It might be incredible, but the President of the United States seems to want a war with one of our strongest allies. And yes, I will say it, racism is part of it. There are other factors to this. He knows from recent experience that being a war president stops a lot of the oversight.
I mean, it’s not like we will question the Commander in Chief when taking the country to war, now will we? This fits perfectly well with his authoritarian tendencies and efforts to stop any oversight. He has a few lessons in this. Some of these lessons happened in his lifetime. But principally, there is George W Bush. He took the country to war on dubious reasons. No, Iraqis were not involved in the 911 attacks, and for strategic reasons, we have yet to deal with Saudi Arabia.
Democrats refused to go after then-President Bush after retaking the House in 2006. The reasons they gave then are similar to what they are giving now. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is extremely gun shy about holding any president accountable, it seems.
But there is more to that war, which in effect has not ended. Before the 911 attacks, Bush was one of the least popular presidents in recent memory. People were starting to get into a funk over his actions in the White House. Without the attacks, he might have not been reelected, and history would have taken a different track.
President Donald Trump has little understanding, if at all, of the Constitution. The War Powers Act allow any modern president to take the country to war and ask for permission later. It came out of the Cold War and the fact that there might not be a Congress to ask after a first nuclear strike. The intent of the war powers act was not for a president to take the country to war, and then ask for permission. However, no Congress had declared war since 1941. Trump knows that he does not have to ask for permission, and he seems to want a war with Mexico. Why? There is an invasion, of course. And they don’t respect us. Their president does not listen to the demands of ours. And they aim weapons at our soldiers…ok, this last one is an urban legend cooked the same way yellow cake and weapons of mass destruction were. It is carefully calibrated to mobilize a base that is at its core racist as well.
Trump knows that if he should start a war, like every other war in the post World War Two period, Congress will be impotent to stop it. Wars are very easy to start. They are hard to stop. And while our leaders like to tell us that it will be a matter of months, at most, we know better. The current post 911 wars are almost two decades long, with Afghanistan at the 18-year mark. These are the longest wars in American history.
There was never a declaration of war. However, Congress has never failed to fund these efforts. Why? We never underfund our troops in the field. Imagine what we could have done if a terrorist attack was treated as an international police matter? Better yet, imagine if we did not abandon Afghanistan to its own devices after the Soviets pulled out? But stop imagining, we will ultimately negotiate a peace settlement with the Taliban, and move on.
But back to Trump, a war with Mexico would do a few things, at least in his mind. It would stop those meddling Democrats from oversight. It happened to Bush, for the most part. So don’t discount this as a motive. There is another one. Trump is desperate to win reelection. Losing in 2020 could very well bring the courts into the equation, and he may very well face years of prosecution, even prison. As long as he is the president, he believes nobody can touch him. Why he even intends to question impeachment (the Dems will likely never pull that trigger) in the United States Supreme Court.
It would allow him to even declare a national emergency, and go after all his real and perceived enemies. Nations that go to war can see a few civil rights curtailed. The free press sees its ability to cover military operations severely limited, for national security reasons. This happens in every war the nation has fought. What if the president decided that even covering the White House was a national security matter and kicked reporters off the premises? What if the president decided to take over the press…on those grounds?
Then there is the heavy presence of Mexican-Americans in this country. Yes, they fight our wars, work in the country, and some have been on these lands far longer than there was a country called the United States. Do you think this will stop THIS president from rounding up these American citizens? Ask the Japanese-American community, or for that matter those same Mexican Americans who were caught up in Operation Wetback ten years later if you want your answer? Carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing is far easier in wartime.
I know some of you will surely say, if not most, that this would never happen. It has in the past. So pray to tell me what prevents this from happening again? And there is a political base for the president that is quite anxious about the changes that will lead to a majority-minority society. To these people, minorities gaining political power and social benefits is a problem. We know that they would prefer the end of democratic rule (and the republic) if this preserves their social and structural advantages.
We know that these authoritarians are not going to be bothered if the president breaks the law or the constitution. They love that he is draining the swamp. There is vast literature on this.
This is but an example of the literature on the subject:
One very noticeable feature of the personalities attracted to such autocrats, for example, is their aggressiveness, evident in their being found among the most highly prejudiced people in the country. Experiments show their aggression is often triggered by fear of a disintegrating society and released by a profound sense of self-righteousness. These “authoritarian followers,” as social science labels them, are also highly ethnocentric, thus frequently racist, nationalistic, deeply partisan, and threatened by “the other.” It is no accident that such people would want to build a wall that they foolishly believe will solve a problem. Other testing shows these people are also highly defensive, not to mention almost totally unaware of their own proclivities. Thus, people who are not at all like such authoritarian followers will read this paragraph and conclude we are not talking about them. So will the people who are authoritarians — precisely the people we are talking about.
War tends to have these people truly rally around the flag and not question the motives. We saw this after 911. That was a major attack, but the same people who were all for going into Afghanistan did not question the Iraq War either. I guarantee, they will not ask about going to war with Mexico.
Trump knows this. This is not about the United States since there is no real threat from Mexico. It is about Trump. He wants to protect himself from losing an election. He wants to make sure that none forces him to have any accountability for all he has done over the last three years, let alone his lifetime.
This is not the first time he lies about the southern border. Nor will this be the last time. But it should be alarming to anybody who cares about democracy, with a small D. It may be the worst form of government, well except for all others, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, but it is the best to expand rights to other groups. This threatens authoritarians, and that includes the president.