Score one, it seems, for Donald Trump -- despite his efforts to ruin it

Posted2/17/2019 1:00 AM

By Ed Murnane

After more than two years as president of the United States, Donald Trump has scored one of his few --- but most significant victories -- although in typical Trump fashion, he then diminished the victory by of his own actions and he has opened the door (even wider) for a long and ongoing battle with Democrats.


It seems as if Trump has succeeded in getting "agreement" to construct a "wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent -- or at least reduce -- illegal entry into the U.S. by unwelcome Mexican or other intruders. Actual resolution of this issue, and the agreement by the U.S. Congress, remains to be seen. It does appear as Trump does have the authority to do what he announced Friday

Oh, the news media spin may claim that Trump failed in his efforts to "build the wall" but the fact is he succeeded because it appears -- as of now -- that ground will be broken and a new barrier (or several new barriers) will be built along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

The spotlight that has been turned on the border between the U.S. and Mexico has never been brighter and during the construction of whatever new wall is going to be built, and for a long time after -- likely many years -- there will be close scrutiny on any attempted illegal entry into the United States.

Proponents and opponents of a new "wall" will be able to claim victory and the fact is, their claims will be meaningless. If a new "wall" is built, be it 25 percent or 50 percent or 75 percent of what Trump was calling for, it will have an impact and it will reduce illegal border crossings.

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The news media itself will serve as a protection against illegal border-crossing because the Trump-haters will do everything they can to demonstrate that an expensive border wall is not, was not and never will be necessary and the absence of visible illegal border crossings is proof that Trump was wrong. Certainly construction of a new "wall," or a series of "mini-walls" along the border will focus considerable attention of the illegal immigration problem, most likely reducing it or even eliminating it in those areas that will be under intense news media scrutiny.

So while Trump may not have succeeded in what he wanted to achieve, or at least claimed he wanted to achieve, it seems as if he has scored a major victory in the first truly major confrontation with the new Congress and congressional leadership -- a new Congress, by the way, that is probably more hostile toward Trump and Republican thinking than any in recent decades.

The guy with the long blonde hair and extra long red tie seems to be well on the way to showing up the ladies in white dresses -- at least one who is a professed communist -- and their "follow-along" allies. But to be sure, Trump's last-minute behavior and antics block a sharp enough turn in his approval ratings to assure a re-election -- nor even to assure that this latest move won't turn out to be a disaster.

He is better than halfway through his first term, but the word "first" must be used cautiously as there is no assurance he will seek a second, and maybe less that even Republicans would be enthusiastically in support. The clock continues to tick on that question.

Perhaps the strongest suggestion that Trump will seek a second term comes from the "ladies in white" and other members of the unusually liberal Congress. Donald Trump's personality and his tiring insistence that he "knows more than everyone else" would make it hard for him to call it quits.

Ed Murnane,, of Arlington Heights, is retired president of the Illinois Civil Justice League and a former staff member for presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

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