The one thing Trump got right: there’s a humanitarian crisis at the border–and we’re having the wrong discussions

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The one thing Trump got right: there’s a humanitarian crisis at the border–and we’re having the wrong discussions

Vincent Patierno, Editor in Chief

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United States President Donald Trump made his first Oval Office address on live national television Tuesday evening during the eighteenth day of the partial government shutdown.

Trump used the presidential bully-pulpit to make an additional plea to the American people in his argument for a “steel barrier” (or wall) along the United States-Mexico border.

“How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?” said Trump in his just under ten minute speech, noting it’s a choice between “right or wrong.”

In rare fashion, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York delivered an immediate rebuttal to the President’s remarks on behalf of the democrats.

“Stop holding the American people hostage” said Pelosi.

But while most are dumbfounded as to which side to take as both sides have their feet dug into the ground on which they stand, politicians and the public they represent are losing sight of the larger, more important question.

When White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took to airwaves on Fox News this past Sunday, Sanders spewed yet another falsehood with respect to those crossing the Southern border.

4,000 was the number the White House spokeswoman threw out, noting that is the number of terrorists in the United States database that are coming into the United States illegally.

That is false.

In contradicting data, supported by the Trump administration and United States government, just six illegal immigrants crossed the U.S.-Mexico border that were also on the terror watch list.

A number that also has a higher rate on the Northern United States-Canada border.

So what are we missing?

It was the one thing President Trump got right–but isn’t discussing at large or with heart and merited importance.

Pursuing poorly thought-out and even more poorly executed policies on the pretext of battling a nonexistent national security crisis, Mr. Trump has helped create a pressing humanitarian one.

Despite the popular Trump talking points, democrats both in Congress and across the country have made it clear that they support border security–but express their dismay for an outlandish spending acceptance for a near six billion dollar government action to construct a physical barrier on the nearly 1,200 mile border.

Conservative talking-heads and congressional republicans alike describe the transparently false notion of a significant risk to American national security by those who are crossing the Southern border, when at the heart of this matter, they are missing the larger point.

American politicians and folks in Washington alike have sucked dry any possibility for compromise.

Abandoning the Madisonan model for democracy, build on grounds for compromise, we are losing the very foundations on which the United States was built.

In times of trouble, an anxious public looks to its leaders, and the ability to telegraph strength, decisiveness and certitude assumes greater value than in periods of calm and prosperity.

Politicians and elected officials across the country need to stop and take a look at the issues, having the uncomfortable conversations, and put aside bitter partisan talking points in the spirit of building a better America.

Nearly two years into President Trump’s first term, there are nearly thirty vacant ambassadorships across the nation. One of them is Mexico.

Trump has turned his back on the very humanitarian crisis he speaks of–and he has run away from diplomatic strategies as well–using his fear-mongering tactics to appeal to the core of his base supporters.

Mr. President, families escaping political and societal oppression are more than just a hollow talking point.

The United States was built–and has conducted its worldly affairs as one that sets the moral tone of a global community.

Is the image of America you want the world to see that of one where desperate and pleading families are turned away from the richest nation in the world?

Do you want them to turn their heads in the opposite direction because America has abandoned diplomacy and its vitality to the progress of our foreign policy and standing in the world?

Does America value those who are different? Or do we fear them?

Are we willing to allocate resources and aim discussion at a wholehearted whole-of-government approach rather than boasting military deployment and defense spending for an utterly ineffective physical border?

Most importantly: are we willing to sit at the table together and hash out the at-time painful and all-to-real details of a devastating humanitarian crisis rather than hiding behind the political tactics of a government shutdown for the advancement of our nation?

Mr. President, our moral standing is on the line.

This is a decision between “right or wrong,” but are you so sure you’re on the right side?

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