It’s great news — in fact high time — that Donald Trump will be making a formal speech on immigration to the country Tuesday night. As the political heat reaches a boil in our country, the key to resolving difficult issues, not to mention enhancing the president’s 2020 potential, will be more such speeches and less reliance on Twitter to communicate with the public.
That some networks were unsure whether to air his address is a sure sign it is indeed a good idea. Did these broadcasters actually fear “partisanship,” as they said, or the truth? Or was it just their own version of partisanship?
Whatever the case, fewer tweets and more formal speeches is the better path. Twitter can be fun (or war games for ideologues — if you prefer), but it doesn’t do much to enlighten us or move the needle and is, to say the least, short on details. Further, its telegraphic style leaves it wide open to misconstruals –often, in fact usually, deliberate.
And no one, as Selena Zito explained long ago, is misconstrued as often and as deliberately as Trump.
Immigration isn’t the only subject on which the people have been misinformed and/or misled and on which the president might benefit by addressing the public directly. The trade negotiations with China deserve public discussion as do the issues of taxation and economics now that socialism is enjoying something of a fad among millennials. (Who’s to blame them when that’s all they hear in their college courses? Venezuela is so far away.) There are others.
But the issue du jour that is keeping our government closed — in case you haven’t noticed (ha!) — is immigration. The discussion of this topic has been over-heated in the extreme. Indeed, it has hardly been about immigration and the border at all, but largely about power. Who wins? Who’s responsible for the government shutdown? Which party profits? (Yawn.) The immigrants, legal and otherwise, are pawns in a far greater game few of them have heard of and even fewer understand.
Given that situation, the president has all the more reason to address the public directly without the filter of the media. They will have plenty to say anyway for those who are interested.
They and their Democrat semblables have been handed plenty of advance warning of what the president will be proposing to the country. A letter from Russell Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, spells out the administration request that seems entirely reasonable and, in the grand scheme of government spending, amazingly low cost. If every government program were as cheap as Trump’s wall, the deficit would be gone in minutes.
But speaking of walls, as many have heard, the wall for which the president is requesting $5.7 billion is now a “steel barrier.” I suppose the change is to make the Democrats happy, but in an adult society the choice of materials would be left to those who know better — engineers. (But we live in a world where politicians who couldn’t pass a high school physics test opine on “climate science,” so what do you expect?)
The proposal addresses the idiotic criticism that a wall by itself will not ensure border security (whoever said it would?) by budgeting for new technology as well as humanitarian provisions, etc. But you can read it for yourself at the link.
It will be interesting — almost a test case in democracy — to see how the public responds to Trump’s talk and whether the media will even be remotely fair to his proposals. (I wouldn’t bank on the latter. TDS has reached Plague-level with them.)
The immigration issue has been with us all our lives no matter how old we are. It is the most hypocritical of political footballs, endlessly debated but never solved. Meanwhile, over a million people immigrate legally to this country annually after jumping through quite a number of difficult hoops. If I were one of the people who did that, I would be mighty angry at those who tried to vault over the line as well at those moral narcissist virtue signalers who helped them do it.
I don’t think I’m the only one with that attitude. I think, deep down, the majority of Americans do. It’s fair play. But we shall see.
For now, Donald Trump is going to talk directly to the public about how he sees this. I take that as a good thing, an advancement. Fewer tweets; more speeches, please.
Roger L. Simon – co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media – is a novelist and screenwriter.