Some people call Donald Trump a liar but that is not exactly correct. He has no concept of truth. When he makes a statement it is whatever he thinks is most advantageous to him at the moment.
For example, he made a promise to seal off our border with Mexico using a wall. Somehow Mexico would pay for that wall. The wall was necessary because of a huge wave of Mexican immigration. Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists. They were sneaking into our country to get DACA status. All these statements helped him get elected and still help solidify his base of support among his supporters. There are multiple untruths in these statements.
Immigration over our border with Mexico peaked during the two George W. Bush administrations. It declined during the two Obama administrations; 2017 was the lowest in decades. Currently, the net immigration/emigration flows are pretty much in balance with regard to Mexico.
There was zero chance that Mexico would pay for the wall. The wall would have little effect on illegal immigration. Many, if not most, illegal immigrants come here on legal visas and then simply stay past the expiration of those visas. Crime rates in the Hispanic portion of our population are pretty much the same as our overall crime rates. Walls can be and are simply bypassed around their endpoints, flown over or burrowed under with tunnels. Entrants to the United States do not qualify for protection under DACA unless they arrived here in 2007 or earlier.
As the truth emerges, Trump changes his stance. The wall becomes what most people would call a fence. Instead of Mexico paying for it, the Department of Defense will bear the cost. Currently National Guard troops are repairing the existing walls erected during the Obama administrations. And so on.
This nation has always had an underclass. This underclass has typically been formed from immigrants. And these immigrants have always been resented. President Truman supported the formation of the State of Israel because he did not want to face a wave of Jewish immigrants after World War II. Asians were, for a time, discriminated against. The Irish faced signs saying "No Irish need apply." But the underclass has always done the work of the country. And over time the children of the underclass have worked their way up the ladder.
We have had our first black president. Before that we had our first Catholic Irish-American president and our first Army chief of staff who was not a member of a certain Masonic Lodge. Someday, probably not in my lifetime, we will see our first woman president, our first Muslim president, our first Latino president, our first Asian president.
The price of gas is going up. Other prices will climb soon. Our foreign policy is in tatters. The national debt is climbing faster than ever. Farmers will soon lose major markets abroad. Climate change is being ignored. Almost every department of government has a scandal. States are suing the federal government and the feds are suing states. Competent people are leaving government and prominent Republican members of Congress are quitting in disgust. The stock market is losing ground. Teachers are striking for more wages. The costs of higher education are soaring. Sinclair Broadcasting is gaining a national monopoly over local news stations. What's not to like?
We will, I hope, never again see a president who combines incompetence, immorality and dictatorial ambitions as Donald Trump offers. But he has this stellar virtue. I never will lack subject matter for this column. Thanks, Donald.
John Culleton writes every other Tuesday from Eldersburg. Email him at email@example.com.