The Truth About the Border Wall

The day after I published my earlier post on how the President can respond to the shutdown by calling Nancy Pelosi’s bluff, he took my advice. The Democrats’ response lends credence to my theory that a prolongation of the shutdown is politically advantageous to the Democrats as long as the public generally blames the President.

I am not a fan of Trump, as a cursory browse of my “Donald Trump archives” will show. But in this battle, I support the President. In an article that recently appeared in The Hill, Ford O’Connell clarified exactly what President Trump is and is not asking Congress to do. Specifically, O’Connell pointed out, the President is not asking for a continuous border wall across all 2,000 miles of America’s border with Mexico. Rather, he is asking for money to improve and expand the highly effective fences that already exist along more than 650 miles of the border. Prominent Democrats (Schumer, Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, to name a few) all voted to support these fences.

The border wall in Yuma Arizona resulted in a 90 percent drop in illegal traffic in that area and was supported by Democrats like Obama.

Why did so many Democrats support the existing 650 miles of fencing and barriers in the most dangerous parts of the border (for example, in Yuma Arizona)? This question isn’t hard to answer when we reflect that these barriers resulted in a 90 percent drop in illegal traffic in that area. Before the Yuma wall was erected, the area was averaging around 800 illegals a day. Contrary to right-wing caricatures, Democrats do actually favor border security. The current opposition to Trump’s plan to expand and improve existing barrier structures is purely political, having been fueled by the President’s incendiary rhetoric and angst about his alleged racist motivations.

From O’Connell’s article:

“Of course what Pelosi and Schumer won’t tell you is that the U.S. currently has more than 650 miles of physical barriers and fencing on its southern border. They also won’t tell you that several prominent Democrats including Schumer, Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden voted for it as senators in the name of better border security….

If the Democrats were to come to the table right now and talk comprehensive immigration reform and DACA, so long as it contains additional physical barriers along the southern border, the White House has signaled a willingness to move forward on that front, provided that it enhances border security.

The White House is ready to deal. And even though federal government workers will eventually receive back pay, the White House doesn’t want to see them suffer. The questions for congressional Democrats are simple: Do they really hate President Trump more than they love border security? Do they care more about illegal immigrants than American citizens? Only time will tell.

Of course nothing is impenetrable or foolproof, but the fencing in Yuma, Arizona, is a great example of what works. Since its construction in 2005, it has yielded better than a 90 percent drop in illegal traffic. Similar numbers have been registered at other physical barriers in San Diego, El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona, since their construction.

Even former Obama Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan, who was removed by Trump, concedes that physical barriers work and that more need to be constructed to make the southern border stronger.

Contrary to the media hype, President Trump is not advocating that one continuous wall should be built on the nearly two-thousand mile U.S. southern border, but that the current barriers be extended by a few hundred more miles. He is also asking for more immigration judges, law enforcement officers, detention beds and additional border technology, among other items — common sense stuff when it comes to stronger border security.”



Europe’s Self-Abrogation

Robert Merry at The American Conservative has put his finger on the psychology behind Europe’s self-abrogation. His article, ‘How Europe Built Its Own Funeral Pyre, Then Leapt In‘, looks at the psychological and ideological context behind Europe’s current tidal wave of immigration, as well as the potential consequences of allowing so many immigrants who are openly hostile to European culture and historic values. Spend a few minutes today at The American Conservative reading Merry’s article.

The Baptized Imagination

This article was originally published in my column at the Colson Center. It is republished here with permission. For a complete directory of all my Colson Center articles, click here.

In 1916, C.S. Lewis was in his mid-teens and preparing to enter the university at Oxford. At the end of a week, he stood on a railway platform waiting for the train that would take him back to his lodgings after a day in town. As Lewis’s mind was fixed on “the glorious week end of reading” that awaited him, his attention turned to the station’s bookstall. On it sat a curious looking volume, an Everyman edition of George MacDonald’s Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women.

Having journeyed through this station every week, Lewis had seen this book before, but had never bothered to buy it. This afternoon as he waited for the train, Lewis picked up the book and took a closer look. During that stage in Lewis’ life he was, to use his own term, “waist deep in Romanticism”, and this book seemed similar to other Romanticist literature he enjoyed. Providentially, he decided to buy the book.

That evening Lewis opened Phantastes and entered into MacDonald’s imaginary landscape. Lewis was haunted by the dream-like narrative in which ordinary life becomes transformed into the world of Fairy. The story, he later reflected, “had about it a sort of cool, morning innocence, and also, quite unmistakably, a certain quality of Death, good Death.”

But while Lewis found in the narrative of Phantastes all the qualities that had charmed him in other romantic writers such as the novels of William Morris, there was something else that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. “It is as if I were carried sleeping across the frontier, or as if I had died in the old country and could never remember how I came alive in the new.” Lewis was later able to convey something of this feeling in his story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when the Pevensie children first hear the name of Aslan:

“None of the children knew who Aslan was…but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning…so beautiful that you remember it all your life.”

Though the young Lewis felt that Phantastes had some enormous meaning, there was one problem: at the time he was an atheist and MacDonald was a Christian. Initially, MacDonald’s theism was merely an annoyance to the young atheist, who felt “it was a pity he had that bee in his bonnet about Christianity. He was good in spite of it.”

As he grew and read more of MacDonald’s writings, however, Lewis eventually came to understand that the peculiar quality he encountered in Phantastes was not separate to MacDonald’s faith, but because of it. “….I did not yet know (and I was long in learning) the name of the new quality, the bright shadow, that rested on the travels of Anodos. I do now. It was Holiness.”

In his autobiography Surprised by Joy, Lewis described his discovery of MacDonald as having baptized his imagination. It would be many years before his intellect would follow. Nevertheless, that afternoon at the station was the beginning of the slow and twisted spiritual journey that would eventually culminate in Lewis’ conversion to Christ. When Lewis did convert, he looked upon MacDonald as his spiritual master, saying, “I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself….I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master…”