Neither side will cave. That should be the message received from Tuesday night’s address/counter address by the president and Democratic leaders of Congress.
Why? Because 2020 is right around the corner.
We have become a nation of election cycles. When one election ends, the first question each official asks is: “What does this mean for my reelection?” And then that campaign season begins. The new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives hadn’t even gaveled in before there was talk of how that victory would play in the 2020 presidential race.
Under that backdrop, we now see ourselves as a nation with two diametrically opposed political parties banging heads, with neither willing to budge an inch. Why? Because that would portray weakness heading into the 2020 presidential campaign. If Democrats capitulate on a wall, fence or aluminum-foil barrier, then Republicans will trumpet the victory for Donald Trump. If the president folds, he will be portrayed as being neutered and not holding up his end of promises made to the American people.
Lost in all of this is a porous Southern border that cannot continue to allow every Tom, Dick and Jose into the country. As Leader-Call Publisher Jim Cegielski brilliantly put it in his column last week, we love immigrants in this country. But it is those who break our laws to get here, refuse to assimilate into the American culture and will instantly be afforded the out-of-control social benefits handed out like Pez dispensers that make our current immigration system unsustainable. Period. It just is.
A solution to that crisis — yes, it is a crisis — has to be found. But can these two sets of political parties actually find a solution? With the specter of the 2020 election on the horizon, prospective candidates already parading through early primary states and an ever-extended election season, we think not. The notion of governance is fleeting, is not already extinct.
Which brings us back to Tuesday night and watching the leader of the Executive Branch and two leaders of the Legislative Branch of government give their sides on a growing problem. Neither seemed willing to budge. Each day that ticks closer to 2020, the hard-line stances will become even more brazen. Why? There is too much at stake in 2020 to further each’s political party.
The entire ordeal is sickening for the American people who wake up each morning trying to make a living for their family and carve out a piece of the American dream that Washington, D.C., is turning into a nightmare.
We could wax poetic about working together, crossing the aisle in gentlemanly, common-sense legislation. Or we could count the holes in the ceiling tiles of our homes. Both will have the same effect on fixing serious national problems — zero.
Oh, by the way, for years we have railed against the real crisis that the American people will be facing all-too-soon — the national debt and unfunded liabilities. As of this writing — at 8 a.m. Wednesday — The United States is $21.9 trillion in debt. Unfunded liabilities — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — are $122 trillion, or nearly $1 million per taxpayer.
When that chicken comes home to roost, our border-wall crisis will look like a game of hide-and-seek. The same politicians will hide in their corners not wanting the other side to “win” while the destruction of the greatest political experiment in the history of the world crumbles.
After all, there will be an election on the horizon.