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Let’s be clear, President Donald Trump’s “wall” was never a serious budget or policy proposal. It was an election prop so that a race-baiting populist could make the point that brown people from the south, along with Muslims from the Middle East and blacks from “s*hole countries” in Africa, are the problem for aggrieved Americans, not globalization and the nation’s failure to deal adequately with its effects on workers.

The Trump decision to shutter much of government in a fit of pique can be best described as unnecessary, irresponsible, unconscionable and incompetent. Republicans in Congress, sadly including our own Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte, proved themselves equally irresponsible in condoning Trump’s egregious, improper behavior.

The shutdown was never a debate about border security. Most Americans strongly favor border security. Most do not favor Trump’s wall, and an even greater majority do not consider the wall any reason to shut down the government. This is all about Trump playing to the bottom feeders in his base at the expense of hardship for millions of Americans and long-term damage to the nation.

Experts agree that barriers in some locations, together with increased staffing and modern technology, represent the best solution to border security. Perhaps the current conference committee will actually debate border security and find some common ground. But they will have to ignore an uninformed, irrational president to do so.

David Darby


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