By Victor Davis Hanson:
The Left, far better than the NeverTrump Right, grasped that Trump is succeeding, and that it has little traction in demanding economic, energy, immigration, trade, and regulatory alternatives.
It is popular on the NeverTrump Right and everyone on the Left to claim that President Trump has “failed” as we head into an election year. But his supposed failures are instructive.
Take the wall. True, Trump certainly in the last three years has not come close to building an envisioned initial phase of 1,000 miles or so of border fencing to stop the easiest access to the United States, much less made Mexico pay for it. Yet even his critics concede he relentlessly tried—and are fearful he will soon succeed.
There are some considerations to keep in mind. In some sense, we have had no wall at all, given that previous chain-link and thrown-up steel barriers were hardly impediments, at least in critical free-passage zones. Trump is addressing this. A recent Economist article lamented the fact that Trump is, in fact, slowly building a wall and replacing previous makeshift barriers in a manner that supposedly will have negative results—as defined by proponents of open borders—and “irrevocably change America’s south-western border.”
To move toward what the Economist believes is an existential redefinition of the border, the president has gone to court to fight constant lawsuits, scraped together almost $10 billion from previous allocations, as well as siphoning and redirecting funds from various agencies, shutting down the government from December 22, 2018 through January 25, and prompted a near-crisis with the Mexican government—and yet so far built only 66 miles of replacement walling and about nine miles of new barriers.
Trump’s critics would argue his temperament needlessly caused such gridlock and stasis. His supporters would reply that no other leader would have fought on so many fronts to build a wall on the southern border—a program that is anathema to the entire Left and most of the libertarian Right.
Read more: American Greatness
Image credit: National Review.