Let’s preface this, shall we? In a world where so many are quick to be offended and do nothing about it but “be offended”, I can brief you a little on my own family’s history. In 1991, when I was six years old, my father moved us all from a very privileged life in the Philippines, to pursue ministry out in America. After waiting a period of time for his student visa, he was granted one and was able to come out here with all of us on a temporary basis. The original plan was always to stay the five years while he gets an education and then go back home. Of course, within a few years my parents decided that “hey! We kinda like living in America and would love for our children to continue to get an education out here.” So, what was the next (legal) step? Applying for a green card. Yes, yes we held green cards for YEARS. His student visa became a workers visa and then he would have to petition the entire family for citizenship. In that timeframe from 1991-2004 my father would continue to file paperwork, he slept outside the INS building in downtown LA – TWICE to get us interviews. The entire time we were in America, we were here the LEGAL way. Yes those years and years of waiting did finally pay off when we were granted citizenship and had to swear in. I love telling the story about my test I was given to qualify. I was already 18 years old at this point. Once paperwork was all filled out I sat in for my interview. Here were the three things asked of me:
- Who was the first president of the United States of America?
- Can you say the pledge of allegiance?
- Write out this sentence as I read it to you: “They’re selling their horses on the farm.”
Yes. YES. I, Natalia, had to know the difference between “they’re”, “their”, and “there” in order to pass my citizenship test. What a waste of an entire week I had of stressing and studying prior to taking this test! Mind you, to this day, many Americans do not know the difference, and it’s not that they really want to learn the difference, they’re just too lazy to look in to it.
Another preface I will include here is that while I heard the speech in it’s entirety, Trump does not (yet) have my vote. He just announced that he was running. I would certainly like to hear more about what he plans on doing, his stance on X,Y,Z, etc. I can say, however, that the more research I do on this man, the more I am beginning to respect his policies and his plans. I thought it would be the opposite, and I was pleasantly surprised. *To be extra clear, I have nothing against Mexicans. I love their culture, and I can respect and appreciate the work ethic that the many I have been fortunate to come across possess. To dive in to WHAT the man meant, and to break down his speech properly, my brother Jed, will now so eloquently explain. Jed is going to dive in to the section of the speech that got this whole country up in arms, the part where he pointed out our pitiful borders and what is being brought in.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, their rapists. And some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards; and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people, they’re coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably, probably, from the Middle East. But we don’t know, because we have no protection, and we have no competence. We don’t know what’s happening. And it’s gotta stop. And it’s gotta stop fast”.
-Donald J. Trump
The jury is still out on whether Trump has an actual plan to bring jobs back to America, strengthen the American economy, and get us out of CRIPPLING debt. And in 4 years time (assuming he doesn’t get re-elected)? Debatable. What I do know is that he has proven himself many times throughout his life, negotiating his name brand from nothing into a global economic force. Can he bring that financial success into the American framework as a sitting president? I can’t say. But I know he’s going to make the effort. The real effort. Because it’s not just America on the line. It’s HIS name on the line. The four (or eight) years he’ll have in office will not be enough time to restore what generations of presidents have broken, I can reasonable accept that. However, those years in office will determine how future businesses approach him AFTER his term. He’s not just betting on America, he’s betting on himself. I am curious enough to know what an America could look like after four (or eight) years with a business-minded entrepreneur at it’s head. The man (Trump) builds hotels, apartments, and homes. In a way, he’s already contributed to the actual growth of the country. He’s employed thousands upon thousands of people throughout his career, so when he promises new jobs as a president, I’m more inclined to believe a man who’s employed people for a living. We don’t need another new American political view. We need a new American business. Is Trump the right guy? As of this moment, I’m not completely convinced.
Like it or not, that’s what made this country “great” in the first place. America wasn’t just a dream, it was a dream that had to be built! Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, men who envisioned the future of this nation and brought it about through industry. Through innovations. They didn’t believe in handouts, they believed in opportunities, and in doing so the American brand was born. At one point in their lives, these men stopped dreaming, and got to work. Sorry folks, dreams are free, but real success costs money. Our money. If I’m being forced to pay taxes to support that future for everyone, I want the guy spending my money to know what the fuck he’s doing. Like anything, politics isn’t a game of “perfect”, it’s about getting the BEST representative available you can find to voice your concerns. They all have their faults, weaknesses, and controversial opinions. And at some point, everyone has their price. Does Trump have a price? He says he doesn’t care about what people can offer him, because he has his own money. However, I can look at this (self-reported) 6-billion dollar man and say to myself: “Well, he’s at least LESS corruptible than any of his competition.” And as far as politics are concerned, I’ll settle for less corruptible.
But will he be a successful president? Before I can even answer that, I need to know what a successful president looks like! The bar has unfortunately not been set very high throughout the years. We hear more success stories coming out of the business market than we do in the political field. The presidency has had a history of great speakers, but very few great men. A history of grand plans and promises, but not a lot of far-reaching, country-bolstering policies. Over the years, the oval office has devolved into a rotating complaints department, tasked with solving the long-term problems caused by the last presidency. Taxes are reset, policies are reversed, and a host of new bad ideas are introduced. And on the wheel spins. I don’t think it needs another face-in-a-suit. It doesn’t need to promise anything. Seriously, STOP promising things. Just do the things. DO THE THINGS. Put someone in that chair who can do all the things already.
But none of this matters. The moment Trump said “Mexico” and “rapists” in the same paragraph, the meat-with-eyes of the world took a collective gasp together, and collapsed into a media-fueled frenzy of head-biting nonsense. Does it help that the media is Democratic in nature? Possibly. But political alignment does not an ignorant opinion make. Trump was clearly talking about the failings of the U.S.-Mexican border, and the people who choose to illegally (ILLEGALLY) cross it. Regardless of what you personally believe, the U.S. Government has the self-appointed right to arrest, detain, and prevent them from further crossing into American soil. And they better, because we are all paying taxes to support that! So when he called these illegal immigrants “criminals”, he was not wrong. But none of that matters. For many people, that one sentence was the “end” of that speech. So, let’s look at that sentence again:
“They’re bringing drugs…”
Yes. They bring in drugs. According to DEA’s own website (http://www.dea.gov/ops/money.shtml), approximately 65 billion dollars worth of illegal drugs are smuggled into the country. An estimated 22 billion dollars of it that sum is reported to come from Mexico.
“…they’re bringing crime…”
Yes. They are bringing crime. For one, they are SELLING the illegal drugs that they brought in. That is technically the second charge the court would bring up, the first being the act of illegally smuggling it in.
Yes…Rapists was PART of the list. Their drugs, their crime, AND yes, rapists are coming in as well. While the percentage of documented illegal immigrant rape-crime may not be high enough to merit mention in a speech (and I agree with those that feel this part should have been edited out), that doesn’t make the statement any less true. And I get it. RAPE is a powerful word. It’s one of those words that when said in a crowded room commands immediate attention. It’s a word used to trigger an emotional response. He could have replaced the word with thieves, and he would have STILL been accused of calling all Mexicans thieves. Mind you he already said that they were drug-dealing criminals, but people freaked-out at rapists. What? Did everyone agree with the Mexicans-are-drug-dealing-criminals part? How dare he throw rapist ON TOP of all that!
You don’t have to agree with what he said. You don’t even have to agree with the general republican view about border security and immigration all together. But when a country passes a law (which you also don’t have to agree with), and people knowingly go against said law, there will be consequences. And those are facts. You may not like them, but those are facts. When someone breaks a rule, whether they are well-meaning Mexican fence-hoppers, or violent sociopaths, the same consequences will apply. America built a wall. That’s a fact. A wall they (do their best to) guard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A wall they guard with ARMED men and women. They (we) spent an average one million dollars PER MILE of that wall. Did we just collectively FORGET why people built walls? We build fences everyday around our homes for the EXACT same reasons. To keep unwanted people out. That’s right folks. For every dollar we send over to the support of the wall, we are telling Mexico in the nicest way possible: KEEP OUT, AMERICANS ONLY. Around the world, there are over 50 borders walls still in existence today. Each one with the expressed goal of keeping potentially unwanted elements from entering their sovereign lands. Ours is no different. A wall is a very clear, negative indication of how countries feel about each other. The size of the wall may vary, but armed guards can tell you everything about the level of trust the country has for it’s neighbor. If you don’t believe me, I welcome you to mount an expedition for the guarded wall that “protects” our northern border from the POTENTIAL drug-smuggling rapist Canadians. Spoiler alert: it’s a waste of time. Doesn’t that at least give you an inkling of an idea about just how much faith America has in the average Mexican citizen?
This wasn’t a wall designed to withstand a possible military invasion, or even an organized Mexican militia group. It was designed to keep out regular people. And before you try to make a case of just how effective a wall can protect a country when both its ends stop at LARGE bodies of water, well, this is literally, AND figuratively where your argument ends.
^That is where it ends… THAT is the line? My daughter who barely learned how to swim can swim out and over to the other side. It’s laughable.
^Comedy! How nice of them to not want to run the car THROUGH the wall, right?^What a beautiful view. Unobstructed, of course, for your viewing pleasure. That’s the fence- I mean, border wall.
^This. FOURTH annual volleyball tournament. Way to go, America, way to go.