America needs a border wall. This is evident to anyone who is honest and has an ounce of common sense. We need to pay for it as well. But that’s not what we were promised. During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump repeatedly said he was going to build the wall “and Mexico’s going to pay for it.”
To be fair, only idiots believed him. It was one of those campaign promises that most conservatives assumed meant restructured trade deals or foreign aid changes that would siphon money from Mexico back into the United States, but that’s not how it’ll be positioned by Democrats in next year’s Presidential election. They’re going to make as many Americans believe that it was a literal promise, one the President hammered continuously. They will say it was a blatantly broken promise and Americans shouldn’t trust any of his campaign promises going forward.
The President will counter with statistics and talking points showing how America is getting money from Mexico in other ways. They may not have written a check for the wall, but they’re paying for it in other ways. That will be the storyline. Will it stick?
To answer that question, we’ll need to see if the Democrats are able to make their narrative prominent without turning it into a joke. If they don’t hammer it enough, it won’t be effective. If they hammer it too much, it’ll be viewed as a repetitive talking point, in which case the President will be able to reverse it on them by demonstrating it’s the only argument they have against his reelection.
In 1992, candidate Bill Clinton was able to drive home the message that President George H.W. Bush lied to Americans when he famously said, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” These words, which played extremely well during the 1988 campaign, came back to haunt him. Most historians attribute H. Ross Perot’s candidacy as the reason the elder Bush wasn’t reelected, but the adamant pronouncement followed by an inability to fulfill it didn’t help Bush’s cause.
For the President to overcome this 2020 election talking point, he must get wall construction started and he must demonstrate that jobs and businesses are coming back to America from Mexico. For America’s sake, as well as for the 2020 election, BUILD THE WALL.