Mr. President: The Chant Was ‘Build the Wall,’ Not ‘Shorten Sentences for Convicted Felons’
Thursday, President Donald J. Trump secured a verbal agreement from Congress on a “prison reform” bill, which is expected to pass and be signed into law during the lame-duck session.
“If it is passed, thousands of federal prisoners would have access to more help preparing for life after the end of their sentences,” according to an NBC report. “Thousands of well-behaved prisoners would win freedom earlier. And thousands of people who are arrested for drug crimes in the future would become eligible for exemptions from harsh mandatory minimum sentencing laws.”
This is a win for the Trump administration, no doubt. Former President Barack H. Obama droned on about such reforms while campaigning, but never accomplished them in his typical do-nothing fashion. Inasmuch as bipartisan legislation and besting Obama is a good optic for middle-of-the-road voters who might be skeptical of Trump, the bill is a positive.
But what about Trump’s base? What about those of us who have been there from the beginning? The slogan during the campaign was “Build the Wall,” not “Shorten Sentences for Convicted Felons.”
Trump has not lived up to his end of the bargain on building a wall along the Southern Border, and some of his base is getting restless. He is currently posturing again, threatening to shut the government down unless he get funding for the big beautiful beast we were promised. But we’ve been down that path before, and it did not end in the passage of any meaningful legislation.
A Sept. 11 Tweet from Ann Coulter sums up uneasiness felt by many who have been backing Trump from the start.
“I voted for a Muslim ban and a wall and all I got was this lousy tax cut,” she said.
I voted for a Muslim ban and a wall and all I got was this lousy tax cut.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 11, 2018
And she’s right. George Bush cut taxes. John McCain likely would have, had he been elected. The same goes for Mitt Romney. The GOP establishment shirked its responsibility on closing the border for years by bribing Republican voters with modest tax cuts, all the while giving them lip service about border security.
Fair-minded Trump supporters must acknowledge the similarities between Trump’s record, and those of the establishment GOP whom Republican voters roundly rejected in 2016.
It is long-past time to begin border wall construction, or Trump risks being put in the same category as all of those Republicans who let us down before. We voted for a wall. We voted for real border security. Let’s have it.