Donald Trump promised to “build a great wall along [America’s] southern border”. He also said that “Mexico will pay for it.” Naysayers remain tied to the old world where outlandish statements go nowhere. Besides, they say, even if voters did something unthinkable, such as elect a Wallace-esque demagogue, cool heads would prevail in Washington. Well, the unthinkable has happened, so walls can get built. China built one, and so did Hadrian, so why not Donald? It could happen in a slightly more plausible fashion than promised hitherto: America will likely pay for the wall but the Mexicans will build it. When I say Mexicans, I mean cheap labour in Texas and Arizona.
Trump will get the funds by asking for money to clamp down on illegal immigration. Few Republicans in Congress will want to be seen as soft, as if they were ever thus. Granted, there might be some resistance from fiscal conservatives, who believe in limited government through lower spending, so here is where the GRAND BARGAIN will kick in. Or in Trump parlance, "A Beautiful deal, it's gonna be so great, it's gonna be so big", or the "Make America Build Again Act". Whatever set of words to make Americans feel something is returning to its past myopic glory.
He'll get his wall, along with his bridges and roads, in part because America does indeed need huge investment in its crumbling infrastructure. Obama asked Congress for the same thing minus a wall, but was refused point blank. Yet Trump holds more cards and is prepared to offer something that Obama never would. That limited government, minus the cash for the "Big Build" (shall we call it that?), which conservatives have dreamt about. Entitlements, food stamps, regulations on business, labour standards, environmental controls on polluting industries, and the biggest prize of all, Obamacare, all gutted, mostly gone. That ought to sell it to the fiscal libertarians, but social conservatives will also want a piece of the pie. Enter Supreme Court pick number one, with a promise of more to come if the liberals on the court snuff it. Suddenly, it's open season on gay rights, Roe V Wade, civil and voting rights, and affirmative action. Religious freedom smells so good when a Christian can refuse to make a wedding cake for a tranny. "Thanks so much, Mr. President. Now let us cut you a cheque for that wall of yours." A wall to keep the bad guys out. A bridge to throw heretics into the river.
Meanwhile, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania will see cranes appear in the sky, and everything will feel good again.