On January 2, 2019, Senator Lindsey Graham said that if President Trump backed away from his demand for $5.7 billion to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, it would mark “probably the end of his presidency.” At first, I believed Senator Graham, and I was happy because I figured that all Nancy Pelosi would have to do is not budge and we would have no Border Wall and the end of President Trump. The only problem was, it was not true.
You see, Presidencies are neither made nor destroyed over one budget battle. If today, Trump backed away from his demand for $5.7 Billion for the Border Wall and just reopened the Government, what is the worst that would happen? He would still be the President, and Democrats would still need him to sign bills, so he would still be in pretty much the same position with them as before. However, there was something else that Lindsey Graham was implying when he said that backing away would end Trump’s Presidency. Graham was implying that if Trump backed away from the deal right now, his base would abandon him.
Regarding Graham’s idea that Trump’s base would abandon him, there are two things to keep in mind.
1. It is not true. Trump’s base will not abandon him if he does not get his Border Wall soon.
2. At this moment, we really do not want it to be true that his base will abandon him if he does not get his Border Wall.
I know what you may be thinking, “But, I want him not to get his Border Wall and I want his base to abandon him.” I perfectly understand that sentiment, and it does sound great. For a while, that is exactly what I wanted. However, just because I want something to be true does not make it true. Let me explain the current state of things.
I know that Donald Trump’s base will not abandon him if he does not get his border wall for two reasons:
1. His base is fiercely loyal to him, as has been repeatedly demonstrated by how they have stuck with him through all of his mistakes.
2. His base has nowhere else to go.
Donald Trump’s base is currently so loyal to him because of what he has said and done so far. So far Trump has given his base the following:
1. He gave them two Conservative Supreme Court Justices.
2. He gave them tons of Conservative Upper Lever Judges.
3. He gave them a huge tax cut for rich people and big corporations.
4. He weakened Obamacare.
5. He weakened Federal Government Regulations.
6. His cabinet officials have done all kinds of other things that Conservatives love like weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
7. He has spent a huge amount of time and effort insulting pretty much everything the Left believes in.
If Donald Trump did nothing else, his base would love him just for the things that he has already done. Also, keep in mind that until Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh started complaining in December that he had not given his base The Wall, his base was perfectly content to just hear him talk about The Wall at rallies. Congressional Republicans were all set to pass the Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal Government in December until Donald Trump said he would not sign it, and he refused to sign it only after Coulter and Limbaugh started complaining.
All that Donald Trump would have had to do in December to get Coulter and Limbaugh to shut up about The Wall was say that he would arrange for funding of the wall with the Democrats in 2019 by making a deal with them. Why would Coulter and Limbaugh have shut up? Because in February 2018, the Democrats were willing to trade The Wall for something like The Dream Act, so Republicans know that even though Democrats hate The Wall, they would put up with it if Trump gave them something that they want badly enough. Trump has been telling his base for years that he can turn water into wine with his deals and they have always believed him. They would believe him again if he explained it to them in the right way. All Trump would have to say is, “They were willing to trade once. They would be willing to trade again.”
Today, Donald Trump could tell his base that he needs the Government to get back to work so that the Border Patrol can apprehend undocumented immigrants, and so that the Government can process people’s tax refunds. He could then go on to tell them that that later in the year he would make a deal with Democrats for The Wall and his base would accept that. Yes, some Trump fans would be unhappy at the moment if they did not get The Wall right now, but if the Government does not open soon, Trump and a whole lot of Republican voters are going to pay a heavy price.
Also, keep in mind that Trump’s base has nowhere else to go. If they are unhappy with him, what are they doing to do, become Democrats? That will not happen. They would be angry at him for about a week, then they would remind each other of all of the things that he has done for them so far, and then they would encourage each other to be patient.
So, to summarize, Trump can abandon his Border Wall idea for now and his base would get over it relatively quickly because of how much he has done for them so far. It is actually kind of good that this is true, because if it were not, someone like Trump might hold onto his “No Border Wall, No Government” plan for months or years and drag the whole country down with him. As I said in the title, sometimes a person holds onto a bad idea because he thinks he has no other choice. Donald Trump has a choice, and the far better choice is to plan to reopen the Federal Government now and then plan to make a deal for his Border Wall a little later.
Instead of saying that if Donald Trump gives up the wall he will lose his base, which is totally not true, people should start saying that he can easily survive a postponement of his Border Wall proposal—and that this is the wisest course for him at the moment–which totally is true. As long as Trump has the false assumption that his base will abandon him if he does not give them The Wall soon, he may hold the Federal Government hostage for a very long time, and that will hurt everyone. It is extremely important that Donald Trump not believe the balderdash that Lindsey Graham was peddling.
Trump has gone through at least four bankruptcies. He’s had countless businesses fail. If people plan to tell me that he cannot accept temporary setbacks, I will simply tell them Trump has been dealing with those his entire life.