Really, So Money Is Nothing To Them As Long As This Wall Is Funded… 🤔 Huh
The prestige momentarily once held by the US is most certainly gone
The logic of such a design has been challenged by experts and summarized by the Washington Post.
We have 1,374 miles to cover, but that excludes ports of entry. There are 48 ports of entry on the border now. The largest is at San Ysidro, near San Diego.
This is really the crux of the question, isn’t it? Is a barrier this long at these dimensions actually something that would work to keep out people and illegal drugs?
It clearly wouldn’t do much about the latter. Most drugs that cross that border illegally already come through ports of entry, smuggled in vehicles or on people crossing legally. What’s more, a barrier with nine-inch gaps seems like it might allow for pretty easy transfer of bulky packages, without having to throw them 28 feet in the air to clear the wall.
“Many of those workers have said to me, communicated — stay out until you get the funding for the wall,” Trump said. “These federal workers want the wall.”
I’m sure if this was even remotely accurate the president would have turned this revelation into a press event. But it wasn’t. Perhaps the politicization that actually started this furlough would have also costed them their federal employee status had they been seen siding with the president as he claims they do.
On Friday December 19, the House approved some form of that spending bill for the border wall.
For this to be a legitimate social concern that would mean that the unmistakable agenda behind the xenophobia and the fears that abound to stigmatize these particular immigrants with crime, illegal drug smuggling, and job stealing is warranted. There is however one other kind of deception afoot and that is this perceived inculcation of a certain cultural prestige prescribed by President Trump’s policies and ideologies, and thus, falsely justified by his hapless administration which has more to do with sustaining the racial hierarchy of the United States, as it were.
Despite that, there is nothing prestigious about this type of cultural imperializing by Trump as its preemptor emperor.
If one knew nothing else about Donald Trump beyond the fact that he once published a book sharing culturally valued expertise in the real estate industry, one might expect that his own approach to leadership would follow the paradigm of prestige. But, of course, nothing could be further from the truth, as even Trump’s most ardent admirers would acknowledge. Even a casual reading of The Art of the Deal reveals that the cultural knowledge Donald Trump aims to transmit is not so much a specialized portfolio formulated to address a specific problem in culture but rather a more general set of strategies aimed at achieving social dominance — dominance in virtually any context in which “deals” are to be made, from real estate to politics to interpersonal relationships. “Think big,” he counsels (Trump 1987, 47). “Fight back” (58). “Use your leverage” (53). “The best thing you can do is deal from strength” (53). And “sometimes, part of making a deal is denigrating your competition” (108).¹
Donald Trump completely disavows the psychology of prestige. He renounces this feature of human nature as strongly as he renounces anything. In its place, Trump harkens back to an evolutionarily older paradigm for achieving status in primate groups. It is the paradigm of brute dominance, an atavistic proclivity whose primal appeal never seems to fade.
What we have been witnessing ever since Donald Trump publicly made his disdain of President Obama with stupefying claims of birtherism, and then decided to run against what would have been the first female president of the United States in a show of sexism is what the rational among us calls Chimpanzee Politics.
The chimp political world is shockingly familiar. And if it does not describe our world today, it certainly seems to describe its historical roots, or, should we say fundaments.
Top apes practice noblesse oblige, defending the weak to solidify the social order in which they are dominant. A male that rises to power through collusion with other powerful males will always be limited by them as well, whereas an ape that rises on his own will not. Most ape activity has nothing to do with dominance, and most apes in a colony are females with little stake in power struggles.
The president has projected unto the American electorate that border wall funding is the utmost of priorities for national security and against this perceived invasion of immigrants entering into the United States. An uncontroversially contradicting issue for the nation has been transformed into perceived power struggle and dominance by Trump and his cadre of white supremacy support and groupings of cognitive dissonance fealty.
One of the things with the wall is you need transparency. You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can’t see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall.
And I’ll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. — President Donald Trump, July 2017
Horrible, crazy is how you sound? Yes. Reasonable, coherent? 🤔 Nah.🤨
To also see these once presidential hopefuls in Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Ted Cruz along with the republican leadership respond with egregious appeasement to an uncharacteristic president is worth the critical analyzing and comparative psychological study presented here.
In Chimpanzee Politics, Frans de Waal (2007) famously described these coalitions as short-term Machiavellian projects of surprising intricacy. Utterly pragmatic, rival chimps may severely injure each other in a battle for dominance, and then engage in mutual grooming and other friendly behaviors to consolidate rank order once the battle is over.
When the first edition of Chimpanzee Politics appeared in 1982, readers were struck by how much chimps turn out to be like humans. But the case of Donald Trump shows how much humans turn out to be like chimps.
Trump is physically big, and dynamic. He gives the impression of a volcano about to explode. When I watched the Republican debates, I could not keep my eyes off of him, even when others were speaking. He is more overtly aggressive than any political figure in the United States today, so aggressive, so insulting, so egregiously self-promoting that you think he might be bluffing — but is he? What if he isn’t? Bluffing, it should be noted, is a cardinal strategy in the alpha chimp reper- toire. It is also prevalent in those agonistic life contexts Donald Trump knows so well — the Manhattan real estate market, for example, the world of professional wrestling, and the cut- throat ethos of his reality show, The Apprentice. On Twitter, Trump’s incendiary tweets are like Yeroen’s charging displays, designed to intimidate.¹
And intimidate he does — the chimps of course.
“This is our only chance that we’ll ever have, in our opinion, because of the world and the way it breaks out, to get great border security,” Trump said Friday at the White House.
However, I am not that gullible to believe that even the republican federal employees are okay with this sort of prioritization over receiving substantially less pay in the form of benefits during the height of the holiday season. I don’t think they feel that strongly that they are willing to forgo their salary and face the penalties of not paying their bills on time or at all even. I don’t think they appreciate having to dip into their savings whether it is for emergency or recreation to get ‘great border security’.
“My supervisor told me we won’t be getting paid, so my bills won’t be getting paid,” Bonita Williams, a janitor at the State Department, told the Washington Post.
As the Post notes, many cleaners and food service workers are employed as government contractors, meaning they are often not paid retroactively following government shutdowns.
“We’re going to lose both of our incomes right now,” said Erin Kidwell, who, along with her husband, works for the U.S. Forest Service. “If we don’t get back pay, that will be a significant impact. Healthcare, insurance all comes out of that check. That’s really scary. I just don’t know what’s going on anymore. None of us do.”
Unpaid Federal Employees Set Record Straight With Shutdown Stories
As President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed without a shred of evidence that "many" furloughed or unpaid federal…
Why would federal employees of any party be okay with that?!?
No silver lining to this
According to the WSJ, federal employees can apply for unemployment benefits after being furloughed. This scenario is based on what similarly occurred in 2013. The president believes these ‘loyal to the president’ federal employees or rather these republican federal employees want border security.
Asked about the hundreds of thousands of federal employees working without pay or furloughed during the shutdown, the president said workers want the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “I think they understand what’s happening. They want border security. The people of this country want border security,” he said, adding, “The only ones who don’t are Democrats.”
Now I am not for putting the chimps in cages, back in cages, or anything like that because that would be animal cruelty, but what I am for is releasing them back into the wild where they belong.
This has been another edition of An American Potpourri Of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit Vol. 1, №10
¹ Dan P. McAdams. (2017). The Appeal of the Primal Leader: Human Evolution and Donald J. Trump. Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, 1(2), 1–13. doi:10.26613/esic.1.2.45