An aerial view of X-shaped steel beams that mark the border between the U.S. and Mexico as the United States government continues its shutdown over a fight to fund more border wall construction on January 12, 2019 in Columbus, New Mexico. President Donald Trump wants $5.7bn to build additional walls along the U.S.-Mexico border and the Democrats oppose the idea. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP
An aerial view of X-shaped steel beams that mark the border between the U.S. and Mexico as the United States government continues its shutdown over a fight to fund more border wall construction on January 12, 2019 in Columbus, New Mexico. President Donald Trump wants $5.7bn to build additional walls along the U.S.-Mexico border and the Democrats oppose the idea. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

It is inconceivable that the leader of a superpower has been spending so much time and energy on a border wall. Border control is a normal function of any government.

It is more ironical since all parties are in favour of effective border control and a number of suggestions have been tabled to address it, but US President Donald Trump’s ego prevented him from signing since it would not have been a big enough “win” for him!

The wall started off as an up to 9.1 m high concrete wall stretching over 3,200km. Due to pressure from the Democrats he now speaks of a steel fence that  would only cover certain stretches of the border.

Trump elevated a basic government function that would normally be attended to without great fanfare, to a central issue to stoke fear and mobilise his “tribe”.

During his presidential campaign, he not only offended Mexico, who he said would pay for the wall, but also demonised immigrants as criminals, rapists and drug dealers.

Against the background of various investigations involving him and his family, Trump is now using the wall to distract attention and upgraded it to a national emergency.

Meanwhile, about 1-million US government workers have been without pay for more than three weeks, because he “proudly” shut down the government to achieve his “win”. Ironically, he said he “can relate” to the plight of those workers.

The world is watching with amusement, but also with great concern given the confusion, uncertainty and division he is causing, not only in his own country, but across the globe.

When will his bluff finally be called?

Dawie Jacobs
Sterrewag