Donald Trump and friends have been banging on this border wall idea for years and their supporters are energized by it. Our editorial staff have spent days thinking about how Trump supporters could be so insistent that a border wall is needed when it so obviously is not (let’s not argue the pro’s and con’s here, just follow the big picture logic below)… and we think we came up with the answer. In short, Trump / Wall supporters don’t know that nearly all populated US Mexico border areas have existing walls and sophisticated monitoring.
At first blush, those that are against “The Wall” are generic Trump supports that seem willingly blind to the facts but that is seldom the case.
Lets start with a quick review of the 2018 mid-term election results:
- do not live near the US Mexico border
- don’t travel very much because they often very low incomes
- are often not highly educated
Another key fact is that because this group also has much less access to high speed internet (see map to the right), fact checking is much more difficult.
NOTE: Please do not write to us explaining your anecdotal story about how you are educated and support Trump; we know there are many intelligent, well educated, rich, well traveled, good people that support President Trump and do not mean to insinuate otherwise.
Now put that all that together and ask what Trump supporters really know about the US Mexico Border. Most will get their “information” from movies and garbage media which VERY frequently show no meaningful barrier at the border. Take a quick skim through this images, most of which you will likely recognize:
Given all of these facts, we think that a large percentage of Trump / Wall supporters think that the vast majority of the US Mexico border has no notable physical barrier.
Think about this from a Trump supporters perspective. Their President tells them that they are unprotected and they see countless images of illegal immigrants casually crossing into the United States. They must be thinking that the Democrats and others that do not want to put significant dollars into a border wall are crazy. Surely all rational (and most irrational) people agree that national boarders must be barricaded to some degree.
and much of the US Mexico border in populated regions, is very serious like this part of the wall near San Diego:
A large percentage of the US Mexico remaining border that has no meaningful man made barriers, have very imposing physical impediments like vast deserts, high mountains and fast running rivers.
If illegal immigrants are willing to spend 5+ days trudging through the desert to get into the US, they will definitely find a way under, over or through any physical barrier in remote areas. This is why those that work with the facts say that a full coast to coast US Mexico wall is a 14th century solution to a 21st century problem.
It is not that a massive wall expansion is not a good idea in theory. In practice however “walling” the unpopulated desert and mountains will have very little impact on migration and cost billions to build and maintain.
Expanding, enhancing, repairing the US Mexico border barriers that exist today is something we think the vast majority of people can support.
Those opposed to “The Wall” should stop referring to it as if it does not exist already. Those opposed should start using terms like “expansion” or “extension” if they want to sway opinion, because President Trump certainly is not going to clarify these facts.