“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
– Chicken Little
Donald Trump threatened to declare a state of emergency in the United States in order to get around Congress to fund his border wall. I listened to the pundits at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) beclown themselves as they flailed in an attempt to legitimize the president’s ridiculous empty and adolescent threats.
Now that Trump has predictably backed off of his empty threat to declare a state of emergency, let’s take a moment to decompress this textbook display of impotent stupidity. First, of course, it the point that even if he had the guts to go through with the declaration, it would immediately end up in court for months, if not years.
Second, Trump would have (and probably still has) set up a hilarious precedence of a president simply declaring a state of emergency in order to spend money without the approval of Congress. If that monster gets (got?) out of Pandora’s Box, it isn’t ever going back in, and the Republicans will get to deal with that on the other end soon enough.
Finally, and most importantly, I don’t know if anyone noticed, but Donald Trump just tried to claim that something that’s been happening for over 50 years is a state of emergency. Let’s review just the events of the 21st Century that qualified as a state of emergency only within the United States (there are tons outside the US).
There were two the state of emergency declarations made on September 14th, 2001 and September 23rd, 2001, after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, PA, where 2,977 civilians were murdered by terrorists. Definitely a legitimate state of emergency.
There was a national emergency declared on October 23rd, 2009 in response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic. Over 60 million Americans were affected by the H1N1 strain, resulting in the deaths of roughly 12,469 deaths in the United States from April 2009 to April 2010 alone. Another legitimate state of emergency.
There was a national emergency declared on July 24th, 2011 in response to organized crime syndicates responsible for narcotics and human trafficking. These syndicates had grown to such a level of influence that they were interfering in the foreign and economic policy of the United States. A legitimate state of emergency.
There was a national emergency declared on April 1st, 2015 in response to cyber-attacks by often foreign actors upon many different companies. This led to billions of dollars of damages, theft, and other ignoble outcomes. Because of the foreign and malicious nature of these cyber attacks, this was a legitimate state of emergency.
Finally, and ironically, there was a national emergency declared on September 12th, 2018 in response to foreign interference in the United States midterm elections. The continued cyber attacks on American political institutions does represent a continuing and real threat to America, so this rates as a legitimate state of emergency.
Now, back to the “border crisis” that’s been a political issue for longer than I’ve been alive. Because illegal immigration has been occurring for literally decades, in no case do these illegal immigrants pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to national security, foreign policy, or our financial system of the United States.
If illegal immigration did rise to the level of an actual threat to the United States, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation now. So, at most, illegal immigration is a mild annoyance and, judging by our criminal codes regarding it, we have never considered people being desperate and hungry a legitimate national emergency.
We certainly shouldn’t start now.
Liberty is For The Win!