President Ronald Reagan "Tear Down This Wall" Speech at Berlin Wall President Ronald Reagan delivers this memorable speech at the Brandenburg Gate.
What would revered Republican Ronald Reagan have to say about the Trump Mexican Border Wall? After all, Reagan's most famous utterance was his command and plea in a speech in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate, directed to Mr. Gorbachev:
That context in time and in history was of course very different from today and from Trump's Wall against Mexico, the first wall between nations in the Western Hemisphere to be considered.
In retrospect, even though it was a cleverly designed public relations effort for Reagan's speech at the Brandenburg Gate, Reagan makes a lot more sense 33 years later, even to a die-hard yellow dog Democrat like me. If we are tossing about historical analogies akin to many of those in the following text of this article, one must call to mind the famous Maginot Line built by France to keep the Germans from invading. It was a system of fortifications, weapons bunkers, and physical obstacles built in the 1930's on the borders with Switzerland, Luxembourg and Germany (but not Belgium so as not to offend Belgium's neutrality in their diplomatic focus. The entire thing failed because it was based on static concepts of war, and the Germans simply went around it, like Mexican criminals and ISIS terrorists would enter the US through Montreal, Lake Champlain in rowboats, or maybe Los Angeles International Airport in chartered jets.
What Trump has recently proposed is that now the US should pay for the Wall against Mexico by congressional allocation. Then maybe Mexico would then reimburse us? This defies any kind of logic and seems at best like a curious form of wishful thinking, to think that Mexico would now pay for it, especially since two Mexican Presidents, one current and one former, are vehemently saying "absolutely not."
I live in Santa Fe New Mexico which is a "Sanctuary City," as also New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Boston are sanctuary cities. New York actually had sanctuary policies even under former mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, now an adviser to Trump's campaign!
Despite threats to cut off Federal funding to these cities, unless they capitulate to Trump and turn over the ostensibly millions of Mexican "criminals," most of these cities won't give up their status as sanctuary cities, for many reasons which are too vast and which go beyond the scope of this article.
Most of these cities are in the Northeast, the Northwest, and around Chicago and Denver. There are some entire states that are in varying degrees "Sanctuary States." These include: Oregon, California, North Dakota, Colorado, Rhode Island, and New Mexico.
The cities include some surprises like Portland, Maine; Montpelier, Vermont; all of Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas); South Tucson, Arizona; Bloomington, Minnesota; Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; Dallas County and Travis County (Austin) in Texas; at least 20 counties in Iowa, and several counties in stalwart Republican enclaves in Kentucky and Kansas, plus seven large counties in Florida.
It would be a political disaster for Trump's Administration to even start to cut off all Federal funding to these governmental entities, although, in all fairness to Donald Trump, this idea has come up before within the Obama Administration. The Department of Justice's Inspector General not long ago determined that some sanctuary jurisdictions are violating federal law, and could face debarment from certain federal funding or other consequences.
It might have originated from his advisers, but I won't even get into the curious shift from the campaign speeches demanding that Mexico pay for the wall, to now asking Congress to instead allocate the monies. Both the former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada, and the present President of Mexico have decried this idea. Mexico's president, Enrique Peña Nieto, have on many occasions clarified that Mexico would not entertain any requests to foot the bill, and Fox flatly saying Mexico would NEVER pay for such a wall.
Mr. Fox, who has been a regular critic of Trump, spoke in sharper terms about the border wall last February when he said Mexico was "not going to pay for that f-----g wall."