We are hardly the first to write about Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Before that became the story, many commentators believed that they’d detected Obama Derangement Syndrome and Bush Derangement Syndrome. So it goes without saying that, at least in the 21st century, at least some opposition to the president — any president —sounds more than a bit loopy.
Conspiracy theorists grab headlines, pushing reasonable critics to the sidelines.
Politicians and pundits take positions running directly counter to those they’d taken in the past, expecting us not to notice. It all sounds nuts.
Still, the hysteria underpinning the current government shutdown has moved the derangement into new territory.
The Democrats have united behind two asserted beliefs:
First, that it is fundamentally immoral to use a wall or fence to demarcate a national border. Second, that walls are ineffective at limiting the entry of those we’d prefer to keep out.
These positions are utterly divorced from reality; in a word, insane.
For the record, we’re not offering a clinical diagnosis here.
Nor are we suggesting that there are no plausible objections to President Trump’s border security plans. As with most debates over matters of public policy, there are rational assertions to be made on all sides. Sane people can bring to the table differing priorities, differing projections of future behavior, and differing values.
We disagree strongly, for example, with the sanctuary city movement.
We do not, however, consider it insane to argue that a sizable community of illegal immigrants comfortable working with the police makes for a safer environment than would a community living entirely in the shadows. We oppose sanctuary cities because we believe that the harm they impose on society far outweighs their benefits — not because we insist that there are zero possible benefits.
Even with a wall, fence, or other physical barrier, not all opposing arguments are insane.
Budgetary arguments, for example, always have a basis in reason.
Any dollar spent constructing such a barrier can’t be spent elsewhere. Perhaps some new technologies could achieve the same objectives at a lower cost. Perhaps an imperfect barrier (as all barriers are) would motivate laziness and sloppiness.
We don’t have to agree with these arguments to concede that they meet the exalted status of "not complete gibberish."
We’re not even hearing the sort of semantic hair-splitting that progressives like to apply on social policy. For example, though science teaches clearly that anyone possessing an XY sex chromosome is genetically male, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the law must treat them as man.
While it’s odd, more than borderline offensive, and destabilizing to society, to contend that society and law must conform to each individual’s asserted gender preference — and while those preferences may themselves arise from emotional or mental illness — the policy is not a form of insanity.
It’s just terrible policy.
All of which brings us back to border security. The notion that walls can’t keep people out mistakes Latin Americans for "Casper the Friendly Ghost."
Walls have been keeping people out since at least the stone age. That’s what they do.
Granted, they’re imperfect. Some people may climb over them or burrow under them.
Others may arrive with a battering ram. Doors are always a weak point.
But the idea that they can’t reduce unwanted entry by a very significant amount would be news to anyone who has ever seen an actual wall. For the record, floors don’t keep everyone from falling down, either. Some people like jumping out of windows.
Still, floors are eminently useful in navigating whatever may lie at the top of the stairwell or outside the elevator doors.
Border walls are immoral?
Sure, there’s a philosophical argument that because national borders don’t exist in the state of nature, their imposition on human movement is immoral. We like them because they promote peaceful development, but those who might prefer to return to a natural state of free range humanity may be foolish, but they aren’t necessarily crazy.
Are the Democrats prepared to challenge the entire nation-state system underpinning global security and existence? If so, that’s a position worth making explicit — particularly to voters who may not understand it.
If not, they’re reduced to the position that national borders are meaningful, just, and important in promoting the causes of peace and development — but suddenly become immoral when they’re made effective.
A belief that borders are moral when ineffective but immoral when effective is irrational.
The Democrats’ problem is not that President Trump might have listened to his base. It’s that they’ve stopped listening to themselves. They’ve moved beyond resistance . The government is shut because the Democrats have become insane.
Bruce Abramson is the President of Informationism, Inc., Vice President and Director of Policy at the Iron Dome Alliance, and a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. Jeff Ballabon is CEO of B2 Strategic, a Senior Fellow at the American Conservative Union's Center for Statesmanship and Diplomacy, and an advisor to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. To read more of their reports — Click Here Now.
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