Trump demonized immigrants, lied, and did nothing to help end the Trump shutdown.
In his first prime-time Oval Office speech to the nation, Trump spent just over nine minutes attacking immigrants, lying to the American people, and doing nothing to end the shutdown he demanded.
The address was supposed to persuade Americans of the supposed need for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but instead he recycled his same tired lies and anti-immigrant racism and failed to make a case to the majority of Americans who do not want a wall or support his shutdown to get it.
According to the Washington Post's live fact check, Trump lied about a litany of issues. On the issue of drugs entering the country, the Post notes that most imported heroin comes in through legal ports of entry, not via undocumented immigrants crossing the border. And Trump once again lied about how a wall would be paid for, saying a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada would pay for it. That's just not true in any way.
Beyond the lies about verifiable facts, Trump resorted to the kinds of racist tropes that launched his political career. While he managed to refrain from calling Mexicans "rapists," as he did when he announced his campaign in 2015, he did infer that undocumented immigrants are dangerous. However, numerous studies have pointed out that crime among immigrants — documented or undocumented — is lower than among native-born Americans.
And recently, the U.S. government was forced to admit that more terrorists are apprehended at the U.S.-Canada border than the southern border.
In December, Trump told the nation that he would be "proud" to shut down the government. Yet in his prime-time address, he attempted to shift blame to the Democrats. Yet the new House majority, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has already passed bills to reopen the government and start paying the 800,000 federal workers currently going without paychecks.
It is only Trump's stubbornness and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to even hold a vote on reopening the government that is keeping the government shut down. The American people know that; polls show Trump is taking most of the blame for the ongoing shutdown.
Democrats won a resounding victory in the 2018 midterm, as the American people were sick and tired of the incompetent governing by Republicans. Pelosi and her colleagues are prepared to fix the problems Republicans created over the past two years, beginning with reopening the government.
Trump, and his bullheaded obsession with the wall, is the only thing standing in the way. And his prime-time address only cemented that idea into reality.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.