Wall around the White House

"The “I” word hounds Trump."


President Donald J. Trump wanted to build a wall along the US-Mexico southern border. Ironically, it was the White House that got walled in in Washington.

With the Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives and Rep. Nancy Pelosi elected anew as Speaker, Trump is finding himself in a diminished role as “The Boss,” a reputation he had acquired in a reality TV show before he became president. Trump still played that role of firing members of his official family in revolving-door fashion – except a whole lot of people were going out with nobody coming in. The latest to resign was Defense Secretary James Mattis. It took some time before someone accepted Trump’s offer to be his new Chief of Staff.

In New York for my annual Christmas holidays sabbatical, I was kept indoors by the cold (minus 2 degrees Celsius) winter weather. With heavy snow falling outside, I was confined to watching morning and evening news on television. Media and the American people were abuzz with the “I” words to refer to Trump: Inept, isolated and likely to be impeached. Not since the resignation of former President Richard Nixon to escape impeachment in the celebrated Watergate break-in case, and the failed impeachment inquiry against Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, has Washington been more awash with talks of impeaching a president.

Adding to Trump’s legal woes is the current inquiry on Capitol Hill about Russian involvement in his political campaign in the run-up to the 2016 presidential race. Trump’s campaign team that included his son , son-in-law and legal adviser allegedly met with a Russian spy to get dirt on presidential rival Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady, New York senator and Secretary of State. Apparently, Moscow contributed to the defeat of Hillary whom it found a hardliner against Russian transgression in the Ukraine and elsewhere in a bid to regain its standing as the Soviet empire of old.

Those “I” words are heard not only from the political analysts but also at gatherings among common folks who discovered to their dismay that they made a mistake in voting for Trump and his unorthodox way of governance.

Does that ring a similar tone in Philippine politics?

In a meeting at the White House with Speaker Pelosi and another official who was trying to help resolve the impasse on the US budget, Trump with Vice President Mike Pence beside him were on live TV coverage. Pence sat silent like the proverbial Sphinx giving the impression that the Veep was merely there as a ploy to show Trump has at least someone on his side.

Indications are that the US government partial lockdown now on its third week will drag on unless the Democrats give in to Trump’s demand for his $5 billion funding to build The Wall to keep illegal Mexicans from coming into the United States. The Democrats are holding their ground at $1.3 billion since it was Trump who originally said he was going to insist Mexico would pay for the wall’s construction.

But why would a country like Mexico pay for such a wall that would keep its own people from finding employment in the US of A? Having poor unemployed people is a recipe for discontent and revolution.

Many Americans agree with Trump to keep out illegal immigrants to the US as they take up many jobs which they claim are rightfully theirs. But then, these are jobs Americans usually do not like to do themselves. Owners of large tracts of farmlands welcome the illegal Mexicans to do work in the fields while the women take on menial work like household cleaners or babysitters. To meet the rising cost of living, both husband and wife in the US now go to work. So who gets to mind the kids while married couples are at work in offices? Who else but Grandma or some illegals from Latin American countries.

Or sometimes even a visiting Grandpa from the old country. This is why there are few souls like me who prefer living in the Philippines with all the comforts of home. Don’t misunderstand me; I like kids. Mine -- not my children’s children. This may seem uncaring, insensitive and even cynical. But someone once said: Your children’s children are the best revenge for the headaches you suffered bringing them up. Lest I be misunderstood, I think my wife and I did a pretty good job. They finished college, married well and are blessed with bright and beautiful kids of their own.

Despite all these, family reunions at Christmas time is the most defining moment of what Christmas is.

Topics: Alejandro del Rosario , Wall around the White House , President Donald J. Trump
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