If we’ve learned anything from the release of the full (heavily redacted) Mueller Report, it is this:
Don’t trust William Barr to summarize anything.
Seriously, our attorney general would summarize Lolita as a novel about a guy who has a harmless crush on a younger woman. Then Barr would add that you don’t have to read the book yourself, so just trust him.
Of course, the full Mueller Report is far more damning of the president’s fumbling, inchoate, fantabulist style of leadership than Barr’s quick dismissal a few weeks ago led us to believe.
However, we don’t need the Mueller Report to tell us that Trump lives in a universe where his word is law, his ideas are heaven-sent, and his policies never, ever backfire in spectacularly cataclysmic ways.
You see, for most of his life and all of his presidency, Trump has ignored reality in favor of his own simplistic, hate-filled vision of how the world supposedly works, and in the process, he’s created a bizarre self-fulfilling prophecy of his worst fears.
For example, the president has been declaring — shrieking, actually — for years now that there is a crisis at the border. These declarations came despite the fact that immigration was down, with multiple experts saying the border was the safest it had been in years.
But now, in a feat that would be impressive if it weren’t so darkly ironic and disastrous, Trump’s own policies have provoked an actual crisis at the border.
Currently, thousands of migrants are caught in a hellish purgatory that sickens all but the most reactionary among us. This is because Trump’s decision to suspend aid to Central American countries, combined with “his determination to build a wall and his grand gestures to demonstrate his desire to cut off illegal immigration” have incentivized migrants “to get to the border as fast as possible.”
The president has “sent the signal that this may be the last best chance to find safe harbor in the United States, and existing laws make handling migrants from Central America — as opposed to Mexico — much more complicated for the administration.”
The result is a humanitarian crisis that Trump is unable to alleviate until “he stops creating more reasons for migrants to come to the U.S., and starts treating them more like human beings.”
Good luck with that.
The president’s delusion has continued, unimpeded, with his idea of sending undocumented immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities, despite the fact that this grade-school-level taunt to liberals has “previously been rejected by administration lawyers in internal White House deliberations, as probably illegal and emblematic of the administration’s failure to conceive of a fair and coherent immigration policy.”
And the president’s insistence that reality bend to his will has infected his most fervent followers, such as the right-wing militia members who have been illegally detaining migrants at the border. These fun-loving vigilantes have kidnapped thousands of migrants in a xenophobic, Gestapo-like maneuver that is not even vaguely legal or ethical.
By the way, these nativist goons, who often put on “full military fatigues … with handguns strapped to their sides, wearing gloves and black facemasks” were also training “to assassinate Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros.”
Yes, someone clearly needs a hobby.
Finally, let us examine the Trump supporters who are trying to build that mythical wall on the border by themselves, without that pesky U.S. Congress getting in the way.
These rugged go-getters have so far raised about $7 million for their quixotic cause, which sounds semi-impressive until you realize that this would finance the construction, at best, of a half-mile of the wall. This means any migrants arriving at the midpoint of this privately funded structure would have to walk upwards of ten minutes to get around the barrier.
It’s true that the wall backers could give their money to charity, or fund years of chemotherapy for cancer patients, or provide more than 100 kids with free college. But it is far more crucial to inconvenience a migrant undertaking a treacherous journey, in the hopes that those extra minutes of walking will convince him to turn around.
In the world of the Trump supporter, this is not insane or delusional. In fact, it all makes perfect sense.