“The world is laughing at us.”
This or a similar refrain was often heard during Donald J. Trump’s presidency. Whenever the former commander in chief did or said something contrary to the accepted protocol of Democrats, swamp leaders, #NeverTrumpers or the ever-judgmental establishment media, some or all of them would quickly suggest that President X in country Y would find it humorous that a political neophyte like Trump would dare express an opinion on the topic.
Sometimes the alleged condescension extended to an entire continent. When Trump announced during his inaugural address that he planned to make NATO partners pay their fair share of defense costs, for example, the smart set couldn’t quit squawking about how our “allies” would find the concept amateurish and borderline backwards. “They’ve been our staunchest friends for decades and now that uncouth braggart Trump had the audacity to tell them to pony up or get lost.” You can almost hear the words in your head, can’t you?
Another instance occurred when Trump agreed to meet North Korean cheese-loving dictator Kim Jong Un in person to try and hammer out an agreement between the two longtime enemy nations to improve relations and sustain the uneasy peace on the Korean peninsula. Oh boy, it’s as though Trump proposed to gather with the devil himself! “It sends a poor message that the leader of the free world would stoop to chat face to face with a human rights violating cretin like Jong Un.”
It was cool for Obama to send John Kerry to powwow with the Iranian mullahs during his second term, but that was different! They’re liberals!
In other words, appearances mean a lot to the ruling class. And they definitely didn’t like it when some foreign leader would snicker at the U.S. from afar. Whatever Trump did was thought to be ill-conceived and wrong. What Democrats do is reasoned, rational and appropriate. But what must the world think of Democrats’ recent proposal to make the fence surrounding the capital permanent?
“The deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has prompted calls to step up security around federal properties in Washington, but D.C. officials and locals say the idea of putting permanent fences around those sites is a step too far.
“Today, a steel-bar fence as high as 12 feet and topped with razor wire encloses a 3-square-mile area around the Capitol building, where rioters last month toppled bicycle-rack barriers and overwhelmed police officers to disrupt Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote. Armed National Guardsmen now patrol the fence perimeter, which is backed by concrete Jersey barriers in some areas.”
The idea of maintaining the fence in perpetuity is so revolting that even Democrat DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is lobbying against it. Business interests, the Capitol police and Republican congressmen want it gone too. But Nancy Pelosi and those sharing her mindset insist a physical barrier is needed to protect them from “extremists” -- a.k.a, liberty-loving Trump supporters. No fence on the border, but one surrounding the politicians. What’s wrong with this picture?
All those retiree Tea Party veterans sure are dangerous, aren’t they?
Is that laughter I hear? It’s all the foreign leaders collectively chuckling over the American leadership’s terror of its own people. Also recall there’s a force of over 2000 police officers (big as some major cities’ units) protecting the Capitol campus, armed with a $500 million yearly budget. Heck, if it were up to ninny Nancy Pelosi, she’d station an army division and artillery on the lawn in front of the place to ease her mind. It’s the only military function Democrats seem to approve of -- guarding their backsides.
With that kind of institutional reality, is a fence really necessary? Sure, there were a plethora of video images showing rioters in Trump garb misbehaving to the nth degree when clashing with police and breaking windows in the capitol building. Then there were the soundbites of unknown individuals pounding on doors and sounding as though, if they breached the obstructions, that anyone inside was in a heap of trouble. And of course, the hairy chested and shirtless tattooed guy wearing horns sitting in the senate president’s chair was at the top of every media producer’s wish list for prominent exhibition to the outrage mob.
But there was another side to the “riot” that wasn’t widely reported. The vast majority of people who entered the vaunted building either walked-in unimpeded or were basically invited in by the police on duty. Who hasn’t seen the footage of Trump flag-bearing “protesters” walking casually through the rotunda, looking at the statuary and basically behaving as if they had tickets for the Ice Capades? It looked more like a Disneyland crowd control issue than an “insurrection” and an “invasion.”
There were hundreds of people in there, after all. If they really were bent on destruction, the place would’ve been thoroughly wrecked. Perhaps they lacked the motivations or extensive propaganda training Antifa militants receive as unofficial members of the organization. The black cladded miscreants are good at what they do, which is trash the surrounding environment.
No one’s condoning what happened on January 6, and Trump could’ve been much more forceful in trying to put a stop to the whole thing. But is a permanent impediment surrounding the grounds actually called for?
Further, if the opinions of foreigners meant so much during Trump’s presidency, why don’t they matter now? Security concerns are part of our modern world, but prior to January 6, it wasn’t deemed essential to keep visitors from the vicinity of the capitol. During my (mid-90s) DC internship days, I used to walk the grounds everyday and marveled that just anyone could brown bag their lunch within shouting distance of the marble structure.
Now you probably need official permission to enter a checkpoint and the powers-that-be surmise there’s a QAnon supporter imbedded in every visiting citizen. The police realize they screwed up a month ago, and they’re censuring their own where necessary. People familiar with the capitol police force are always impressed by their professionalism and dedication to a job that’s becoming more and more difficult -- due to red tape and ideological bent of their own leaders.
Overreaction is commonplace in DC, but the concentration camp-like fence -- with razor wire, no less -- is more akin to a national tragedy. Democrats are once again using a one-time event as justification to impose permanent changes that just aren’t warranted. Whatever happened to punishing perpetrators for crimes but honoring everyone else’s liberty and freedom of movement?
What do the foreigners think? Are they laughing at us? If so, this is one instance where the jokes are richly deserved. Yuck it up, blokes.
January 6 riot
razor wire fence