Trump Is a Dictator in Training
His belligerence is making him a global
By Jim Hightower
El Jefe, the gringo strongman!
the image our current Commander-in-Chief seems
to be cultivating. He has surrounded himself
with generals, cavalierly threatens war with all
"bad hombres," is drastically bulking up
military spending, and imperiously slaps foreign
leaders, whole ethnic groups and entire nations
with demeaning tweets and public rants. Posing
as Patton-on-the-Potomac, President Donald Trump
is out to "Make America Feared Again."
that working out? Look south, to Mexico. Our
bellicose president has repeatedly blasted
Mexicans again and again as marauding thieves,
murderers and rapists. Adding injury to insult,
the smirking Trump pledged he would immediately
seal off Mexico by building a 1,800-mile-long,
30-foot high wall—which he described as
"impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful,
beautiful." But the big man and his big wall are
crumbling in the face of reality. Start with the
cost: $21.6 billion! The congressional leaders
of Trump's own party couldn't choke down a
number that big, so the interim budget agreement
they passed in April provided exactly zero
dollars to start building his wall.
there's the reality of illegal entry into our
country. First, two-thirds of undocumented
people enter legally, zipping through customs
with a valid visa. Then, when their visa
expires, they just stay here. No wall will
affect this big majority of immigrants; they
would literally walk through or fly over Trump's
massive monument to futility. Second, these
days, most people crossing the Mexican border
illegally are not Mexicans, but El Salvadorans,
Hondurans, Guatemalans and other Central
Americans, many of whom are children fleeing
gangs that are routinely kidnapping, raping and
murdering kids. Furthermore, the fastest growth
in illegal immigration is not from Latinos, but
people from Asian nations.
President Trump is finding out in his ill-fated
war with Mexico, the problem that world powers
have when they pick fights with seemingly
powerless countries is that even small dogs have
sharp teeth. His scheme for a wall is collapsing
because some two-thirds of the U.S. public
simply aren't buying that boondoggle and most
people think it is just plain stupid. But
Mexicans are the ones blunting Trump's other
major attack on them; an attempt to slap a
20-percent border tax on Mexican products
shipped into the U.S.
knows more about trade than me," the Donald
crowed during his presidential run. It turns out
that Mexican farmers do know a lot more about
corn than Trump does. They also know that a lot
of U.S.-Mexico trade consists of corn.
NAFTA, Mexico was a corn exporter. But grain
trading giants such as Cargill wrote provisions
into NAFTA to rig the rules so they could grab
Mexico's corn market. They drove hundreds of
thousands of Mexican producers out of business,
and Mexico, where corn originated, dependent on
imports from the U.S.
now, Mexicans are turning that imported corn
into a political weapon against Trump's trade
bluster. Rather than buy from the U.S., they're
negotiating to import corn from Brazil, and even
more significant, they're planning to invest in
their own farmers to make Mexico self-sufficient
again in this important crop.
Mexico's counter-offensive has caused apoplexy
among congressional Republicans from the U.S.
Corn Belt. About 75 percent of Iowa's corn goes
to Mexico, and losing that market would
devastate Iowa's economy.
little dog bit Trump on the rump, and the big
dog has now backed away from his border-tax
idea, having learned that even farmers know more
about trade than he does. Far from making
America feared, much less "great," Trump's
foolish belligerence is making him a global
views expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Information Clearing House.