Let me take you back a moment. The year is 2016 and Donald Trump is at a rally and the “Build the Wall” chant starts. The majority of the nation laughs at the idea of a border wall separating the United States and Mexico. No one is taking it seriously as a threat. When I mentioned my issues with Trump, many responded by saying, “he doesn’t actually mean that,” or “that will never actually happen.” But here we are. My worst fears are becoming a reality. The issue of the wall has consumed our government since the midterms. What was once a symbolic idea has now become a rallying cry, a campaign promise that Trump will not let go of. Although the idea of the wall is opposed by nearly 61 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup Poll from Feb. 12, we are now trespassing into unknown territory.
We here in the United States are now faced with the reality that we are more polarized than ever before. The longest shut down in history was continued by Trump in his effort to force an unpopular policy down the throats of the American taxpayers. The effects of this 35-day shutdown will continue to affect people, the economy and our government for a long time. When Trump realized that Congress would not be willing to give him money for a border wall, he decided that he needed to take matters into his own hands. By doing this, Trump has arguably set standards for all future presidents and has wrongfully expanded executive power to a new level.
This “national emergency” over our southern border is a made up, partisan issue based on fallacies spread by our president. This is a “solution” that has been repeatedly shot down by facts proving that a wall will not solve our issues concerning illegal immigration, drugs, and violence. A CBS News poll found that two-thirds of Americans do not support the declaration of a national emergency to fund a border wall. There is no doubt in my mind that this decision will make its way through our court system and be found unconstitutional.
However, this declaration has a bigger consequence that could play huge role in our future. If Trump sets the precedent that a president can declare a national emergency for a situation like border security, what is stopping future presidents from using this excuse to declare a national emergency on something such as climate change?
This leads many of us to ask ourselves, what we can do. Instead of fear mongering and using fake statistics to fuel unnecessary hatred towards immigrants, we should remember that we too are all descendants of immigrants. We should start using compassion towards those who are willing to put everything on the line to create a better life for themselves. We should start listening to the nine representatives whose districts line the border and who do not support the building of a wall.
This is just not about the wall. This is about a gross misuse of power from our Commander in Chief who is willing to put petty campaign promises before the will of the people who he is supposed to represent. Donald Trump needs a reality check. When you are elected to represent the people of the United States, you are expected to represent all of the people.
Katie Hold is a sophomore studying strategic communications at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to reach the College Democrats? Send them a tweet @OUCollegeDems.