New engineering report finds border wall will fail, a reminder that it epitomizes Trump’s presidency
We have long characterized President Trump’s border wall obsession as the perfect encapsulation of his presidency – failing, corrupt, narcissistic, offensive, and unpopular. The recent charges against Steve Bannon and other leaders of the ‘We Build the Wall’ fundraising campaign only drive this home. At its core, Trumpism is about wielding racism to spin up followers so well-connected cronies get rich and maintain power.
New revelations from a joint investigative report from The Texas Tribune and ProPublica underscore our broader take, in particular the “failing” and “corrupt” points. As the story notes:
“It’s not a matter of if a privately built border fence along the shores of the Rio Grande will fail, it’s a matter of when, according to a new engineering report on the troubled project.
… Tommy Fisher, a frequent guest on Fox News, had called the Rio Grande fence the ‘Lamborghini’ of border walls and bragged that his company’s methods could help Trump reach his Election Day goal of about 500 new miles of barriers along the southern border. Instead, one engineer who reviewed the two reports on behalf of ProPublica and The Texas Tribune likened Fisher’s fence to a used Toyota Yaris.
‘It seems like they are cutting corners everywhere,’ said Alex Mayer, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. ‘It’s not a Lamborghini, it’s a $500 used car.’
While the new engineering assessment is focused on the so-called “private” wall portion, it’s a distinction without a difference. As the new joint reporting project highlights, Trump crony Tommy Fisher’s construction firm was in charge of the private wall build and has been awarded several billion in contracts for the taxpayer-funded portion as well:
“Since Fisher’s companies embarked on construction of the Rio Grande fence, the Trump administration has awarded about $2 billion in federal contracts to the firms to build segments of the border wall in other locations.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Trump’s border wall neatly sums up why he is such a weak, failed and divisive leader. At a time of national crisis, he is determined to keep us divided along racial and ethnic lines in a cynical and desperate attempt to cling to power. With more than 180,000 dead from COVID-19, anyone can see that Trump’s laser-like focus on the wall is way off target.
The wall, in symbol and substance, reminds everyone why Trump’s presidency is such a failure. The Mexican people aren’t paying for the wall, Americans are. Trump has diverted funds from military families, National Guard and FEMA to pay for the wall. He has sent border patrol agents to infiltrate American cities, and given sweet-heart deals to cronies to line their pockets. None of this keeps America safe.
The border wall, like Trump’s presidency, is failing before our eyes and about to fall.
- Read more from America’s Voice here on why the border wall embodies Trump’s presidency.
Also see this Bloomberg primer, “The Border Wall That the U.S., Not Mexico, Is Paying For,” on the disconnect between Trump’s rhetoric on the border wall and reality.