President Trump has backed off of closing the border, at least for now. During this episode he has displayed two characteristics which will hurt his popularity and his presidency if he doesn’t change his ways.
He is not a stupid man. Graduating from Wharton is clear proof of that. It appears that he doesn’t like to engage in deep thinking. He made the statement that closing the border wouldn’t hurt the economy much since we are running a trade deficit. He doesn’t seem to realize how interdependent are economies are. If he stops cars from coming in, car dealers will be out of business. Car parts move back and forth across the border. American assembly lines will shut down because they don’t have radiators or steering wheels coming from Mexico. He hasn’t made it clear if he wound want a total cessation of trade. That would mean the deaths of tens of thousands of Mexican citizens who are denied access to pharmaceuticals and other medical equipment and supplies.
If the borders are closed for a long time, our economy will go into a recession. Mexico’s will likely go into depression. That will lead a massive increase in illegal immigration. Since they can’t trust us, Mexico would look elsewhere. China would be the most likely candidate.
I’m no psychologist, but it seems that he is so confident of his gut instincts, that he not only doesn’t need advice, he also doesn’t need facts.
I also don’t understand his obsession with immigration, both legal and illegal. He just terminated a deal that would allow Cubans to play major league baseball here. Immigration is certainly an important issue. But so are the economy, health care and others. It seems like they are much less important to him than immigration. He had a compelling story to about the economy but focused almost totally on the wall during the midterms. That cost a number of Republican their seats.
I don’t expect this to change. He has been in office more than two years and he is still the same guy we saw in 2016.