Trump set on getting his wall

The Democrats are to blame for the shutdown and for illegal immigrants posing a threat to the US - at least that's what Trump's first televised address to the nation would have us believe. The US president once again called on the opposition to release 5.7 billion dollars for the construction of a border wall. The Democrats see the project as a waste of money. While some journalists show understanding for Trump's doggedness, other find it absurd.

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Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

Shutdown is a trump card for Trump

Trump can use the shutdown to his own advantage in the dispute with the Democrats over financing the border wall, Echo Moskwy finds:

“A government a quarter of which is not working gives Trump an advantage in the negotiations. Or put simply, it's his hostage. And paradoxically the national emergency could actually offer Trump a practical way out of this situation: he won't have made any concessions to the Democrats and he will have done everything he can to build the wall in the eyes of his voters. ... By the way, Trump has repeatedly claimed that Mexico will pay for the wall. Yesterday he said, 'That's not what I said' and 'I meant something else'.”

Excélsior (MX) /

Voters want the wall

Trump will do his utmost to implement his unrealistic election promises, Kimberly Armengol fears in the Cosmovisión blog of Mexican daily Excélsior:

“'Not made of concrete, but of steel', he says describing this incredible and powerful wall that is to protect the US from all its enemies. This reminds us of cartoons from our childhood in which a barrier with superpowers suddenly appeared to save the good from all evil. In a country that tends to blame others for its own decline, Trump's words will find many supporters. Those who voted for him and want him to finally deliver on his campaign pledge: a beautiful, high wall. ... Trump is desperate and will do anything he can to ensure that at least a mile of wall is built. We wouldn't be surprised if he paid for a piece of it out of his own pocket.”

Journal 21 (CH) /

Donald entering his terrible twos

In his second year in office Donald Trump is now in his terrible twos, Journal 21 criticises, commenting on the president's refusal to meet the Democrats halfway:

“The Democrats have introduced a draft law in Congress which is also supported by Republicans and which would earmark 1.3 billion dollars for additional measures aimed at protecting the southern border if in return the president ends the shutdown that began on December 22. ... But in the middle of his term Donald Trump is refusing to budge. No wonder, a Washington Post columnist wrote cynically. ... The president is entering his terrible twos: that difficult phase of childhood in which two-year-olds drive the adults around them mad with their stubborn behaviour: 'This can be a physically exhausting and trying time.'” (HR) /

Racist motives behind plans for wall

Although according to polls a majority of Americans oppose a wall on the US's border with Mexico, Trump stubbornly refuses to back down, criticises:

“A majority of Americans see no point in building a wall, and for good reason. The number of illegal border crossings has continually fallen since 2000. The number of Mexicans moving back to Mexico is larger than the number of those coming in the opposite direction, because new jobs are being created in Mexico. But Trump was never interested in immigration as a factual issue but only as a way of fanning fears and hatred of 'non-whites flooding into America'. This statement was never motivated by economic considerations, but essentially by racism. Building a wall is a 15th century solution to a 21st-century problem.”

Karjalainen (FI) /

Election promises should be quietly buried

Trump has clung too long to his election promise, Karjalainen observes:

“Trump is now at the edge of the abyss, or perhaps standing on the wall. While he praises himself on Twitter he may wonder whether it will really pay off to intensify the argument. The wall on the Mexican border which he promised in the election campaign will not be built - this became clear at the latest with the Democrats' success in the midterm elections. In his usual reckless way Trump promised the wall in the euphoria of the election campaign. Now he is learning the hard way that you shouldn't make too much fuss about your election promises, but quietly bury them instead. Experienced politicians know that.”

Polityka (PL) /

A face-saving solution needed

A compromise between the Democrats and Donald Trump is still possible, Polityka believes:

“After winning the House elections, the Democrats are more inclined to take a confrontation course against Trump: they have refused to finance the wall, which prevented the budget from being passed and has led to a partial paralysis of the Administration. ... However, willingness to compromise is necessary so that both sides can emerge from this confrontation without losing face. There is scope for that because many in Trump's team interpret his 'wall' metaphorically, not as a concrete structure or even a fence, but simply as another tightening of border security. The president therefore has a certain amount of leeway. The only question is whether the Democrats will meet him halfway.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Trump will stick to his lies

Even if Trump has put himself in an awkward position he won't budge, Kristeligt Dagblad surmises:

“Again and again he's made it clear that he puts his feelings above the facts. Because he knows that his voters distrust of the media is so great that many simply choose to believe the lies they like best. His repeated attacks on the established media have made their mark. Many Americans have a hard time acknowledging the 'truths' described for example by The Washington Post, The New York Times and TV station CBS.”