A visitor from Mars attending President Trump’s Orlando rally on Tuesday evening would be rightfully astonished by the president’s many “true believers.”
Fox News reported that anti-Trump protesters gathered a few blocks away, but that they had little “cohesion.” In contrast, the same reporters used words like “incredible” to describe the 20,000 people inside the cavernous room.
The supporters cheered on cue. They are, according to every public and private poll, supporting a president who enjoys less support than he needs to win. President Trump’s record is one of failure.
The good news? Unemployment is the lowest it has been since President Richard Nixon’s first year in office, though disability and welfare rolls are high. The economy has exceeded 3 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth has been high for the last two years. Trump signed a tax bill and criminal justice reform.
He has had accomplishments, but they are few. They are overshadowed by numerous failures.
During his 2016 campaign, Trump declared he would end illegal border crossings and drug smuggling by building a “beautiful wall” on the 2,000-mile Mexican border that “Mexico will pay for.” Not one inch of Trump’s wall has been built. Any wall construction or repair has consisted of replacing old fencing built during the Bush and Obama years, and it was funded by American, not Mexican, tax dollars.
The Trump administration invited construction companies to submit designs for Trump’s “beautiful wall.” Dozens did. Prototypes were built on the San Diego-Tijuana border, costing American tax dollars. Trump visited them. And then the prototypes failed. They were rejected. They were bulldozed.
President Trump ordered thousands of U.S. soldiers to the border. They strung barbed wire and are painting fences while border crossers just keep walking across the border. American taxpayers are paying millions of dollars to paint fences.
Approximately 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children are being held by Trump’s administration, many in camps along the border.
Candidate Trump went to Mexico City to meet with the Mexican president to discuss immigration and trade. The “wall” was not discussed, he says. Untrue. The Mexican president told Trump that Mexico would not pay for his wall. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox was crystal clearer; Mexico would not “pay for Trump’s f*****g wall.”
Candidate Trump blasted trade with Mexico and trade deficits. Trump said Mexico was “ripping off” America through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiated by the first President Bush. It was, according to Trump, a “disaster; the worst trade deal ever.” He said he would fix it. But he hasn’t. What he did negotiate is almost word-for-word the same as the 25-year-old NAFTA.
President Trump has not presented Congress with a workable immigration proposal. More people are entering the U.S. without permission than under President Obama. The downward trend in illegal immigration has reversed since Trump’s inauguration.
Immigration is administered by the Department of Homeland Security; it is leaderless after Trump’s purge of its top officials. Trump’s immigration-hawk appointments may not be confirmed by the Senate.
President Trump announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would deport “millions” of illegal aliens. But in the last fiscal year, just 256,000 people were deported. Apparently Trump doesn’t know that. Additionally, there aren’t enough ICE agents to do the job.
And then there’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). President Trump “canceled” the Obama executive order deferring deportation of hundreds of thousands of people brought to the country illegally before they were 18. Federal courts ordered the program to continue. The public supports DACA, even Republicans support it.
Immigration aside, Trump promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. He hasn’t. On federal spending, he busted the budget. (By the way, did he know Puerto Ricans were American citizens before Hurricane Maria?)
President Trump claims to be the “most successful first-term president ever.” He isn’t. Even the visitor from Mars could see his documented record of failure.
There are no potential George Washingtons, Abraham Lincolns, Roosevelts (Teddy or Franklin), or Ronald Reagans running for president. That’s too bad.
Is this the best we can do with 330 million Americans to choose from?
Raoul Contreras is the author of “The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade.” He formerly wrote for the New York Times’ New America News Service.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.