Trump announces a visit to the border, cornering Biden and Harris in a no-win situation

Donald Trump demonstrated his mastery of two vital political skills yesterday: strategy and showmanship.  By accepting Texas governor Greg Abbott's invitation to visit the border with him, the day after Abbott announced that Texas would be building a border wall now that Biden has halted federal construction efforts, Trump has cornered Biden and his putative border czarina, V.P. Harris.

Here is his announcement, distributed beyond the control of the legacy media and evading Twitter's ban on Trump by being tweeted out by Curtis Houck.  It is worth reading in its entirety:

After laying out how Biden's reversals of Trump's successful policies wrecked things, Trump goes for the jugular:

If this weren't bad enough, Biden and Harris won't even tour the scenes of the wreckage they created, or come down and visit with the Border Patrol and ICE heroes risking their lives to defend our Nation at a time when the White House is doing everything it can to make their job totally impossible[.]"

Harris's failure to visit the border already has drawn detractors on the left, especially those who emoted so heavily over the plight of "kids in cages" under Trump and now see that the problem — a genuine humanitarian crisis — is far worse under Biden's regime.  The heartbreaking spectacle of a five-year-old boy, abandoned by coyotes, bawling over his terror, is an enduring image that can't be whitewashed away by even our agitprop media.

So, here is the dilemma for Kamala.

  • If she lets Trump get to the border before she does, he gets the photo ops and the statements, and she looks like Cruella DeVille, indifferent to the suffering of terrified little children and oblivious to the influx of hundreds of thousands of poor people, many carrying COVID.
  • But if she hustles off to the border to beat him to the punch, she looks as though she is dancing to his tune, manipulated into doing what she refused to do before.  That's a bad look that places him in charge.

So Trump has strategized like a master and left his opponents with no choice that does not serve Trump's purposes.

Now comes the showmanship.

Never forget that Trump is the most successful producer of reality television in the history of the medium.  He knows how to construct scenarios in which people react spontaneously to stimuli that he designed, and do so in ways that are compelling to an audience.  Frankly, I don't have any such skills, so I can't predict what Trump will do at the border.  But I bet that it will have some highly visual components, that it will generate emotional intensity, that there will be conflict, and that there will be moments of catharsis.  Those are the elements that made his Apprentice shows into mega-hits, and he is going to use them again.

The border is on almost everyone's mind now.  The media will try to ignore him, but it will be very hard for social media to censor all mention of this looming dramatic incident.

A master is at work, and it's good to see him back at it.

Photo credit: Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

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