Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Tonight, the President of the United States will be addressing the nation regarding the issue of border security. It is expected that the President will provide a defense of his tough stance on his demands to fund the wall. He will likely paint a dire picture of conditions south of the border. He will share with the country the challenges faced due to inadequate resources and the lack of a physical barrier. And in all likelihood the President's message will make sense and will resonate with the American people who, although squeamish on government shutdowns, overwhelmingly demand that the federal government enforce our borders and ensure our safety and welfare.
In response, Democrats have asked the networks for an opportunity to rebut; an opportunity they will surely be given. But their request brings up two issues; one an inductive conclusion and the other an inescapable paradox.
The conclusion is that the Democrats worry they are losing the war of words regarding border security. With every week that passes, the Democrats lose what they have always deployed as their greatest weapon regarding government shutdowns: shock value. Theirs is the tactic of equating a government shutdown with the end of the world. They do this, not only to paint the Republicans as evil, uncaring, and irresponsible, but also because to Democrats, the role of government is indispensable to life in society. Even a partial shutdown, for them, is tantamount to a cataclysmic natural disaster.
But as the weeks grind on, the American people continue to see that the partial government shutdown, by and large, is not a threat to their daily existence. People are continuing to get their healthcare. Their banks are still doing business. The military is still operating, and yes, the IRS is working on delivering those precious refund checks.
But despite the fading, fake cataclysm of the shutdown, the permanent truth of the inadequacies of our border's security continues to shine. The problems south of the border continue to exist, and the multi-thousand-member caravans preparing to attempt to stroll into the United States continue to form.
The net effect is a nasty, rancid, and tumultuous loss for the Democrats, and Democrats know it. Add to their losing effort a presidential address on the matter from the Oval Office, and the result is potentially catastrophic to their indefensible cause. It is for this reason that Democratic leaders wish to speak to the American people tonight, bringing us to the second issue: how can they speak when they won't even listen?
Democratic leaders, chief amongst these are Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have engaged in the highly obnoxious and potentially destructive strategy of not listening to their political opponents, particularly to those may have developed an expertise on the field. When border security agents appeared at the White House Press Room and discussed their first-hand accounts regarding the indispensable importance of a barrier to border security, the Democrats' dismissive answer was simply to say that the agents were wrong. No facts to back them up; just the assertion.
And when President Trump invited Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to a meeting with the President and leaders from both parties at the White House, Pelosi's and Schumer's response was to repeatedly interrupt her, and again, claim she was wrong.
So now, the two leaders who have recurrently demonstrated an unwillingness and incapacity to listen to opposing points of view want us to listen to them.
My initial inclination is: what for?
The fact is that I, as opposed to them, will listen to what they have to say. I will do this out of respect for our political process and because I recognize that our country has devolved to a state where we have refused to listen to each other, and Pelosi and Schumer have painted themselves into being part of the problem.
In the end, however, I am confident I will side with the President for, amongst other reasons, his opponents' demonstrated reluctance to learn from what the President and those charged with working directly on the issue of border security have to say.
Despite their appearance tonight to rebut the President, I will likely conclude that Pelosi and Schumer are part of the problem; not the solution.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pagesand served in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Dr. Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon and lawyer serving as State Representative for South Sarasota County in Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages