Do you remember those Miller Lite Beer commercials from the late 1970s and early ‘80s? You had one group of former athletes arguing they liked Miller Lite because it “tastes great,” while the other half argued that Miller Lite was “less filling.”
I see something similar happening right now in Congress. Republicans are yelling it’s all President Joe Biden’s fault, while Democrats are yelling it’s all former President Donald Trump’s fault. Any day now, I expect them to start yelling across the aisle like the old Miller Lite commercials.
Of course, they’ll likely get nothing done. Hey, at least we could make gridlock entertaining!
As Sonny and Cher sang, “And the beat goes on.”
Well, we have a mess on our southern border. Actually, it’s part of an ongoing mess. It’s been going on for years, although at times it’s worse than others.
I think I finally figured out why this mess isn’t solved and never goes away. The problem is the people who could solve this mess and create a realistic and fair border policy don’t want to. You see, they’re too busy scoring political points by keeping the system as the mess that it is.
I realized something similar a few years ago about public housing in this country. The reason it became and remained such a mess was because it was never meant to help the poor. This was particularly so after it became clear most of the residents would be Black. It was meant to help the developers, the contractors, and the public employee unions. It was designed to discourage people from trying to get out of the system so the housing bureaucrats could keep their jobs.
With the border, I’m reminded of an episode of the British satire series, “Yes, Minister.” Jim Hacker, a government minister, is tapped to lead a commission to develop a comprehensive transportation plan for Britain. The lead civil servant for his department, Sir Humphrey Appleby, tells him he’s been given the assignment because the government just wants people to think they’re trying to do something. A comprehensive plan was impossible, he said, because the very people who could formulate and implement such a plan were the very people who benefitted the most from keeping the system as it was.
When I look at border issues, I see a lot of yelling and screaming, grandstanding, chest-thumping and finger-pointing. I now realize neither political party has any real interest in reaching a solution, and I include former President Trump in this. They’re more interested in using the issues to score political points against the other party. It’s all about making themselves look good so they can raise money and get reelected.
For the politicians, the border is a political gold mine. The worst thing that could happen politically would be for the issues to be solved and calm return to the border.
As in that episode of “Yes, Minister,” the very people who could formulate and implement a comprehensive and coherent border policy are the very people who benefit from having the system as it is.
So, while the politicians make a lot of noise and rake in the cash, the people at the border suffer. They include American residents on the border, those who want to come into our country, and our overwhelmed Border Patrol.
And the beat goes on.