Donald Trump fans start crowdfunding campaign for wall at U.S.-Mexico border
During Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, two paramount issues riled up his base, inspiring feverish three-word chants: One, jailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, because she used a private email account for work, despite the FBI's conclusion that she should not face criminal charges. ("Lock her up! Lock her up!") And two, building a wall at the U.S. Mexico border, which Mexico would pay for. ("Build the wall! Build the wall!")
Two years into Trump's presidency, neither of these promises were kept, despite Republicans controlling the Senate, the House of Representatives and the presidency. During the midterm elections, the Democrats came roaring back with a "blue wave," winning back the House by a significant margin. That means in January, President Trump's life will get harder, as Democrats investigate his corruption and expose his long-hidden tax returns. Also, it will be much more difficult to convince Congress to fund a tremendous, beautiful wall, believe me.
You might be thinking, "Wait a second, didn't Trump repeatedly say that Mexico would pay for the wall?" Yes. Yes, he did. However, that boneheaded plan hit a wall, as Mexico had no interest in paying for a wall. Afterward, Trump pivoted and tried to convince Congress - i.e. the American taxpayers - to allocate $5 billion in funding for the wall. However, the master dealmaker was unable to convince Democrats and Republicans, as Congress rejected Trump's demand.
On Wednesday, Congress submitted a bill to the president that did not contain any funding for a border wall, but would avert a government shutdown. On Thursday, President Trump said he would not sign that bill, stating, "Any measure that funds the government must include border security," This echoes his statements from the public meeting with Democratic Senators Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, where he claimed, "I would be proud to shut down the government for border security."
With the Trump Shutdown - the most beautiful and tremendous of all government shutdowns - on the horizon, some fans are putting their money where their mouth is. Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee Air Force veteran and motivational speaker, started a crowdfunding campaign for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. "If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall," Kolfage wrote on the GoFundMe page.
As of this writing, the campaign has raised $8,891,867 of its $1 billion goal. Of course, the wall would cost much more that - depending on whom you ask, anywhere from $21.6 billion to $70 billion - but $1 billion is the maximum amount you can raise on the website. That means everyone in the MAGA hat crowd would have to donate somewhere between $342 and $1,111 to get 'er done, plus an annual fee to pay the immense cost of maintenance.
In the Go Fund Me description, Kolfage points out that crowdfunding a government project isn't totally unheard of, as a billionaire donated $7.5 million in 2012 to help repair the Washington Monument. "Democrats are going to stall this project by every means possible and play political games to ensure President Trump doesn’t get his [victory]," Kolfage wrote. "It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling."
Critics say the border wall is a big, dumb, expensive, impractical, pointless waste of money. They argue that the U.S.-Mexico border is already well-defended, there's little to no evidence undocumented immigrants are taking people's jobs, it is unclear how erecting the wall will 'save' any money, it's impossible to quantify the impact on crime rates from illegal immigration, and the money for a wall might be much better spent on universal health care, a system used by almost every civilized country in the world.
Hilariously, someone started a competing GoFundMe campaign, for Ladders for Migrant Siblings, to climb over the wall. Ladders! Why didn't we think of that?