When I heard Dems promote drones to increase national security on the Southern border, I was confused. Now, though, I understand how those drones will work.
When Trump shifted his rhetoric from demanding a wall to talking about the need for border security, he forced the Democrats to talk about border security too. For example, a week or so ago, Democrat Sen. Mark Warner spelled out the way Democrats envision handling border security:
Well, I saw the picture and if this wasn’t the President of the United States, if the stakes weren’t so high, if this man had any kind of willingness to stick to his word, you know, it would almost be comical. The fact is, I think you could find the vast majority of Democrats who were willing to increase border security, but let’s use 21st century technology, drones, electronic surveillance, additional border guards. Not 14th century technology, a wall, whether he calls it steel-plated or not, which I’ve not heard a single security expert said would increase border security and we’ve now heard earlier today that these were the views that the President’s current Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had as well a few years back, saying the wall was an absurd idea. (Emphasis mine.)
At first I was unclear how Warner’s 21st century technology would work. I imagined a camera-equipped drone or a fixed security camera capturing images of illegal aliens crossing the border somewhere near an isolated farmer’s ranch in Arizona. Then, somewhere in an underground room deep below Washington, D.C., an agent manning the monitors spots that incursion and puts in a call to the border guards working in Arizona.
The border patrol agents get in their truck and race to the border to intercept the illegal aliens. However, when they arrive at the border two hours later, they are chagrined to find that the aliens have long since dispersed into the surrounding country side and vanished.
To give a little context to my imaginings, think about England. In Britain, which has more close circuit cameras than any other major country in the world, the benefits from the cameras have been mixed at best. What’s noteworthy is that these cameras are most effective in closed spaces that allow cameras to capture every angle — in other words, they work effectively in circumstances that are the complete opposite of a long border — especially a border where the human element may be hours away from whatever event the cameras (whether drones or mounted on the wall) catch.
And then it occurred to me that I’d been thinking about it all wrong. Of course the drones can be effective. They just have to be utilized properly to catch the criminals in the act and neutralizing them as only airborne technology can:
By the way, regarding Warner’s disdain for that “14th century technology” known as a wall, a couple of comments. First, as I heard Dan Bongino say, we still have walls in the same way we still have wheels: they work. Even if they don’t have 100% effectiveness, they remain better than the alternatives (unless, of course, you want those Goldfinger-style drones).
Second, I was listening to a Scott Adams podcast (I think it was this one) in which he talked about a “wence.” Adams’ point was that, during the presidential campaign, Trump talked about a “wall” because it provided a strong visual image for voters thinking about protecting our southern border from unauthorized incursions. The Dems, of course, jumped all over the “wall” idea (never mind that they voted for one in 2006) as an unfriendly, ecological disaster.
Trump responded by shifting the rhetoric. Now he talks about “national security” (an issue that recently got a tragic emotional boost when an illegal immigrant cold-bloodedly murdered legal immigrant and police officer Ronil Singh). Moreover, barring a notable exception that I discuss below, Trump no longer talks about a wall. Now he talks about a “fence.”
That shift in focus is how Scott Adams came up with the word “wence.” He claims Trump has successfully shifted the discussion away from whether there should be a barrier to discussions about the type of barrier. Mark Warner’s statements reflect that forced shift in focus.
All of which gets us to one of Trump’s perfect trolling texts and a Democrat response that plays right into Trump’s hands about demanding a “fence” for security.
Two days ago, Trump sent out a tweet recalling for Americans that President Obama’s wanted a wall:
President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound. I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The U.S. needs the same thing, slightly larger version!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2018
The above tweet, incidentally, reflects the original TMZ story, from January 2017, about the Obama’s plans for their D.C. home:
President Obama is taking a cue from Donald Trump … he’s building himself a wall.
We got photos of construction at Obama’s soon-to-be D.C. rental. You also see construction in the garage. As we reported, it will become an office with a bathroom.
Typically for Trump, he inserted a false statement in the text: Yes, there’s a barrier but, no, it’s not a 10 foot high wall. (It is, however, a wall that was quickly augmented with all the security American taxpayers can provide for a former president.)
So what happens as Leftists rush to correct Trump’s intentional error about the wall being 10 feet tall? They embrace his fence idea:
A neighbor, a longtime resident of the area who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve their privacy, said the president “has a very active imagination.”
“There’s a fence that goes along the front of the house, but it’s the same as the other neighbors have,” the neighbor said. “It’s tastefully done.”
There you have it: Fences aren’t walls. Walls are stupid. Fences are friendly and “tasteful.”
And of course, if the fence ends up being too tasteful to be an effective national security barrier, you can always fall back on those Goldfinger-esque drones….