by Brendan Beery
During one of his brilliant comedic impersonations of George W Bush, Will Farrell invented the word “strategery.” It was an artful riff, reflecting the toxic admixture of W’s linguistic sloppiness and intellectual vacuity. It’s not just that George would have thought the word real; it’s that he would have thought it meaningful.
Unfortunately for all of us who value reasoned debate, “strategery” now seems an apt descriptor for almost all Republican thinking. Republicans don’t seek or propose serious solutions so much as vapid cartoons to amuse their puerile base. And in his affect if not his policies, no Republican has been more cartoonish than Donald Trump. The more cartoonish he is, of course, the more Republican clapping seals emote.
Trump’s idea for a wall along the southern border is the ultimate exemplar of Republican neostrategery. Trump’s brainchild – a partition so beautiful and classy that it might be worthy of his brand – sets right-wing spirits aflame with possibility. What could better elucidate the breach between US and THEM?
If I may use the word strategery to mean tactical maneuvering (not that any Teabagger would know the difference between strategy and tactics), Trump’s wall-building strategery sets a new and likely unsurpassable standard as folly. A wall, a line, an impenetrable barrier along a national border – with history as backdrop, what could possibly go wrong?
Donald Trump tells us that Mexicans aren’t just coming to the USA; they’re being sent. And they’re being sent by the Mexican government. Why? Because the Mexican government, we are told, is smart and cunning and – certainly measured against the dummies in the White House – in an intellectual class all its own.
Having convinced his lemmings that the Mexican government is so smart, Trump promises to outmaneuver Mexico’s government officials by … ahem, building a wall. Because surely, as smart as they are, they can’t possibly figure a way to go around it.
If it is Mexican officials and not just rag-tag bands of desperate escapees who are orchestrating the invasion of the USA by rapists and murderers, then presumably the orchestrators of the invasion have knowledge about and access to a miraculous modern instrumentality called a boat. And since Trump and his Republican armies manifest such historical acuity, surely they are acquainted with all the references in our lore to emigres and immigrants coming to our shores.
General Patton I am not. But were I a Mexican tactician charged with countering American conservative stategery, I would cartographically illustrate the USA’s new plan to my Mexican overlords thusly (note the black line):
I would explain to my superiors that this kind of thing has been tried before, and that the most common countermeasure against such a witty move has been to, ahem, go around it. Even 18th-Century Americans knew to distinguish between attacks by land and by sea, and maybe – just maybe – we might follow their lead. American Republicans having cleverly blocked all overland routes to the Land of Cheap Labor, I would illustrate my ingenious counter-strategery thusly (note the red arrows):
Republicans, it seems, have forgotten that ‘Mer-Ka doesn’t just have borders, but also coastlines. What a pity were the smart Mexican government to discover as much.