By: Lisa M. Hayes – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
The word “unprecedented” is used so often these days that it’s lost its impact. However, there are some moments in the history of this presidency when the word unprecedented doesn’t do it justice. On Sunday, November 25, the president of the United States closed the San Ysidro border between San Diego and Tijuana for several hours. San Ysidro is the busiest border between the U.S. and Mexico. It may, in fact, be the busiest border crossing in the world.
After weeks of rage and fury over the migrant caravan, exactly no one is surprised Trump followed through with his threats to close the border Northbound from Mexico into the U.S. Protests on both sides of the border erupted into uncontrollable crowds as migrants “stormed” the border crossing precipitating the closure.
However, what almost no one saw coming was the fact that when the border closed, it closed in both directions, creating massive confusion and panic at the crossing. And for the record, we should all be panicking. That has never happened before. The President of the United States used a border crossing to prevent U.S. citizens from leaving the country legally.
Walls can both keep people out and hold people in.
As someone who uses the San Ysidro border crossing often, the thought of that border being closed in both directions is unnerving. It’s a kind of political fiction worst-case scenario turned reality. For a lot of people, it looked and felt like a dry run for closing border crossings intended to keep U.S. citizens in that is the kind of thing nightmares are made of. Has it ever crossed your mind that you might not be able to leave?? If not, as of today, it should cross everyone’s mind.
As uncomfortable as that thought makes me, it’s fairly easy to see it as a tactic Donald Trump has mastered, which is the art of distraction at any cost. Trump is the king of the “look over here” strategy when there is something he doesn’t want you noticing over there – and Sunday was one of those days.
On Sunday Russia opened fire on Ukraine’s naval vessels, subsequently capturing a ship, which is an act of war in the first degree. This is an obvious pretext for Vladimir Putin’s longtime goal of invading mainland Ukraine. Now, in what is obviously not a coincidence, Donald Trump is making a point of running interference for Putin. Trump attacked the European Union on Twitter and ordered the operation at the San Ysidro border crossing that shut down traffic in both directions and involved shooting tear gas at migrants and protesters on the other side of the border – simultaneously.
And just like that, the story of the day, week, month, and year, the story of the worlds most powerful super-power, led by a super-villain, making a military scale move on a neighboring nation, is moved out the top of the fold coverage. We aren’t talking about a Russian invasion of Ukraine because we’ve got other things to worry about right now, like a President shooting tear gas at children who might just hold us hostage within our own borders.
Want to know who doesn’t have more pressing things to worry about?
Ukraine – and maybe Poland – and maybe the rest of the Eastern European block who are probably feeling very vulnerable right now while the rest of Europe is tied up in knots about Brexit.
On a day when the Russian Navy maneuvered one of the most hostile and aggressive acts against another nation in modern naval history, the U.S. stood down, silent, while our President took over the news cycle by shutting down a border and ordering our thousands of troops there to engage with tear gas fired on civilians.
And this is why it’s one of those moments in the history of this presidency where the word on precedented is just not enough. It’s a moment we are reminded our President is a puppet of a hostile foreign power. It’s coming just as the world is holding its breath for the Special Council investigation to shine a light on how that hostile foreign power bought and paid for an asset in the White House.
While they are literally a world away from each other, make no mistake the events in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine and what happened at the San Ysidro border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego are very, very related. While it may not seem that way, you can tell they are because they happened on the same day. Russia could have done what they did any other day of the year. They chose the day they knew the U.S. President could provide the most political cover via distraction.
More by Lisa:
Lisa M. Hayes, Senior Editor of Confluence Daily.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.