What Was the Point of Trump’s Oval Office Address on Border Security?

An existing fence along a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border

In his first speech to the nation from the Oval Office, President Donald Trump defended his use of a government shutdown as a means to get funding for the border wall he has promised along the nation’s southern border.

Presidents usually use the Oval Office to address grave matters of non-partisan interest such as national emergencies. But here, Trump is selling a particularly partisan idea — as though he were staging a television show.

That’s important imagery, according to Bill Scher, a contributing editor to Politico Magazine and co-host of the Blogginheads.tv show. These are terms Trump understands: television appeal, and ratings.

In a recent column, Scher says Trump needs to see that his border wall show is losing viewers, and should be canceled.

He joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to discuss his perspective on these issues and react to last night’s speech.

Henderson also speaks with Shikha Dalmia, senior analyst with the Reason Foundation, a Libertarian think tank. Dalmia writes extensively about immigration issues and is a longtime critic of Donald Trump. She recently wrote a column for Reason Magazine about her disappointment in Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) — one of Libertarians’ favorite members of Congress — for saying he’s “OK” with a border wall if “done thoughtfully.” 

Click on the audio player above to hear the conversation.

Image credit: The White House

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


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