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One of the biggest problems in today’s political discourse is that people seem to have lost sight, or purposefully ignore, much of their own commonsense. Instead, political affiliation seems to have taken over as the driving force behind our decisions and points of view.

Let’s take one modern example: Trump’s new Muslim ban. Now let me be clear: I detest Donald Trump. He has no business in the White House, and does not deserve to be president. But, would I call his recent executive action to ban people from certain countries “A Muslim ban”?¬† Not really. There are dozens of countries that are majority Muslim not on his list. And I know many well-meaning liberal people who are smart enough to understand that an actual Muslim ban would look much different than this limited order.

On the other side of the argument the administration says that an immediate ban from these locations is absolutely necessary. Why? That wasn’t President Obama’s take, and we didn’t have any terror attacks from non-citizens under his 8 years. If these places were really interested in attacking us they could do it very easily. It’s not as if guns are hard to come by in the US. 9/11 was over 15 years ago.

The ironic thing about this specific debate is that both sides have relied illogical arguments to make their point.

So what is really going on?

The political left realizes that continuing to insult Muslims could actually provoke the dangerous circumstances this order is said to prevent. It seems very ill conceived, and was obviously crafted hurriedly and without a lot of thought considering the green card scandal and obvious lack of guidance to the various departments. It’s also been characterized as overly broad. The problem with Donald Trump insulting minorities is that any attack in response to his bellicose blather will just turn into a reason for him to grab more power and suppress his political opposition.

Meanwhile, the political right gets to feel some form of appeasement from their new leader whose first wall “to keep out them foreigners”, as it turns out, is more of an ocean. The xenophobes argue it’s not a Muslim ban, but that’s exactly what they want. So they are approving¬†of the position they are arguing against.

*sigh*

 

Today, the Mexican President took the highly unusual step of cancelling a meeting with Donald Trump. The amazing, but not wholly unpredictable result of 18 months of bellicose blather by the new President. But what does this mean for the world?

Well, I think it’s fair to speculate that any unilateral action Trump takes will elicit a reaction by Mexico and affect trade in a negative way for American consumers and businesses, which is obviously bad for the US.

Trump’s twitter rants are no way to renegotiate NAFTA, and his bullying of Mexico is not endearing – to we Americans and Mexicans alike. A better approach would have been to announce a renegotiating of NAFTA and work through the issues at the table.

That said, the wall Trump wants to build is a separate issue from NAFTA. For one thing, Trump’s been insulting towards our Southern neighbor, arrogantly proclaiming that he’s going to make them pay for his grand idea. He speaks about them like someone in high school that you can beat up and manipulate, and at this point I’d be surprised if their national mood was anything but SCREW TRUMP, even if it costs jobs and money.

So, the result is that Trump has embarrassed himself internationally and created animosity with our third largest trading partner. And it’s only week 1. This is going get really interesting. It’s like watching a semi-slow motion train wreck.