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An example not to follow

US president Donald Trump (Photogragh by Evan Vucci/AP)

This crisis along the United States southern border with Mexico is in reality a humanitarian crisis and a reflection of a failed regional policy. Hundreds of thousands of persons, many of whom are women and children, are fleeing from impoverishment and brutal regimes. They are prepared to walk thousands of miles to escape thugs in hope of a better life.

It’s understandable that there should be respect for borders, but let us not forget there was at one time the sign “Send me your poor, your destitute” hanging over those same borders.

Let’s not forget also the former North American Free Trade Agreement pledge, which was to strengthen the economies of those southern regions. It was in some measure a self-relieving feature that would have slowed the propensity for migration.

In spite of its glorious constitution, the American economy was built off the exploitation and slavery of others, while it touted “All men are created equal and entitled to certain inalienable rights”. Can that be true when, a thousand miles to the south, persons working the orchards and farm fields earn a dollar a day?

The unwritten truth in practice meant only certain men born within the borders of the United States are entitled. Then there is American exceptionalism taken to a new level with this present administration.

Part of the resolve for fixing the border issue is eliminating poverty and dependence on a drug economy in Central America and South America. The US is still the biggest consumer of drugs and, as long as that demand exists, the supply coming from south of the border will not be interrupted by a wall — not in the days of drone technology.

That which at least must gain recognition is that the problem is complex and needs a comprehensive solution, not narcissistic abandon. Otherwise, it ultimately will lead to an even greater humanitarian crisis.

We live in a time when all thinking should be moving towards the idea of one world. The ideal of America had the type of constitutionality that would make it the leader of the world, but only if its leadership lived up to the spirit of its constitution. At the moment, unfortunately, the political battleground is an attempt to save the Constitution from being completely trashed by the GOP and the executive branch who are hellbent in turning the republic into a monarchy. Thoughts of being the global role model and a harbinger of peace have gone from the radar.

The 2020 election is critical to the very idea inherent in America. One term has already produced a new political culture; two terms may remove even the memory of former times when civil and intelligent debate set the stage for presidential elections.

Brute force and “show them how tough you are” have ruled the roost over diplomacy, Machiavellian politics is once again the order of the day. So there is no end in sight for the problems at the border of Mexico in spite of the rhetoric. There can be no end until the issues within Central America are addressed from within their borders.

If there are any takeaways from what is being witnessed in the US for smaller jurisdictions, it should be what not to do, or how not to behave when in government. The lessons are clear if one is willing to look and not be blinded by party loyalty.