As much as some people want a border wall, there are reasons to have a government of checks and balances.

The right way to handle this is for Trump to campaign against the anti-wall representatives when they are up for election. To do anything unilaterally is simply un-constitutional. If the precedent is set that the president can do what ever he or she wants, then you have a dictatorship. No one should want that. You may trust this president with such power, but not the next.

There are reasons for the congressional push-back. The number of border crossings have actually been decreasing. Walls don’t stop drugs. U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser (R-9) and others are citing statistics that refer to drugs crossing at legal ports of entry. How much contraband do you think someone can physically carry across a desert with no water?

There are other needs requiring $5 billion, such as our infrastructure. Building a wall is the political right’s call to “do something,” even if that something is of questionable utility.

This is the exact same thing I think when people claim that restricting guns would help. They say, “We must do something!” Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to accept your “solution.”

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” — U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9, clause 7.

The founders were sharp cookies. They did not leave us vulnerable to a dictator who could claim any power they deemed necessary over claims of “security.” The House still has “the power of the purse.” No matter what any president claims as their authority, Congress can take away that authority or its funding.

If the wall was important enough to permanently shut down the government, it should have been so in Trump’s first two years in office, when the Republicans held the House. Waiting to pick this fight now permits the president an opportunity for much grandstanding, but if the House assumes it’s proper constitutional role, it will not result in anything else.

Any claims of “eminent threat,” which circumvent the House’s constitutional check, can be taken straight to court. It should take the court five minutes to declare that “emergency” means “emergency;” it is not a method to skirt constitutional funding rules.

The court may lean conservative at the moment, but if the very people with the authority to write the laws and fund their implementation petition the court claiming that any president’s use of said authority is not what they intended, it would behoove the court to not issue an injunction against the president’s actions.

I implore everyone to look at the larger perspective. Anyone who resorts to demagoguery is without good statistics. They must rely on sad individual stories. Such are, without exception, trying to pull the wool over your eyes. This goes for the anti-gun’ers as much as it goes for the pro-wall’ers.

It’s ironic to see each political camp being tricked by the same tactic to ask for a different form of oppression. One camp sees a few shootings, which are amplified by their favored media outlets to appear to be an epidemic, then asks to be disarmed. Another sees a few immigrant crimes, which are amplified by their favored media outlets to appear to be an epidemic, then asks for the walls of our pen to be raised.

The real irony is, a farmer, like our federal government, prefers their livestock to be defenseless, and in pens with high walls — and for the same reason.

(Burd lives in Coal Township.)

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