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And if he succeeds?

Doubtful, sure, but play along April 8, 2016 at 2:12 a.m.

So here's a fun little after-dinner conversation starter, especially now that March Madness is over and baseball is only in its first week: What would happen (1) should The Donald be nominated, (2) elected and (3) if he somehow got his policies pushed through?

Yes, yes, it's all in good fun. And only fun. The polls show that should the Republicans actually nominate Donald Trump, well, President-elect Hillary Clinton, raise your right hand. Do you swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic . . . .

But play along. It's just one of those mental exercises/brain teasers/silly posers--sort of like the ones you might have played in some all-night dorm sessions back in college. (What would the world be like if Nixon had won in 1960? What if the South had won a hundred years before?) And this kind of parlor game might be the closest Donald Trump ever gets to the White House anyway.

As hard as it might be to believe, this week Donald Trump gave some specifics about a policy he's been proposing. You might have heard of it before: the wall. The one that he proposes to build along the southern border. The one he says he'll make Mexico pay for. He sent an outline of his plan to the Washington Post the other day. And like many things Trump, it is simple. (His memo to the paper was two pages long.)

Mostly it boils down to this: A never-never Trump administration would threaten to cut off the money illegal aliens send back to Mexico unless the government down there ponies up to $10 billion to build the 1,000-mile fence.

As you can imagine, there are many problems with this idea. Many, many problems, frankly. Huge problems, frankly, to be honest witch you, believe me.

The Post was kind enough to say "the feasibility of Trump's plan is unclear both legally and politically." Yes, for starters.

The Donald says he would threaten to change a rule in the Patriot Act that would cut off a portion of funds that illegals send home, commonly called remittances. That money amounts to billions for the Mexican economy every year.

So how is a president going to change the Patriot Act without Congress' approval? Is he going to make rule changes--changes in the law--without going through mere technicalities like the legal process? And don't we already have a president who stretches the boundaries of what the executive can or should do? And why are conservatives falling for this guy?

And if he were somehow able to get Big Brother to find every bank account of every person sending money to Mexico, how is the state going to figure out who's here illegally and who's sending birthday money to a niece in Chihuahua? Or to a needy aunt in Monterrey? Or would he turn Western Union into another arm of the immigration services? And why are conservatives falling for this guy?

And should the nearly impossible come true, if a President Trump is able to find a way to shut down remittances, and Mexico's economy goes into a tailspin, and more and more Mexicans start looking for work, where do you think they'll look? As always, north! Even now as Mexico's economy heals from the Great Recession, and workers have started flowing back to their homeland again, Donald Trump wants to (attempt to) trip up the economy down Mexico way, throw people out of work, and have even more folks coming over the border looking for jobs.

And why are conservatives falling for this guy?

Somebody once said you can't reason somebody out of a position he hasn't been reasoned into. Which may explain the Trump voter. Here's hoping that bumper-sticker "thinking" goes out of style fast. Before it's too late.

This election is too important to leave to candidates who don't think things through. For example, this wall. And punishment for women who have abortions. And advocating more nuclear weapons in the world. And inviting a trade war with large trading partners. And hinting at riots. And not denouncing the Klan promptly. And insulting another candidate's wife . . . .

Why are conservatives falling for this guy?

Editorial on 04/08/2016

Print Headline: And if he succeeds?

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