Donald Trump stages the world’s most expensive photo op

As we count down the days until the midterm elections, Donald Trump is doing everything he can, no matter how disgusting and immoral, to rile up his base in hopes of preventing Democrats from taking back power. Knowing that his political and personal future likely hangs in the balance, Trump has doubled down on his dangerous rhetoric, which has already resulted in mass shootings and assassination attempts. By continuing to lie and dog-whistle in order to draw attention to the group of Central American refugees slowly moving through Mexico seeking asylum, Trump is doing increased and unnecessary damage to the country that he swore an oath to protect.

With the caravan still about 1,000 miles away, and traveling between 20 and 30 miles per day, it would take them well over a month at the earliest to reach the US border. It is now being reported that up to 14,000 US military members will be sent to America’s southern border. When the Pentagon under George W. Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border in 2006, it cost American taxpayers $1.2 billion over two years. A few years later, President Obama deployed 1,200 troops in a follow up to the effort Bush started, which cost another $185 million.

While both previous presidents received actual intelligence from military leaders who were recommending these moves, Trump is willing to waste taxpayer money simply to create panic and give him an expensive photo-op. I suppose someone who has escaped paying taxes for decades wouldn’t worry much about wasteful expenditures, but Trump’s use of United States military members to influence voter turnout is unprecedented. With no official plan or timetable provided by Trump, this could end up costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

The demoralizing situation was made even more partisan when Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News that “My general message to this caravan is: Do not come. You will not be allowed in.” This comes after she previously tweeted, “You are not breaking the law by seeking asylum at a port of entry” on June 17. While all of this is clearly another example of the Trump administration using human beings as pawns in a political game, we can only hope that it backfires and causes even more Democrats to come out and vote on November 6th.