A Privatized Border Wall?

Both Politico and Common Dreams have reported on efforts by Trump’s most “MAGA” cronies to build his “big, beautiful wall” privately. (And no, I’m not joking.) From Politico, we read

It could have been an outtake from a hard-right reboot of “Ocean’s 11” for the Trump era: a gathering of some of President Donald Trump’s most notorious and outspoken supporters, who descended last week on the southern border town of McAllen, Texas.

In what amounted to a kind of #MAGA field trip, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, baseball legend Curt Schilling, and former Sheriff David Clarke convened to plan construction of a wall along the southern border. Blackwater founder Erik Prince phoned in from South Africa.

With Congress refusing to pony up the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded for the project, his allies are now plotting to kick off construction with private money and private land.

The motley crew insists that they are serious.They shared plans to tout their project at a town hall in Tucson, Arizona and at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). They’ve formed a nonprofit group called “We Build the Wall,” an outgrowth of an earlier crowdfunding campaign mounted by a Trump supporter.

As Politico noted, this smacks of political theater rather than a serious effort, but in a way, I’d like to see them try. Not only would they have to raise enormous amounts of money–several billion– for a project that polling tells us is unpopular everywhere, but especially on the border, but they would have to acquire the land from property owners without the ability to threaten eminent domain. They would also have to battle the EPA (which will presumably be reconstituted by a new President after 2020) over the wall’s damage to the ecosystem; Trump’s plan has already raised cries of outrage from environmentalists.

The men (and they are all men) involved in this fantasy are all well-known–or perhaps “notorious” is the more accurate description. (Politico’s recitation of their “colorful credentials” is kinder than they deserve.)

While Bannon’s involvement had been secret, Prince, Kobach, Clarke, Tancredo and Schilling all serve on the nonprofit’s board. Each of them brings colorful credentials to the mix: Prince, the brother of Trump’s Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has performed extensive private security work in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere. Clarke, a former sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis., known for wearing cowboy hats, has a reputation for espousing extreme law-and-order views on the conservative media and conference circuit. Tancredo made his name as a five-term congressman with constant calls for tighter border security. And Schilling has pivoted from a storied major league pitching career to a failed video game startup to hosting a podcast for Breitbart News.

These are precisely the sort of people who populate the White Supremacy movement– outliers and losers with a desperate need to prove that they are better than those brown people they want to exclude from “their” country.

To use a term favored by “their” President, “sad.”


  1. Good morning Sheila,

    Given that you have to read this stuff in order to write about it and wonder what type of aspirin you use given the headaches you must get by doing so. Maybe really big ones! 🙂

    These people are just a motley crew of knuckleheads, pure knuckleheads, but it seems that those are who Trump attracts. I’d bet if you did a CAT scan on their heads their brains inside their skulls would be the same size as a walnut.

    Right now, while realizing that I’m off topic somewhat, I’m watching excerpts of Trump’s rally in El Paso, Texas from last night on “Morning Joe”, the one where the BBC reporter was manhandled by the crowd and where the chants of “Lock Her Up” continue on cue. The only difference between what he’s doing and what Hitler and his buddies did nearly 90 years ago is the language that’s being used and the mass media technology. Stoke up the crowd, work them up to a frenzy, find someone in the audience to brutalize, and get as much cable TV air time as possible. Trump’s game plan comes right out of “Mein Kampf”. Uncle Adolf deserves a royalty check.

  2. Rather than a “hard right reboot of “Ocean’s Eleven”; this sounds to me more like the gathering of the Dons in “The Godfather”…and the actual gathering of the mob leaders years ago; all agreeing to agree but each with their own agenda.

    Building Trump a “private wall” across privately owned land and sacred Native American lands will not be something they finance but would be a source of profit; in more than financial forms. Anyone who has traveled through the southwest will understand the effects on the environment and why the EPA needs to be involved in ending this before it begins. How many of them have already, are now or will be benefited in some way by the immigrant’s low wage labors?

    “These are precisely the sort of people who populate the White Supremacy movement– outliers and losers with a desperate need to prove that they are better than those brown people they want to exclude from “their” country.”

  3. The arrogance of this pack of losers would be frightening if not so funny. I say, “Have it it, Boys. Use your time and money for this hair brain adventure on the boarder. That will be less time and money spent on gaining support for Trumpism.”

  4. Ohh, I see a big scam coming on. I noticed the Right Wing posters on Facebook, liking a go-fund me type of account site to build the wall. These people are not going to put their own money into this project, except maybe a small amount to bait and switch.

  5. And let me add, “Just wait until the gang who can’t shoot straight runs into ranchers along the boarder who are armed to the teeth and don’t think twice about shooting rattlesnakes whenever they come across them.”

  6. I wonder if 45 has considered that, if more of those people come from Latin American, the potential pool of undocumented workers will get much bigger for his golf courses. He might even get away with paying them less than minimum wage. After all, he can always send ICE to pick up any who complain.

  7. Well, Erik Prince, at least, is used to using private military forces to kill inconvenient natives and grab their land. Maybe eminent domain won’t be needed.

  8. imagine what if, they supported public education instead,, no too brain dead for that. erik prince, now runs a security firm,(since blackwater has a bad taste)via proxy, tiger-swan of standing rock insurgence fame,(insurgence because its rumored, his crew instigated crowd aggitation, to harass law enforcement, i live near mandan where this was prevalent. as i was also in discussion with,their security,and,standing rock members) is his new game to cause insurgence at the border to push the right wing agenda? this isnt new,its a free for all with this group. seems the trump spew at the border will only solidify, the outsiders,of texas,to push this theme. most land owners along the border, want nothing to do with allowing a goverment agency to build a out house,much less a wall..how come these ass,oles cant do something good for America, if not, they should be kicked out of the country for treason..

  9. That meeting sounds like it was put together to pacify trump in order to keep themselves in the loop of getting a treat whenever they need to create some fake job that the federal government will pay them millions for. They are all nasty cockroaches.

  10. Sure, let’s just live out the libertarian dream of nihilism in government, one where what government there is is in the hands of dictatorial capitalists and we the former citizens are without constitutional rights we formerly enjoyed. Prince can run the armed forces, make policy in their use, all with the support of the Leninist Prime minister, Bannon.

    The problem is not that a bunch of losers get together to privatize the world, it’s that they have enough support, however marginal, to even meet. Trump’s propaganda campaign is paying off and were he not president he might well have attended this conference of power grabbers. Democracy? What’s that? The Constitution? As Hitler noted in re the Versailles Treaty, “It’s just a piece of paper.”

    Our task > Defend our democracy and our Constitution, our tickets to freedom.

  11. IF this collection of trolls gets anywhere and actually starts confronting those ranchers demanding their land for their fucking wall, there will be violence. That violence could morph into an outright civil war. This is getting really, really scary.

    Those idiots in El Paso last night simply see Trump as themselves. That’s who they are and they’re not going to change even if the entire nations comes tumbling down on their heads. The nation “elected” the worst human being on Earth to be our president, and we’re paying the steep price for our political sloth. My point is that the thinking, rational people have to move past these pathetic wretches and go about the task of re-building the damage already done. We can start by getting Trump out of office as soon as possible by whatever legal means are available.

  12. Yep! Sorry to say that this collection of bozos and nut jobs invaded the Tucson area with their wacky ideas last Friday night. Actually, they were at the Quail Creek Republican Club in Green Valley, AZ, a mainly retirement – snowbird community, about 20 miles south of downtown Tucson with an average age of the population being probably in their 60’s and 70’s and White. Originally announced to be open to the public, but then only to members of the Club. A pity! But they did, unfortunately, manage to attract a good amount of local media attention.

    My take away is that the whole thing is a sham — political theater at best — grand theft at worse. These Con Men can use any money extracted from their marks for anything they want. Nothing to stop them from keeping the money even if they never build an inch of a wall.

    There many be a few ranchers and land owners along the boarder who might take their money and let them build whatever they will pass off as a wall, but the vast majority want nothing to do with it and want these damn people to go away and leave them alone. Hope they approach the Tohono O’odham Nation, whose ancestral lands and reservation are on both sides of the boarder in Southwest AZ, and who are vehemently opposed to any “walls” on their lands. Think it will go badly.

  13. “… outliers and losers with a desperate need to prove that they are better than those… they want to exclude…”
    That’s it, in a nutshell. This is THE problem with the world today. We need to take proactive steps to render these people politically, economically, and culturally impotent.

  14. While His Supreme Excellency Trump was plotting to make America an extension of a Mar a Lago gated community, Congress for the first time in recent memory was doing its job of managing government. Pelosi and Schummer reigned in McConnell and crafted bipartisan legislation.

    Next step is to see how much regard Trump has for Federal workers.

  15. At least from what I see on Facebook, the pillars of President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence followers are: Anti-Abortion, Build the Wall, bible study in public schools, and militarism. These pillars are all overlaid with blind faith in authoritarianism.

    To be clear these people are not reachable and cannot salvaged.

  16. I’m pretty sure private citizens are not allowed to conduct their own foreign policy. That is left to the Executive branch, and I’m not sure if the President nor Secretary of State are actually allowed to delegate that to their friends. Maybe somebody ‘with standing’ like landowners of riverfront properties need to sue about that to clarify it.

  17. It’s notable that no effort is being made to raise funds and recruit cronies to re-unite the families separated at the border. If Trump thinks that’s too difficult, he’ll learn how much harder it is to get the property and build a useless wall over the tunnels under the border.

  18. John Trimble, your comment brought to mind the scene from “Blazing Saddles” when Slim Pickens and his band of thugs ride up to the tollbooth on the Gov. William J. Le Petomane Thruway. Everyone who will need to cross should have plenty of dimes on hand.

  19. This is definitely one of those “follow the money” escapades. After a few million has accrued, chunks suddenly disappear, and all eyes fall on the usual right wing suspects. Following that are indictments for fraud and theft of the “discredited fund”. We know how this is going to come down before the first penny has been collected.

  20. I couldn’t agree more with every one of the comments here. I get alot of hate thrown my way on YouTube by Trump supporters. I’m disabled and have even been told to * shut your retarded mouth you f#*# ing cripple * ( classy eh ). I’m also from the UK. Now I’ve asked this question god knows how many times……we in the UK are surrounded by treacherous waters. We still get desperate people fleeing percussion risking life to get to the UK. If water and treacherous currents don’t stop people…..how is a wall going to work ????? Ladies and gentlemen……I have never had one single reply to that question. It’s then that I get the vile insults, name calling and hate thrown my way. Interesting isn’t it. Sending you lots of love from the UK. The American people are very much loved here. We know Trump doesn’t represent the majority of you. We had mass demonstrations both when he was elected and again to stop him from coming. I doubt he will come here again because he’s not welcome. X

  21. Building a private wall across our southern border is one of the most asinine ideas I’ve heard of in a long time. Surely it’s only a manufactured distraction, which means we need to keep watching above and behind to know what this bunch of loonies is really up to.

  22. Love the comments today — especially the one referencing “Blazing Saddles” — I had the same image come to mind — too funny — I think KellyAnne Conway would make a great toll booth lady! 🙂
    Also, thanks for the comments from Maggie of the UK. So glad to know the Brits see this for what it is — a clusterf**k by a minority of voters who snookered the apathetic voting majority into silence. I thought the poor Queen looked so neglected by our “No Manners” Dufus President. Even Boy Scouts know better how to walk with an elderly lady. So sorry for the nasty comments you’ve gotten from the freaks out there.

    To “Monotonous” — To be clear these people are not reachable and cannot salvaged. – you said a truth there. They have all drunk the Kool Aide!!

  23. Mark: “We need to take proactive steps to render these people politically, economically, and culturally impotent.”

    Be careful not to step on the Constitution. But be creative.

    There used to be leprosy colonies, which I think required some sort of doctor’s order before confining an infected person to the colony. And I think once lepers were committed, they lost the right to vote.

    We now know that some of our assumptions regarding lepers were wrong, but we are much more certain about Deplorables. It is interesting to note that lepers were thought incorrectly to be contagious, but we know deplorables ARE contagious, which could be (Constitutional) justification enough to isolate them.

    Also consider: It is a crime for an HIV Positive person to knowingly, deliberately and intentionally infect others by throwing their blood or other bodily wastes at uninfected persons. So, how is it legal for Deplorable Infected Persons (DIP Positives) to toss their mental wastes — insanity and ignorance — at rational people?

    Keeping in mind there is hope that children of DIPs may yet be saved, I recommend that in Deplorable Colonies children be separated from parents quickly and permanently, and that all parent-child contact information be destroyed or buried in a 200-year time capsule.

    Expenses of managing the DIP Colony could be offset by hiring DIPs out for wages to be paid to the privatized compounds that house and feed them.

    If we encounter financial shortfall, maybe, just maybe, Putin and his crony oligarchs will pay for it.

    Just brainstorming.

  24. Thank you Larry. You’re right. Pun intended. We must destroy the lives of people and of their children that will not adhere to our thoughts and beliefs. We must do everything to contain and control every aspect of their lives. May they live in shame,fear and ultimately be slowly destroyed. A final solution to our problem.

    We are good at this. We have done this in Syria,Afghanistan,Iraq,Vietnam,Honduras,Haiti and currently in Venezuela. Republican or Democrat,we live to produce effective hate and to verily destroy everything. Ain’t that America.

  25. I don’t know why people couldn’t see this wall thing is a way to take money out the back door, all his cronies are in the right cabinet job

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