Words or Actions? Which Matters More?

President Trump delivers SOTU.

I have often been critical of the President of the United States for his tweets, his name calling, and some of the more obnoxious comments he has made. Many a Trump supporter has said to me “pay attention to what he is doing, not what he is saying”, and that is a fair point. It got me to wondering which matters most? President Trump’s words, or his actions?

Typically this would be an easy question to answer. In most situations, what one does has more impact than what one says. However, the words of a President do carry more weight than the words of any other citizen. Moreover, recent events have made me wonder if his supporters put more stock in his words or actions. Consider the President’s words on immigration, and weigh them against his actions.

Trump’s words on immigration:

  1. President Trump supports and demands a wall along the southern border to prevent illegal immigration.
  2. Trump wants to deport people who are in the country illegally.
  3. He opposes several forms of legal immigration, like family reunification visas (he calls this ‘chain migration’), the visa lottery, and requesting asylum at ports of entry.

I don’t really need to quote the President on these statements. I won’t link to sources as this information is well known and undisputed. However, do his actions match up to his words?

Words or actions?
Fence separating United States and Mexico

Trump’s actions on immigration:

Earlier this year, the golf club owned by the Trump’s in Westchester County, New York fired 10 of President Trump’s undocumented workers. For those of you keeping score at home, that would be illegal aliens working under false paperwork. How do the Trump’s intend to prevent this from happening again? Apparently, they’ve finally gotten around to using E-Verify. Good for them.

Now we’re in a very polarized political time right now. Chances are you either oppose Trump and therefore care about this issue (even if you don’t really), or you support him so you don’t care (even if you really do). I believe that, even if you’re a Trump supporter, you should care about this one.

Words of actions?

If my focus should be on the President’s actions as opposed to his words, shouldn’t the same be true for his supporters?. Shouldn’t that be a two way street? Candidate Trump ran with some of the harshest rhetoric we had ever heard from a Presidential hopeful. He promised a wall, while assuring us Mexico would pay for it. We had to vote for Trump because he and he alone would be the one to secure the border.

Since becoming President he has railed against the caravans. He has spoken out against “shithole Countries.” President Trump has given many speeches where, similar to Candidate Trump, he has promised the wall. Moreover, he claimed to be willing to shutdown the government to deliver on that promise. He says he will declare an emergency to fund the wall, and he will end “chain migration” and bring about merit based immigration. That’s what he says. Let’s focus on what he has done.

As documented earlier, we were supposed to receive the funding for his wall from Mexico on day 3 of his Administration. Yet here we are, 2 years in and no wall funding, let alone a wall. He is asking Congress for the money, instead of implementing his stated plan to obtain it from Mexico. We still have chain migration, the visa lottery, and no real substantial immigration reform appears to be on the horizon.

The President has repeatedly criticized former President Obama for not fixing DACA in the first two years of his administration when he had Democratic majorities. So why did President Trump wait until 2 weeks before Democrats took over the House to demand his border wall funding? If he really cared about it, doesn’t the same standard apply to him?

Which matters more, his words or his actions?

  • His words say he will build the wall, but his actions show it’s not a priority.
  • His words say he will end “chain migration”, but his wife used that very program to bring her parents in just last year.
  • His words say he will deport illegal immigrants while his very own business was employing them.

This has to be a two way street. If I’m supposed to ignore the obnoxious and offensive things he says, shouldn’t his supporters pay attention to what he actually does?

I don’t believe that President Trump really cares about a wall. I think that he cares about fighting over a wall. President Trump could already have his wall funding, but anger is a better motivator than contentment. He can count on you to come out and vote in 2020 if you’re angry about the Democrats blocking funding for the wall more so than he can if he delivers on the wall. There’s just no way that someone this concerned about illegal immigration wasn’t using e-verify in his own businesses. It’s impossible that someone that opposed to chain migration would use it for his own family. I can’t conceive of any other reason why he would turn down the $25 billion that Democrats offered for his wall.

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