Focusing his attention on a problem over 2000 miles away
On October 11 South Carolina's Senator Lindsey Graham took to Twitter to announce his third visit in 2021 to discuss the US-Mexico border crisis. He will visit Yuma, Arizona to meet with US Customs and Border Protection officials to discuss the US-Mexico border crisis.
Many South Carolinians will be wondering why this is an immediate crisis for South Carolina - a state on the Atlantic Coast with its own problems and priorities.
Senator Graham has repeatedly followed the GOP party line, laying blame for the border crisis at the feet of President Biden, in spite of the fact that the continuous influx of immigrants seeking to cross the border pre-dated the Biden administration. President Trump failed to make an impact, in spite of his initiative to build a wall being one of the major promises of his campaign - and one that he failed singularly to deliver upon.
A Republican priority?
Senator Graham seems to be following the lead of other senior and outspoken figures in the Republican party, including Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.
As the Floridian death toll from COVID-19 looks set to exceed the US death toll from the entire Vietnam War within the next few days, Governor DeSantis took to Fox TV to vent about the border crisis and to call for its resolution:
While few would dispute that the humanitarian crisis is significant, the Republican party seems intent on politicising the situation and calling it out as a failure of the Biden administration. Perhaps a more appropriate approach would be to address the issues driving people from Mexico and other nations to seek a better life in the USA, and to help address these at source? This was the brief put to Vice President Kamala Harris when President Biden appointed her as his Border Czar earlier this year.
Why is this South Carolina's problem?
In July, various Republican state governors responded to a plea for help put out by Texas and Arizona, sending Idaho State Troopers to assist with the unfolding crisis at the border. He was one of a number of Republican Governors who responded to the call, in spite of the flawed logic that it's a partisan issue or an appropriate use of state resources.
Perhaps most bizarrely given the distance of his home state from Mexico, Governor Brad Little of Idaho pledged 5 state troopers for 21 days at an estimated cost of $53,000. Whether this made any real difference seems unlikely.
Governor Noem of South Dakota went further, providing troops from the South Dakota National Guard that had supposedly been funded by a wealthy Republican donor. Her decision brought about accusations that she'd turned the National Guard into a private army, available for hire.
Such decisions must make residents of these states around the USA wonder why their nominated political leaders are dedicating their time and resources to events going on so far outside their home states.
At the present time, particularly as the nation continues to grapple with COVID-19 and its economic impacts, shouldn't they be focusing on helping those in their own state to recover?
What do you think about Senator Graham devoting such time and attention to the border crisis? Do you feel this is an appropriate use of his time, or should he be focused on issues affecting South Carolina? Let me know in the comments section below.
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