Like a very late Christmas present that no-one asked for, Donald Trump has a new catchphrase.
Building on the polarising success of “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”, the president’s latest slogan is themed around his US-Mexico border wall.
It is... 🥁 🥁 🥁
That’s right: “BUILD A WALL AND CRIME WILL FALL”.
This one even rhymes and to be fair, it’s easy to conjure up images of crowds of MAGA hat-wearing supporters shouting it in a stadium.
A later tweet came with instructions and a little bit of background info.
The president wrote: “This is the new theme, for two years until the Wall is finished (under construction now), of the Republican Party.
“Use it and pray!”
It’s not clear if the Republican Party has officially sanctioned its use and we await further instructions on the exact wording of said prayer.
Inevitably, people have chipped in with their own versions:
On a more practical level, Trump’s claim that the wall will reduce crime is largely false.
An analysis by the Washington Post found illegal immigration, human trafficking, terrorism and gang crime would not be significantly affected with the building of a wall.
As recently as last week, Trump has stated that a major reason a border wall needs to be built is to stop the flow of “drugs & so much other big trouble”.
But numerous witnesses in the trial have detailed the smuggling methods which have allowed Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, which El Chapo is accused of heading, to make billions of dollars over the last few decades.
And none of them would be prevented by a wall.
Former cartel leader Jesus Zambada Garcia said in November that after a US government crackdown on smuggling tunnels under the border in the early 1990s, the group switched to using legal ports of entry.
He described trucks with “double bottoms” and large cans of chilis containing a specially made, cylindrical brick of cocaine.
Garcia’s nephew, Vicente Zambada, described a much simpler method – simply driving it across the border.
Trump’s latest attempt to rouse support for his cause comes as the US enters the 33rd day of a partial government shutdown, the longest in the country’s history.
That ultimatum, which congressional Democrats have rejected, has prevented Congress from approving legislation to restore funding to about a quarter of the federal government.
That means around 800,000 federal workers are currently not being paid.
Trump’s wall has become far more than just a physical entity – as one of his central campaign promises it has come to define his presidency and he may well have painted himself into a corner.
The president can’t afford to backdown for fear of alienating his support base but at a wider level, a majority of Americans don’t want the wall.
As the shutdown grinds on the effects multiply – imagine being employed by the government and being told that you either can’t work or have to work but not get paid. This is the current reality for 800,000 Americans.
At a wider level, the shutdown poses a very real threat to the US economy. Analysis from Trump’s own advisors has said growth is being affected twice as badly as previously thought and could lead to economic contraction very soon and, ultimately, the possibility of a recession.
One thing is certain – Trump is stubborn and nothing in his behaviour as president so far suggests he is likely to back down.