The Fine Art of Negotiation: How Will Trump Make Mexico Pay For The Wall?

The Fine Art of Negotiation: How Will Trump Make Mexico Pay For The Wall? January 8, 2017


It just might have come to your attention that TV’s Donald Trump is walking back his famous claim that he is going to build a wall across the Mexican border, paid for entirely by Mexico. To wit, he’s now saying that “Congress” will pay for the wall. And by “congress,” of course, was meant taxpayers.

Trump came back later with a tweet explaining himself, which I quote directly from his infamous Twitter feed: “The dishonest media does not report that any money spent building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!”

This ludicrous explanation was the subject of a great deal of ribbing by my friends and I. How is Trump going to force a sovereign nation to pay trillions of dollars for a xenophobic border wall they don’t want?

A genuine Trumpette joined the conversation later. He explained that “all plans are on the table,” as if that explained how a surly and bellicose trust fund baby was going to accomplish an impossibility.

I asked what plans he could possibly mean.

The Trumpette said, and again I’m quoting, that  “you can penalize them via tariffs or stop the wire transfers of the millions of illegals who send money there…lots of leverage.”

When asked how the president was going to accomplish the stopping of wire transfers, the Trumpette explained that he wasn’t. “The practicality of how it will be implemented is less important than its effectiveness in negotiations.”

I marveled at this. I asked him how threatening to do something he doesn’t have a plan to actually do will work as leverage in negotiations.

Is that truly how negotiations work?

By threatening something everyone knows very well won’t happen?

If, the next time I bake cookies, I go to my neighbor’s house and demand to borrow several trillion cups of sugar or else I’ll stop all wire transfers to them from “illegals” who might be living in my house, will I get my several trillion cups of sugar? Even though my neighbors know from the getgo I have no way of actually carrying out my threat? Even if my neighbors don’t happen to have several trillion cups of sugar to spare?

If I stand outside of the United States mint with a homemade tagboard sign reading “give me several trillion dollars or I’ll unleash Godzilla,” will they give me several trillion dollars even though I have no way of unleashing Godzilla?

Everybody tells me that, in spite of his glaring personal flaws, Trump is an expert negotiator. I don’t know a thing about negotiating. I’m going to try following his example. I’ve got a nice piece of tagboard.

Perhaps there’s something else that Trump can threaten to do, that will make the Mexicans cough up. Perhaps he’ll threaten to keep posting photos of himself eating one of those gross flavorless deep fried taco bowls and calling them “Hispanics.” The Mexicans might take up a collection to make him stop.

Perhaps he’ll don a Franciscan robe and drag a wooden cart from one end of Mexico to the other, asking for humble donations of stones for the building of the border wall, the way Saint Francis apparently did not do in real life but did do in that CCC video I watched as a child.


Perhaps he’ll go and pretend to build the border wall himself, standing back to look satisfied every several minutes. When the Mexicans come by on their day off, on their way to play ball and eat apples and pretend to be a steam boat, and jeer at him for spending his Saturday working, Trump will explain that this isn’t work. It’s fun. He’s having a good time. Then he’ll tell the Mexicans they can’t help. The Mexicans will trade him brass doorknobs, marbles, window sashes, dog collars, concrete, rebar and barbed wire in exchange for the privilege of working on the wall. By mid-morning, the wall will be complete. Trump’s Aunt Polly will give him an apple, and while she’s sermonizing on the value of hard work he will “hook” a doughnut as well. Then he’ll go to the graveyard to cure warts with his friend Huck, but that’s another story.

I don’t think Trump likes the works of Mark Twain very much, though. His books have more than 140 characters.

(image via pixabay)




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