I recently stumbled onto a podcast with Scott Adams about border security, and what I learned from it not only surprised me, but also Scott Adams as the host.
I used to be a huge Scott Adams fan, but that went away when he revealed himself to be one who places his tax rate above the welfare of his community and planet. I still respect his writing and mind, however.
He brought on a guest named Brandon Darby, who’s a border security expert, and he did so presumably to get him to say he supported the wall on our southern border. What happened, however, was much more interesting.
The expert proceeded to completely obliterate Scott’s, Scott’s audience’s, and my understanding of the security situation on the border. Here’s a rough summary of what was said and what I learned:
Darby would not actually say if he supported the wall or not—much to the dismay of both Scott and his audience. This really surprised me, since Darby is a writer for Breitbart, and I just assumed the whole Breitbart cohort was pro-Trump and therefore pro-wall.
Darby’s opinion was actually far more nuanced than that. He said he was for security on the border, but that a wall by itself could absolutely not provide that.
Scott pressed him harder, and what basically came out was that Darby believed a full wall with full lockdown at every entry point would be better security for us—and better safety for the incoming migrants—than what we’re doing now, which is a highly-porous, partial solution—was far worse.
In short, open borders would be better security, and a full lockdown would be better security—and this half-measure that we’re doing now is causing a major portion of the problem.
Darby repeatedly showed himself to actually care about not only our security in the U.S., but the horrific situation for the migrants as well.
Basically, when the border is partially open, it encourages people to bypass security in unsafe ways. If it were completely open they wouldn’t have to and it would make things safer. And if things were completely locked down—at all ports, all airports, all entrances—then there would be enough of a deterrent to keep people from trying. But we’re stuck in the middle.
But the most interesting part came when Darby broke down the actual security situation in Mexico, and what the U.S. should be doing to fix it.
Essentially (talking from his position that I find compelling but am not enough of an expert to fully endorse), Mexico is a partially failed narco-state (his wording). They’re in extraordinarily bad shape, and that’s the cause of all the violence.
He believes the best thing the U.S. could do is declare a number of key cartels to be terrorist organizations, which would freeze their assets and cause them all sorts of friction that would help Mexico itself.
Basically, right now we’re letting the cartels do what they want, which removes the rule of law, which makes people desperate to flee to the U.S.
In short, if we really wanted to reduce the massive numbers of people trying to get here illegally, we’d help them regain control over their government and their country by putting pressure on certain cartels—which would bring the others in line.
I was blown away, and so was Scott.
He was so expecting to have this expert on to tell us how the wall was a good idea. And honestly, if he sounded credible, I would have changed my opinion. I’m open to reality model updates, which is the whole reason I listened in the first place—to hear the best opposing arguments to my current opinion.
And I got one, but not in the way I imagined. And it was remarkable.
A wall would not really help at all unless we did lots of other things along with it, which are definitely not going to happen.
The best solution is completely open or completely closed. It’s the middle ground that’s hurting us.
If we really wanted to help—at a strategic level—we’d use the State Department’s counterterrorism capabilities to help Mexico get the cartels under control, which would return Mexico to some state of normalcy and reduce the number of people risking their lives to come here.
For anyone who cares about this border security situation, I recommend you listen to this podcast with a willingness to change your opinion.
I’m glad I did.