A recent New York Times article reported that President Donald Trump, in a meeting this past March, suggested a moat filled with snakes or alligators to fortify his long-sought wall at the southern border.
While many Americans thought the ridiculous and cruel idea was beyond imagination, it turns out Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, was more prescient than most.
While campaigning for his second term—back in the days where a giant wall stretching across the southern border was laughable—Obama joked that Republicans would want a moat with alligators.
In 2011, Obama mocked the GOP, suggesting they'd want a border moat full of alligators.
Trump made it reality.
Obama: "Maybe they'll need a moat. [roaring laughter] Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat." pic.twitter.com/ABkGNSU2PH
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) October 2, 2019
It only took eight years for one President’s joke to become an inferior President’s serious suggestion. Some jokingly suggested that Trump actually got the idea from Obama’s speech.
Hmmmmmm maybe trump was right, looks like Obama really did tap his wires 😁
— Jack Murphy (@Bluesjack7J) October 2, 2019
Seriously. Maybe Trump saw this and it stuck in his addled memory brain and he brought it up?! I mean does he EVER mention animals in any way?
— Ann Schurman (@AnnSchurman) October 2, 2019
Literally in his head.
— Jade Jurek (@JadeJurek) October 2, 2019
Thanks Obama. 🙄
— 🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑Cynnbad (@mmaniac90) October 2, 2019
And Trump thought “What a great idea!!!”
— Nanny McPhee (@NannyZazu) October 2, 2019
Others couldn’t believe the timeline we’ve found ourselves in.
OMG I remember this. Our reality is literally a joke.
— Tom Behling (@mechanitom) October 2, 2019
What was once a joke is now our reality. Thanks guys.
— Sandie with an I E (@i_am_mzleathers) October 2, 2019
The depressing part is that it’s all too believable.
— Albert Fox Cahn (@CahnLawNY) October 2, 2019
If the idea wasn’t already laughable enough when Obama joked about it, political comedian Stephen Colbert suggested—satirically—a moat filled with alligators in 2006, five years before Obama and 13 years before Donald Trump.
Trump has spent much of his legacy trying to undo Obama’s achievements, so it’s surprising that he would heed one of Obama’s suggestion—even if that suggestion was noting the Republican party’s belligerence toward immigrants and refugees.
What a world.
The book The Politics of Losing: Trump, the Klan, and the Mainstreaming of Resentment, available here, explores how mirroring the KKK’s tactics, “Donald Trump delivered a message that mingled economic populism with deep cultural resentments” in the wake of a minority President. The authors present a sociological analysis of White supremacist resurgence that “goes beyond Trump the individual to show how his rise to power was made possible by a convergence of circumstances. White Americans’ experience of declining privilege and perceptions of lost power can trigger a political backlash that overtly asserts White-nationalist goals.