Analysis of the Trump/Pelosi/Schumer Border Wall Argument

President Trump (with Vice President Pence present, unspeaking) opens his border wall discussion with Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi by praising the job that the border patrol and military are doing in handling the situation there.  As the first person to speak, he sets the tone of the rest of the conversation. Pelosi responds by placing an emphasis on what the American people want, which, as far as she is concerned, is not a shutdown of the border. Trump interrupts her in a typically self-aggrandizing fashion less than a minute into her response.  If he had not done this right off the bat, she may have been more compliant to his demands. On the other hand, Trump historically seems to respond most compliantly to aggression. So, their mannerisms make a compromise between them difficult. Schumer, for a major part of the discussion, fails to contribute much at all until telling Trump about his dishonest framing of this national conversation. He states firmly to Trump that he feels there is a way to come to an agreement without shutting down the government. Trump is rigid, unwilling to come to a compromise, which is a bad way to resolve a conflict. He goes on to say that the border patrol is very effective and that it is ineffective without a wall. He ignores Pelosi and Schumer when they point this out.  He introduces non-sequitur into the discussion, bragging about what he feels he has accomplished as president while Pelosi and Schumer fail miserably to keep him on point. Both sides decided to stubbornly stick to their talking points instead of letting the conversation flow organically, and that is why they were unable to reach a consensus.

By Tori Wooten, Communications Major at IUPUC

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