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Letters

A real emergency — Trump, that is, not the wall

President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office Friday.
President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office Friday.(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

We’d know a true national emergency — this is not one

If President Trump succeeds in declaring a national emergency, it would be the death knell of what remains of his credibility and any sense that he has stable judgment.

Sudden and genuine and true national emergencies are nonpartisan — and entirely nonpolitical — national crises that bring devastation. Nothing could be less about politics, much less partisanship, than a true emergency. The fact that the Democrats don’t believe the border wall is even an issue is worth noting.

The many months of dithering over this in Washington show the issue, by definition, not to be a genuine national emergency. What’s more, Trump had two years of congressional majority power to build his wall, and he signally and decisively failed to do it.

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Hurricane Katrina was not cause for a national emergency. Neither was Hurricane Sandy. Yet this purely petty and partisan issue is to be declared an authentic national emergency?

Nothing else in Trump’s presidency would approach more nearly grounds for impeachment or use of the 25th Amendment as would the unstable judgment behind this petulant act, which is so disrespectful, reckless, and heedless to America’s orderly and democratic way of life.

James Adler

Cambridge

Life imitates art, which, chillingly, imitated life

There is no national emergency that would justify President Trump’s plan to declare one; however, this authoritarian strategy was described in 1935 by Sinclair Lewis in his novel “It Can’t Happen Here.” In the novel, the goal was to stir up fear and mobilize against a nonexistent Mexican emergency as a way to hold on to the fascist president’s power. It seemed current because Mussolini and Hitler had used similar tactics to gain and retain power. Some 150 years earlier, the Founders had created our form of government precisely to make Trump’s strategy impossible. But, clever fellow that he is, and cowardly party that he leads, Trump sees a payoff for himself, and his party just cravenly follows along.

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I have been against talk of impeachment previously. Not so much now. To declare an emergency when one does not exist, and then to seize powers not otherwise available to him, would amount to a “high crime” in my book.

Jim Walsh

Nahant

Let’s build a wall — of solar panels!

Let’s build the southern border wall out of solar panels. That way, we can address irrational border security fears while simultaneously kicking off the Green New Deal. It would pay for itself eventually, but if Mexico pays installation costs, they get to sell the generated power. Alternatively, displaced landowners would be entitled to a portion of the profits.

Two-thousand miles of slippery silicon, sloped south for optimum solar collection, and topped with current-carrying concertina coil, would effectively repel the invading hordes while powering border towns from Tijuana, Mexico, to Brownsville, Texas.

David Brancazio

Cambridge

Kersten Rapp

Cambridge