A few months ago, Iraq War veteran Brian Kolfage launched the GoFundMe that shocked the world. In an effort to bypass Congress and raise private funds to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, Kolfage ended up exceeding his wildest dreams within just a few days. Before he could turn around, he’d already raised north of $30 million from Trump supporters who want to see our country properly secured. While the mainstream media can find polls that say Americans don’t want a wall, Kolfage’s extraordinary success proved – at the very least – that those of us who DO want a wall are willing to plunk our hard-earned money down.
Unfortunately, there was a snag in the road.
Regardless of whether Kolfage raised $1 million or $1 billion, there would be no easy way to bypass Congress. Even if there were a mechanism through which he could donate the funds directly to the Treasury Department, Congress would still have the final say on how that money would be used. We would be back to the starting line, especially since Democrats hardly have fiscal responsibility in mind when voting against this funding. They are out to make a political point, not an economic one. All the private fundraising in the world isn’t going to change that.
But…there may be another way. And that way was on display in McAllen, Texas last week.
In what amounted to a kind of #MAGA field trip, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, baseball legend Curt Schilling, and former Sheriff David Clarke convened to plan construction of a wall along the southern border. Blackwater founder Erik Prince phoned in from South Africa.
With Congress refusing to pony up the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded for the project, his allies are now plotting to kick off construction with private money and private land.
The idea, which began in December as a Florida man’s quixotic crowdfunding campaign, is becoming something more, well, concrete. Big-name Trump supporters like Bannon, a former Trump campaign and White House strategist, have flocked to the project. And they have initiated talks with the Israeli firm that constructed that country’s fence on its border with the Gaza Strip, they told POLITICO. They expect to hold a town hall in Tucson, Ariz., as soon as Friday and visit the border in Laredo, Texas, next week.
The group has designs on raising at least $100 million through fundraising, and they insist that the start of construction could bring hundreds of millions of dollars more flowing into the project. None of them believe that their private version of the wall can truly replace the one we need from the federal government, but they are hopeful that they can do their part to begin securing the border.
If they are even half as successful as they believe they can be, this could be a huge turning point. When has this ever happened in American history that the public went around Congress and simply DID the thing our representatives refused to do? It could be extraordinary.