Let’s just be honest: The whole border security frenzy is a political scam perpetuated on a frightened, gullible public by “leaders” bent on scoring points during a high-stakes election year.The constant call for more border protection and the deployment of National Guard troops, Department of Public Safety officers and even game wardens to defend us against the phantom terrorists coming through our “back door” from Mexico is a stunt.To borrow a phrase from Malcolm X:“You’ve been had. You’ve been took. You’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Led astray. Run amok!”The recent crisis of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America coming across the border is a serious issue, one that has to be dealt with in a serious, humanitarian way. But it was not one that called for more soldiers whose main job would be, should they encounter these surrendering youngsters, to notify the nearest Border Patrol agent.Instead of concentrating on the children, who brought out the anti-immigrant fervor of many across the country, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and many other politicians around the country tried to turn it into a terrorist scare.Perry, in ordering the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the border at a cost of about $12 million a month, had already played upon the theme of protecting Texans and the nation from “narcoterrorists” who were invading the country by crossing the Rio Grande.After the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria went on the rampage in Iraq, the governor suggested there was the “very real possibility” that members of the extremist group could wage an attack on Americans, with their main point of entry being our southern border.Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, apparently referring to 2005 congressional testimony by then-FBI Director Robert Mueller, last year told a television audience, “We know that people are being trained to come in and act like Hispanics when they’re radical Islamists. … It’s just insane not to protect ourselves.”Since the gruesome beheading of an American journalist by a member of the Islamic State who spoke with a British accent, conservatives have ramped up the fear by suggesting that if the executioner were British, he might have a British passport that could give him easy access to the U.S.And just how would he get into the country? Through the porous southern border, of course.Since the influx of the Central American children was highlighted a few months ago, politicians have been running to the border for their photo ops. In addition to deploying more personnel to the border, Perry, like a good commander in chief, has gone down to visit the National Guard troops during their training at Camp Swift near Bastrop.Monday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst made a visit to the troops before they headed off for this new battle we’re fighting, all because President Barack Obama and the federal government have refused to protect us.Actually, Congress left town for its August vacation without passing legislation to address the issue. On the last day of the session before the summer break, the Republican-dominated House did pass a flim-flam bill, knowing it was going nowhere because the Senate already had recessed.Obviously our country must be protected, but for those truly worried about terrorists entering the country through a porous border, why aren’t they just as concerned about the border between the U.S. and Canada? At 5,525 miles, it’s almost three times as long as the border with Mexico.No troops there.I have an idea.Since so many politicians are eager to go to the southern border, why don’t we bring the troops home and leave the politicos there?We could arm them with BB guns, slingshots and megaphones.And they could stay as long as they like.
Bob Ray Sanders' column appears Sundays and Wednesdays. 817-390-7775 Twitter: @BobRaySanders