Donald Trump runs a campaign of words, not of policy. He speaks in general terms and flip flops on several issues. His only real sticking point, which has remained solid since the first moment of his presidential bid, is the wall between the United States and Mexico. Trump wants to build this structure — to keep out the rapists and drug dealers — that stands at least thirty-five feet tall, and he promises that it will be built only from the strongest materials: “Hardened concrete, steel, and rebar.” Trump thinks the project will maybe cost around $8 billion, which is no big deal, and he also believes Mexico will be thrilled to pay for everything.
Well, John Oliver has proven with one particularly blistering missive that he’s willing to indulge Trump’s claims with the end goal of obliteration. He does this once again on Last Week Tonight, and his new target is the “stupid f*cking wall.” Oliver tosses a wrecking ball in numerous ways, starting with Trump having no idea how much the project will truly cost. By the time Oliver’s finished walking though the financials, the wall realistically costs at least $25 billion with a maintenance budget that will exceed the original number in about seven years:
“It’s a big dumb thing that only gets more expensive over time. It’s like getting a pet walrus. You think it’s stupid now, wait until you see what a bucket of sea cucumbers costs. You’re not prepared for that!”
Oliver then laughs merrily at Mexican president Vicente Fox’s unequivocal refusal to pay for the wall, which (as our host points out) motivated Fox to curse in English, so Trump would definitely understand the shutdown. But Oliver sarcastically humors Trump’s assertion that Mexico is excited to pay: “Of course they are. People love it when you make them pay for sh*t they don’t want.”
Soon enough, Oliver dismantles the notion that there’s even a place to build a wall. He picks through the effects of George W. Bush’s 2006 Secure Fence Act and its effects on families, animals, and a golf course. Oliver zips through Trump’s xenophobic intentions before finally pointing out how a wall will have virtually no effect on illegal immigration or drug smuggling. Then he finally recommends a tastier alternative to the wall, which will cost around $77 per American citizen:
“If the main thing it’s going to get us is a warm sense of satisfaction inside, I suggest instead of building that wall, we use the money to buy every man, woman, and child in America a Palmer Waffle Iron. These beauties retail at $75 apiece, so we’d still have nearly $1 billion left over. This waffle iron plan will cost less, will do nearly as much to keep out immigrants and drugs, it won’t harm our relationship with our third-largest trading partner. If it is racist, it’s only toward Belgians, and unlike Donald Trump’s wall, this makes f*cking waffles!”
Mmm. Both a wall and a waffle-iron disbursement sound fantastical, but after an Oliver-delivered slice of common sense, we all deserve a delicious breakfast. Make America tasty again?