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The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

The House of Cards Presidency

It’s officially National Emergency season; stay safe folks. After failing to reach a deal with Congress for border wall funding, President Trump announced in the rose garden he will be declaring a national emergency in order to fund “The Wall.”

Nothing says we have a national emergency like saying: “I can do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. I would rather do it much faster.”  I’m sure that will work great for you in court Donnie… Unsurprisingly this fight has already gone to the courts as 16 states recently announced that they will sue the Trump administration to stop the national emergency.

I’m no legal expert but as an observer, I think that his words will come back to haunt him in court. However, I am an expert when it comes to House of Cards, and I can tell you that Donald Trump’s actions as chief executive are wildly similar to Frank Underwood.

Trump’s national emergency declaration is eerily familiar to Frank Underwood’s strategy when he was trying to implement his “America works” job program. Underwood declared a state of emergency in D.C. in order to use FEMA funds to finance his program. President Trump threatened similar action when he brought up the possibility of using Puerto Rican disaster funds to pay for the wall.

Another similarity between the two is their dishonest rhetoric about terrorism. During the government shutdown, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sander and other members of the administration pushed a lie that 4,000 known or suspected terrorists tried to enter the country illegally via the Southern Border. The correct number is actually six, just about 3,994 people off, close though! The fact of the matter is the real immigration threat comes from people who fly over and overstay their visas, especially terrorist suspects.

Underwood employed similar tactics when his political survival was on the line. When it became apparent to Underwood that he had a very good chance of losing, his first move was to try and declare war on terror group ICO and pressure Republican-leaning swing states to implement military-manned voting stations. When that strategy backfired, Underwood made up two terrorist threats in Tennessee and Ohio, which forced the states to close their polling stations.

Now I know that this connection is somewhat of a stretch, and Trump hasn’t yet gone this far. But Trump’s lies about terrorism have the same goal as Underwood had in House of Cards: Intimidate the voter in order to hold onto political power.

When I first started watching House of Cards I thought to myself this isn’t how Washington works, right? As it turns out, the real-life Donald show might be even crazier…

-Jackson Parker

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