Here two distinguished Harvard professors contend that, as a wanna-be autocrat, Donald Trump has manufactured a useful, ersatz crisis over the Mexican border.
But they leave out entirely the relevance of the next presidential election. The Wall is a touchstone for the voters he needs in the handful of states that determine the outcome of the 2020 election: Florida and the Great Lakes states. The Mexican-origin population in these states is very low. The Wall, whether or not it exists, is far away and symbolic. The issue stands for one thing: will Trump live up to his promise to the voters in the swing states.
If there were no swing states, but instead the way to be re-elected were to win the national vote, the president would not have precipitated this crisis.