The United States of America exists in a constant state of emergency. Literally.
As of 2019, there were 31 active states of emergency on the books stretching back to 1979 when Jimmy Carter invoked the National Emergencies Act against Iran. In 2018, a similar blocking order was issued by President Donald Trump, aimed at Nicaragua. Indeed, most of these emergencies are related to blocking the property or transactions of individuals or organizations who are up to no good – violating human rights, funding terrorism, participating in cyber-attacks or undermining governments and institutions at home and abroad. All but seven of them have been declared since 2001.
Mr. Trump’s latest proposal, citing an emergency to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border – a monument, it should be noted, to xenophobia, paranoia, fear, and the cult of securitization – is different.