Two and a half millennia back, China started building a wall to hold out uncivilized nomads to the north. Eight centuries later Hadrian’s wall bisected Britannia to protect Roman occupiers from invasion by native Celts. In 1961 the German Democratic Republic built a wall to corral capitalists in and, more important, keep their people out of West Berlin. Today, despite repeated insistence Mexico will pay, Donald Trump wants billions of American taxpayers’ dollars to build a wall along our southern border to keep folks he views as brown-skinned riffraff out.
Apart from walls being archaic defenses, Trump’s notion of one between the United States and Mexico is dumb! At the beginning twenty-fist century, it’s like quarrying stone with hammers and chisels, hauling it on ox carts, and hoisting the blocks by muscle power–Whoa! Hold on there! Sweat equity! Is that it? Mexico’s share? Donald, you clever devil!
Between satellites, fixed and rotor wing aircraft, drones, motion detectors, regular and infrared cameras, guard towers, and control rooms like those monitoring electrical grids, gas and oil pipelines, water and sewer systems, and air and railroad traffic worldwide, augmented by boots on the ground, America can guard her southern border with sophistication and efficacy exceeding and probably cheaper than some stupid wall! Donald! Get a grip!
The history of border walls testifies to the failure of border walls. We go around, over, through, and under them. Border walls are monuments to fear, fear of strangers. And we’re all strangers. Quoting the Swamp Sage Pogo Possum–remember?–“We has met the enemy and he is us.”