Trump’s border wall is viewed by many as one of the most socio-politically regressive, blatantly xenophobic, and holistically pointless government projects in modern United States history. I think it should become even more of a waste if a Democrat takes the White House this year.
As far as I know, no Democratic candidate has made stopping the border wall and/or tearing it down a true focal point of his or her platform, and to be frank, I don’t know that it should be. It’s something that’s probably on the mind of every Democratic candidate, but that isn’t to say it’s an obvious or even an easy policy to espouse. In my book, tearing down the wall is a must: it is the closest thing we have as a monument to Trump, and it’s the physical embodiment of xenophobia. But it will be a spectacular political flashpoint to tear it down, even among some liberal voters.
Why? Tearing down something that cost so much money will be seen as wasteful. Advocates for keeping the wall might even ask: “Why tear it down? It’s already there and we can let people in with better immigration policies even if it’s there; plus we should deter illegal immigration and the wall will do some of that.” In my view, these points belie the fact that it was wasteful to begin with, and that tearing it down would at least serve this bruised nation some well – needed catharsis. But tearing down the wall is much more than catharsis — it would be a strong symbol of our values looking forward. What is more important for the health of the Republic and how we’re viewed by the rest of the world? Being perceived as complicit pragmatists, or being perceived as having a strong moral compass and keenness to solve difficult problems rather than sweep them under the rug?
We have an angry segment of voters in the country who think Trump is a demigod. Many of these people think the wall is the best thing since prepackaged PB&J sandwiches. They will not support tearing down the wall, and they will be very vocal about such a decision. But tearing down the wall wouldn’t be about them — it would be about everyone else. We already let a minority of largely low-information voters, primarily in Middle America, choose the fate of this country and its foreign affairs for four years. The backlash from the Obama years has been extreme and in so many ways, highly destructive. Do we really want to keep the wall up just to please the forty-ish percent of voters who make up Trump’s base? Do we really want to let their tribalism, irrational and illogical prejudices to stand as monuments?
I’m very much an advocate for bipartisanship, compromise, and exploring others’ paradigms, but I’m afraid there’s only one right answer here—the wall must be torn down. None of this is to mention the extreme environmental damage, the questionable use of eminent domain by the feds, and the exacerbating of the refugee crisis at our border that the wall has caused. Register to vote, register others to vote, and make sure a Democrat takes Trump’s seat in the White House this year. A lot rides on your ballot.