Toxic Moxie Follow-Up: The New Berlin Wall (Southwestern Style)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The possibility of Donald Trump becoming the nominee of the Republican party for President of the United States might well cause Americans born in the 1940s and very early 1950s to echo the comment of a character in Sam Shepard’s THE GOD OF HELL. Frank, a dairy farmer, cries out towards the end of Shepard’s scathing play, “I miss the Cold War so much.” I invoke this line as a way of noting the disparity between a presidential candidate in 2016 proposing to build a wall between Mexico and the United States, and his apparent obliviousness that one of the most honored presidents of the Republican Party is particularly famous for saying, “Tear this wall down.” Even if Trump’s wall were to be built, how long would it be before Vladimir Putin would give a speech on the U.S. Mexican border and make the same precise demand?

Trump’s candidacy, however, goes far beyond skirmishes with irony. The land that constitutes much of the western United States was once the domain of Mexico, and an enormous number of people who trace their familial origins to Mexico live in those states. The idea of building a “Great Wall” from El Paso to San Diego is an implicit insult to millions of citizens and residents of the United States; to add vitriol to that insult by insisting that Mexico will pay for the construction of that wall becomes too ludicrous for satire. Simple fact-checking on Trump’s financial accounting for his dismal intermingling of domestic and foreign policy will suffice. To cut to the chase, I refer you to the following article: