Imaginary wall

Oh, this Chait take on Trump and the wall is fun:

Now President Trump is revealing his fallback plan: pretend he succeeded.

The U.S.-Mexico border runs for nearly 2,000 miles. Early in his campaign, Trump conceded that natural barriers cover half that length. He inherited 654 miles of border fencing, and promised a wall covering a full 654 miles. This would mean upgrading most or all the additional fencing to “wall” status — making it taller, stronger, or wallier — and adding another 350 miles or so of new wall.

He has so far added zero to that total. Yet the wall was never a material infrastructure project, but instead a symbol of defiance and order. Trump is clearly signaling a new stage in which he is abandoning its physical manifestations and conjuring it into reality…

In a speech to police officers Wednesday, Trump elaborated on this imaginary wall. “The wall is very very on its way,” he promised. It is extremely tall — “You’re gonna have to be in extremely good shape to get over this one,” he informed his audience.

As time goes on,  just as a child’s imaginary friend becomes more elaborate and fully developed over time, the wall will surely acquire more specific attributes. It will be strong and powerful, beautiful yet forbidding, possibly even festooned with solar panels. In truth, nearly everybody who wanted to believe in the wall in the first place will believe it exists.

After all, Trump told us that without a wall, waves of violent criminals from Latin America would roam the countryside stealing, raping, and murdering honest Americans. Trump’s fans will look around and see no such violence in their midst. It must mean Trump has built the wall.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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