Trumpty Dumpty sat on a wall — so when’s his fall?
So Trump, like Humpty Dumpty, must have his wall, and his fall.
All credit to the prescient. On Boxing Day, grim-looking Democratic Rep. Danny Heck told CNN (I took notes on some Christmas wrap) that something was approaching.
“The only plan that I’ve ever observed from president Trump, frankly, is that he pull out one of his four tried and true plays. He only has four. He doesn’t have three. He doesn’t have five.
“He doesn’t have any other number. And his four plays are deny, attack, play the victim, and change the subject or distract.” With the crescendo of the Mueller investigation approaching — and with Trump still achingly humiliated over losing control of Congress — Heck says, “it has to be even more chaotic, more dramatic, in order to change the subject and divert attention. And so I think there is great peril.”
How right he was. Trump babbled that migrants were storming America at the southern border with young women with tape over their mouths being horribly murdered as vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs blithely walked into the U.S. with great whacking loads of meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, while parents and traffickers use children as human pawns. Some 4,000 terrorists (this was a lie) have been arrested, in unbelievable vehicles stronger and bigger and faster vehicles than the ones he commands.
Shortcut: He wants a wall and has shut down the federal government to extract the cash. The human cost has been dreadful and even some Republicans became alarmed when “shutdown” and “air traffic control” were used in the same sentence.
A wall is a childish thing. Children love to build them, the bigger the better, but only for the sensation of power as they send them crashing to the floor — ha ha ha stupid wall. Donald “Wally” Trump wants the wall to stay up but he is gradually slimming the thing down to a see-through wall to a fence to airy steel slats even less forbidding than those hideous rusted Richard Serra walls that dot the forecourts of corporate America. Drug smugglers will tunnel. A functional fence would have to extend as far below ground as above, so double the cost right there.
Eventually, Trump will be reduced to a badminton net or California Shutters or some heat-sensing wire contraption.
In my neighbourhood, we are laughing about the “Trump Wall” that someone built after a snit over a shared tree. It has a base of faux Wallstone® with old-fashioned pine fencing and lattice. My wall is toughest of all, lattice interlaced with climbing hydrangea to block out sight and sound. We call it the Green Screen. It has blocked (so far) all fentanyl shipments to my garden and Trump would do well to consider it.
With Trump’s nuclear chats with North Korea blowing in the wind and his tariffs a failure, he wants a thing, an actual cement object, so that his presidency will have a legacy, even a stupid one.
The wall plan is part of what journalist Alan Rusbridger calls “the flight from complexity” that defines this era. Walls are simple, right? No. Nothing is simple. How has Trump not yet learned that?
The wonderful British novelist John Lanchester — he began writing Capital, a novel about the crash, in 2006, two years before it happened — has written a new work of speculative fiction called The Wall, out this month. In Hong Kong as a child, he lived beside a wall and found it comforting when people climbed over it to escape from China. He likes immigration. “That means you are in a safe place” where people want to be. Walls just add new complications to a tangled world. If Trump manages to raid funds set aside for climate disasters — I doubt this somehow — then the wall will symbolize malign failure.
How silly to wall off 3,145 km. Is Canada next? Our border with the U.S. is 8,891 km and we are not building the world’s longest snow fence.
It’s much cheaper for Ottawa to spend $140 million plus $40 million in onetime costs to clear our 65,000-refugee backlog, according to the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Don’t scrimp. It’s already a bargain. Let’s try it.
Donald Trump’s wall plan is part of what journalist Alan Rusbridger calls “the flight from complexity” that defines this era.