by Steven M. Smith, Ph.D.
for the “Progressive Views” column, Boerne Star, March 8, 2019
The building of the southern border wall has captured a majority of public and media attention. To bring the discourse to an even greater level of absurdity President Trump has declared a national emergency to save ourselves from an onslaught of violent gangs, criminals, rapists, human smugglers, drug cartels, coyotes and Amway salespeople. The building of the ‘wall’ has been met with much resistance and animosity by the majority of Americans. The majority of people living along the border dispute the allegations and statistics stated by the administration. There is a disparity between border residents, immigrants and political rodents. As one can surmise this article will be one of political satire, but with a poignant truth at the conclusion.
The political problem with the concept of a ‘wall’ is not of reasoning, social value or national safety but is a philosophical issue. The philosophical underpinning of the ‘wall’ is a philosophy of exclusion. You are different than us so we want to keep you out. Your language is not the same as ours so you are not welcome. Exclusion is merely another way of not admitting that we are either afraid of learning about the others’ culture and values or are so obsessed with our own self-aggrandizement we do not wish to entertain the idea of immigration. It is no wonder that Congress is afraid and or unable to address the immigration issue. However, this writer has a secondary philosophy to border security. This philosophical agenda is one of containment. Yes, criminals, extortionists, sexual assault perpetrators, malcontents, liars, thieves, those accused of sedition, stealing of national security secrets and general malfeasance should be contained. The ‘wall’ is a great idea but has been proposed in the wrong geographical location.
The ‘wall’ should be built around Washington, D.C. That ‘wall’ would not be to keep immigrants out but to keep the politicians in. Think of the benefits the American people could enjoy. The first is the economic benefit: the loop around Washington is referred to as the “Capital Beltway” and is 64 miles in length. Rather than build a wall from sea to shining sea we could build a wall only 64 miles long. A phenomenal cost savings indeed. The cost savings are even more inviting when there is no property to condemn and seize from private farmers, ranchers, citizens, butterfly sanctuaries, missions, historic churches and food trucks (God save our street tacos). There would be no tax dollars spent to defend litigation as to the legal doctrine of Eminent Domain as the Capital Beltway is publicly owned. Moreover, the ‘Ports’ are already in place; referred to as on ramps and exit ramps. It would be easy for Customs and Border Patrol to setup check points to determine who is attempting to sneak out and would be apprehended. This could become very ugly with respect to world opinion.
Do you remember when Border Patrol separated parents from their children at the border? Imagine Border Patrol and Customs Enforcement separating politicians from their lobbyists? One can only hear the cries and gnashing of teeth. And what to do with all the lobbyists? Oh, there could be a tent city built on the National Mall similar to the one built outside El Paso. The lobbyists could spend their time in detention studying such foreign subjects as Civics, Ethics, and Fiscal Responsibility. This would not cost the taxpayer a dime as the lobbyists are already on someone’s payroll and the tents are left over from outside El Paso. But what about the politicians?
Now is when we really need the TSA. Arming Dulles International Airport they would have in hand a political watch list revealing every politician’s photo rather than spending their time checking passenger’s “Chapstick” tubes. ICE could play an even more important role as to man the train stations and arrest those politicians trying to escape. Those who work a ‘real’ job in D.C. will be given a “Work Visa.” This is the same crap we place upon the citizens of Mexico. What if the politicians wish to return home? That should be based upon the wishes of their constituents and handled very much like “work release” from prison. Tourists would be welcome to apply for a tourist visa the same as we require of those from Mexico.
Maybe if our lawmakers were on the other side of the ‘wall’ the debate would be different.