Walls

January 20th, 2019

The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, posted this letter from me a few hours ago.

“Back in the early 1980s, I was stationed in what was then West Germany, courtesy of the U.S. Army. While I was there, I made a trip to Berlin. At that time Berlin was a divided city with a real wall, a wall much more serious than the wall Trump imagines that he can build on the border with Mexico.

In Berlin, there was a museum at Checkpoint Charlie. The museum illustrated all of the ingenious ways that people had gotten past the wall to escape to the West. No matter how hard the East Germans tried to keep people from crossing the border, some always found a way to do it.

Trump’s wall will not keep many people out. The wall will keep out some immigrants, but not all. People will still find a way to enter the United States. These people will be cleverest and the most desperate. Maybe these are the people that Trump really wants to come to our country. Maybe he actually wants to admit only the most ruthless. In any case, the wall won’t work as advertised. In the end the Berlin Wall fell. It was an abject failure. Even if we waste the money to build Trump’s wall, it will still fail, and it will fall.”

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