Talking about “walls”…..
Seventy-five years ago America was preparing for another lean Christmas, due to the lingering effects of the Great Depression. But at least we could take comfort behind the two ocean walls nature had provided us. All the more so in that frenzied 1941, as foreign wars raged both in Europe and in Asia. We could only hope our walls would still work.
Pearl Harbor changed all that. Forever. And so now 75-world-power years later, many would have us find new safety by adding new walls of our own. The call to make us great again is actually a 21st C vision of the initial l8th C vision we are a special land with a special destiny. A destiny to lead even without always joining the rest of the world.
Unlike famous walls such as the Western Wall of Jerusalem or the hanging Walls of Babylon this new wall proposes to separate not celebrate. Not only to separate us from unwanted
regions of the world, but also from some unwanted demographic realities. Namely, the US Census report that says at the current rate, whites by 2050 will no longer be a majority here.
OK, so maybe we can build a wall that not only keeps America safe, but at the same keeps it white. The way some say it was always meant to be. However…!
However, similar walls like the Hadrian in England and the Berlin in Germany didn’t work. Turns out that whenever humanity picks a fight with history, history wins. The “hordes” they were intended to stymie came in anyway. And the funny thing is that this dreaded infusion of “others” mostly enriched not weakened the lands being “protected.”
Bottom line, America like the rest of the world is in enormous transition from what we were to what we are becoming. In such civilizational turmoil, bridges usually work better than walls. It took the Romans [Hadrian] and the Soviets [Berlin] generations to recognize this.
Today, however, we can’t risk generations to wait for the results. Flag waving trial-and-error is not an option. If we start laying economic foundations, we need to be sure we’re putting up something that will allow if not bridges, at least gates between us. Otherwise, history tells us walls beget walls beget troubles. Among the latest examples are the walls that continue to go up between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.
Wall-builders have one thing in common. They know exactly what they don’t want to admit.
No wall in history was ever un-breachable. Not the greatest way to greatness.
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