Rabbit Hole

(Before John Oliver had a take on the wall, I too had a take on the wall- but I couldn’t see why I should have a take on the wall. So even if I had a take on the wall, I confined it to the drafts folder- until today, when I saw John Oliver’s take on the wall and figured mine wasn’t that bad either. Some of the references have become a bit out-dated and slipped from our collective minds in the two weeks that have passed since the time of writing but I’m sure my one reader won’t mind.)

Tell me why you are opposed to Trump’s idea of building a wall. What Trump aims to achieve by building a wall (stopping illegal migration, drug trafficking) is something most of us want too. Hillary Clinton makes fun of the wall but her policies will set out to achieve the same end of curbing illegal migration and drug flows. They better, because that’s what being a commander-in-chief means – drawing out policies to secure the borders.

The only reason then that remains to make fun of the wall is its ineffectiveness. If you argue that the wall won’t be able to stem the flow of illegal migrants and drugs, then I’m with you. But why are you against the wall? Is it because of its ineffectiveness or is it because of what it will symbolize? Of what it might suggest? (That those on the other side are barbarians). Is it because you believe that in civilized societies physical walls have been replaced by the much more tacit system of visa approvals and hence, there’s no need to be blunt and go back to walls?

Is lack of tact the major issue you have with Trump’s proposal? Or do you believe there’s no place for borders at all? Surely, you believe in borders. Surely, you believe in regulation of people that come into your country.

Trump’s supporters on the other hand take solace from the physical manifestation (effective or not) of the mobility restrictions that are anyway in place. They feel more secure with subtlety out of the frame. They truly believe the Mexicans are barbarians- and that is worrying, and building a wall will only strengthen and act as a vindication of their narrow mindedness- which is even more worrying but is that the reason you’re opposed to the wall? That walls act as a placard for xenophobia?

Bear in mind that trade and legal migration numbers will theoretically continue to be the same, wall or no wall. In the event of the wall, the Mexicans might get offended and decide to lodge a protest by cutting a token amount of the trade, which anyway can’t amount to much since they’re highly dependent on exports to America. So why all this fuss over a wall? Is it only due to fiscal prudence?

Tell me why you’re opposed to the wall. Is it because

a) It’s going to be an image problem and there are just as effective and subtler alternatives. Or

b) A wall won’t make the border any more secure. Or

c) You don’t believe in borders, and by extension, nation-states. Or

d) You don’t want to play into the hands of xenophobes. Or

e) It’s a waste of money. Or

f) Some other reason.

400full
What’s wrong with the wall?

Now that we’ve established that the outrage over the wall is nothing more than outrage over a few billion dollars, a few billion dollars that Hillary will anyway forfeit to her Wall Street backers in the form of tax loopholes, let’s move on.

Let’s move on to the nitpicking of quotes used by Donald Trump.

One of the quotes he was made fun of for using was a “Gandhi quote”. Trump, like millions of Indians, unknowingly misattributed a quote to Gandhi, and if not for Trump millions of Indians would’ve continued to misattribute that quote to Gandhi. But for some reason, the whole incident was brazenly exploited to portray Trump as an idiot. Which he is, but not for this.

There was also the time when he was attacked for quoting Mussolini. Quoting Mussolini sounds insidious but when you look at the quote, it’s something Abe Lincoln might have said. It’s something a school teacher might have picked as the quote of the day. Well, the PT teacher perhaps. Anyway, why the circus? It’s like the media have decided there’s a readily available market for anti-Trump rhetoric out there and it needs to be tapped, incessantly.

At this juncture, I am thinking I might as well translate Kendrick’s These Walls into French and put it up here but I won’t. I’ll put up the possibly NSFW music video instead.

 

 

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