In 1987 President Ronald Reagan was delivering a speech about the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin. Reagan declared: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Imagine if Donald Trump had been president back then instead of Reagan. Standing at the same place, Trump would have declared, “Mr. Gorbachev, move this wall to the Southern border of the United States!”
Of course,Trump’s supporters would respond, “That’s not fair, Jacob. The Berlin Wall was keeping people from getting out. Trump’s Wall is designed to keep people from coming in.”
But isn’t that a distinction without a difference? After all, since the Berlin Wall was effective in keeping people from leaving East Germany, wouldn’t it have been just as effective at keeping people from Latin America from getting into the United States? At the risk of belaboring the obvious, all that Trump would have to do is turn the wall around, so that it faced in the opposite direction that it was facing in Germany.
Moreover, if it was West German sharpshooters that were shooting at East Germans trying to illegally cross the border into West Germany, would that have made the killings more moral than the East German killings? Not as far as I’m concerned.
In any event, desperate to appease his statist supporters before Election Day, President Trump is proceeding apace with the construction of his Berlin Wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Never mind that he has never succeeded in getting congressional approval for his massive public-works project. In the finest tradition of dictators everywhere, he has decided to do it anyway, not with his own money but instead with money that Congress appropriated to the Pentagon for military “defense.”
But hey, complying with the delegated powers principle of the Constitution is so passé. Given that presidents no longer are required to go to Congress to get a declaration of war or congressional permission to impose taxes (e.g., tariffs) on the American people, why should they feel obligated to secure permission to build massive public-works projects for history to remember them by?
To get the job done by Election Day, Trump has to secure the land on which to build his Berlin Wall. No problem. He’s told his people to just seize the land they need. If they have to violate criminal laws to do it, no problem. Trump said he would pardon them. Just do it, he said.
One option, of course, is to just have the military go in and seize people’s property along the border. No one is going to buck the military because if they do, they will soon find themselves in the hereafter. The military will resort to overwhelming force to suppress any resistance to its seizure of people’s privately owned land. If they have to kill people for resisting, so be it. Trump will pardon them anyway. Even if he didn’t pardon them, the federal judiciary would let them off the hook as part of its longtime deference to the authority of the national-security establishment.
One of the fears that proponents of immigration controls often express to justify their support of Trump’s Wall is the prospect of disease. They’re scared that immigrants will bring diseases to America, and they are convinced that Trump’s Wall will protect them from that danger.
Pardon me for amplifying the fears that drive immigration statists, but isn’t it possible for Americans who travel overseas to catch the diseases of those people who supposedly would bring such diseases into the United States? Given that we want to be kept “safe,” shouldn’t our government daddy prohibit Americans from leaving the United States? No problem. We’ll have Trump’s Berlin Wall that can do that!
It’s actually fitting that Trump wants to add to America’s immigration police state in the American Southwest with a Berlin Wall along the border. That’s because America’s system of immigration controls is a socialist system, in that it is based on the socialist principle of central planning. So, what better way to cap a socialist system that has brought crisis, chaos, mayhem, death, suffering, destruction of liberty and privacy, and an immigration police state than with a Berlin Wall?
There are two questions I’d like to pose to Trump: Whatever happened to your campaign promise to force the Mexicans to pay for your wall? And why don’t use your own money to pay for your wall rather than money that the IRS has forcibly taken from hard-pressed American taxpayers?