What Trump’s Wall Says to the World

I read a fairly insipid post on the lamely edgy zerohedge, which is basically a bunch of smarter-than-you finance bros writing apocalyptic blog posts about the end of America through the lens of economics and politics. It should tell you something about the site that the person who posts most often goes by “Tyler Durden”. He was the tip of the bro counter-cultural spear in 2000, but seems almost passe today. The post itself was submitted by none other than Pat Buchanan, he of culture war fame.

It’s an embarrassing polemic and zerohedge should feel embarrassed (though they are shameless, so I doubt they do) for allowing such simple drivel to be posted on their site.

Let’s start with this line: “By 1960, almost all of us shared the same heroes and holidays, spoke the same language and cherished the same culture.”

Is that really true? In 1960, blacks in the south couldn’t attend the same schools as white children. They couldn’t drink from the same water fountain. They didn’t have equal rights. This after a 1954 ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education that ended segregation. Yet we all “cherished” the same culture? That sounds prima facie absurd.

The white-washing of American history in this banal, uninspired article continues with the kicker: “Given that 80 percent of all people of color vote Democratic, neither the Trump movement nor the Republican Party can survive the Third Worldization of the United States now written in the cards.”

Third Worldization? Most people associate the third world with the immense poverty of non-white people. Buchannan seems to be insinuating that our country is becoming third world because it is becoming less white. But we aren’t becoming more poor. So he gets that wrong, but of course, he gets everything wrong.

His coupe de grace: “President Trump’s wall is a statement to the world: This is our country. We decide who comes here. And we will defend our borders.”

The politics of the wall are patently obvious for all to see. For those who are concerned about losing the America they grew up in, a wall is an expediency that will not prove to be panacea. It is a symbol. I oppose the wall, but frankly do not care if it gets built. It does not say anything about me or my politics, and I recognize that who I am and what I believe is not universal. But the idea that the wall will somehow tell the world that America is returning to its roots is pure fallacy. The wall may signal something about America in 2017, but it certainly isn’t a message of strength.

It’s not 1963 anymore, Pat. But you can Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World anyway.