bridgesYou know, and I know, that Donald Trump will not build a wall across four states and then bill Mexico for the cost. It won’t happen, not now, not next millennium. So why all the cheers? Because he’s saying something, however irrational, to people who think it actually could be done and it would be “tremendous” and would solve all that ails us. (Whatever that means.) The man speaks in superlatives to end his side of the conversation. Pope Francis was spot on when he announced that people who build walls and not bridges weren’t people of the Gospel. Of course, Trump took exception of this statement calling it “disgraceful” and “he shouldn’t” be political. However the Pope responded by saying “Thank God he [Trump] said I was a politician,” Politico quotes the pope as saying, “because Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politicus”. So at least I am a human person.”. . Trump’s catch phrase “Make America Great Again” rings hollow when it denigrates the actual great potential of this country and it’s growth and it’s vision for its people. It also lacks the necessary policy details. As an aside, the USA is not a business. It seems that his and others vision of what this country should be is rooted in the myth of what they think was the 1950’s. the 1950’s was, however, an era of equality of taxation between the very wealthy and the middle class, when we valued labor and the working class of people. It was a period that marked a push toward civil rights and the “Brown v The Board of Education” verdict that eradicated the “separate but equal” school system. It was also a time when one could find a commie under every rock. The Cold War was in full swing and we had atomic bomb drills in the classroom because the Russkies were going to unleash hell at any moment. It was a time when it was easier to get a mortgage for a home in the suburbs than it was to rent an apartment in the city. However, that sense of stability was shaky and gave way to the turmoil of the ‘60’s. Lesson learned that once the genie of equality is let out of the bottle, it is impossible to put it back in no matter how many pearls June Cleaver wore while vacuuming her house. No, going backwards is just that…backwards. We are a nation that looks forward, rooted in our past but not having the past hold us back. (And yet, the good people of South Carolina just gave Trump the state in their primary today….go figure). The current wisdom on immigration is we can’t tackle it until we build a wall to keep them out. Being a leader means being able to multi-task, to do more than one thing at a time. Our leaders can tackle immigration as well as beefing up border security simultaneously.

Talk of walls is good fodder for the fearful especially those who think they have been left behind and are scared of faces that don’t look like theirs. They feel that the tax code isn’t very fair to working Americans who somehow have lost the ability to achieve the American Dream and that immigrants are stealing American jobs and not paying taxes. This is the America that deducts Social Security from your paycheck and then is ridiculed as an “entitlement” as if that is a bad word. Social Security is a federal pension derived from our hard work in the marketplace. Yet politicians in a dysfunctional congress want to cut these earned benefits from us who receive them monthly. So it follows that we must build a wall which will make everything all better. (I can’t follow the logic either)

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, –Robert Frost

I don’t think I’d like a wall even if it is “beautiful.” Trump talks about the vision of his presidency as, “you will love it” as if he and he alone will make things happen and we can just sit by and watch it appear and be “amazed.” I don’t think he quite understands that bluster over well thought out diplomacy is not more desirable on the world stage. The idea of “moderate” has completely disappeared from the modern GOP. Somehow the republican base evolved into a collection of wacko, single issue, voters. Why? Because the grandchildren of the voters who elected Eisenhower decided to not be republicans. Time will tell over the next months if walls, not bridges is the future of this country of ours.

and so it goes…