The Symbolic Wall

It’s now become fashionable to point out derisively that the border wall is “symbolic.” As if there were anything but symbolism propping up nation-states. What are the flag or the anthem, for instance? Why do we support “our team” in the Olympics or the World Cup? It’s all symbolic, duh!

What’s next? Triumphantly pointing out that nations are “invented communities” and national borders were drawn arbitrarily? You don’t say! Have any equally stale news for us? How about the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun? It’s not exactly a revelation but since we are pointing out the painfully obvious these days, then why skip this glaringly obvious reality?

It doesn’t matter if nations are completely artificial. Yes, they are, but so what? So is central heating, but we are in no hurry to give it up. New Year’s is completely artificial and symbolic but I’m planning to celebrate my heart out. The point is whether this artificial construction brings important benefits we don’t want to be without.

What is missing from all of the criticisms of the wall is the only issue that really matters: do we want to keep the nation-state model? Are we consciously walking away from it? Have we considered what the consequences of doing that would be? Welfare, feminism, gay rights – are we sure we want to toss them out of the window? If not, what is our proposal for shoring up the crumbling nation-state model? If it’s not the wall, then what?

There Is No Argument

I’m scrolling through blogs and come across the following statement:

In case you’re wondering why the wall is a terrible idea…

Yes! I exclaim. Yes! Can somebody finally reveal what the argument against the wall is?

So I eagerly follow the link. . . only to discover that it leads to a tweet. By Beto O’Rourke.

When the only argument is a tweet, let alone one from somebody like Beto, it’s clear there is no argument. Or at least no argument anybody is willing to reveal.

I swear to God, the next thing out of these folks will be an invitation to discover the solution to global warming through AOC’s duckface photos on Instagram.


You know how Republicans don’t give a crap about babies after they are actually born but wail and rant and rend their garments about them during the fetus stage? I was always utterly mystified by that.

Democrats are the same about immigrants. They wail and rant to get us across the border. But once we do cross, it’s all “fuck you, dumb suckers.” And if we do well and thrive, they act like they actually hate us.

I don’t want to assign evil motives to anybody. Most people mean well. But there’s definitely a similarity. It’s like they don’t care about the people who participate in the process because all they want is vicariously to relive the process itself over and over again.