Sunday, January 6, 2019

The origins of “the” wall

From a Forbes article on the origins of “the” (non-existent) wall:

“Inside Trump’s circle, the power of illegal immigration to manipulate popular sentiment was readily apparent, and his advisers brainstormed methods for keeping their attention-addled boss on message,” writes Joshua Green, author of Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising. “They needed a trick, a mnemonic device. In the summer of 2014, they found one that clicked.”

Joshua Green had good access to Trump insiders, including Sam Nunberg, who worked with Stone. “Roger Stone and I came up with the idea of ‘the Wall,’ and we talked to Steve [Bannon] about it,” according to Nunberg. “It was to make sure he [Trump] talked about immigration.”

The concept of the Wall did not click right away with the candidate. “Initially, Trump seemed indifferent to the idea,” writes Green. “But in January 2015, he tried it out at the Iowa Freedom Summit, a presidential cattle call put on by David Bossie’s group, Citizens United. ‘One of his pledges was, ‘I will build a Wall,’ and the place just went nuts,’ said Nunberg. Warming to the concept, Trump waited a beat and then added a flourish that brought down the house. ‘Nobody,’ he said, ‘builds like Trump.’”
How remarkable that a cheap gimmick created by amoral, irresponsible advisers for an amoral, irresponsible, unthoughtful, easily manipulated candidate should grow to have such enormous costs, becoming an impediment to the very functioning of government. This kind of stuff belongs in a movie, not in reality.

[Cheap gimmick, but not, strictly speaking, a bright shiny object. A precast concrete wall would be neither bright nor shiny. I suppose that “steel slats” could be bright and shiny.]

comments: 4

Sean said...

I wonder if they'd call that movie "Triumph of the Wall."

Michael Leddy said...

An apt suggestion. But something there is that doesn’t love a wall.

Chris said...

I can't help being reminded of a notorious Family Circus panel:

The idea of tearing down walls is so quaint now.

Michael Leddy said...

That’s a remarkable panel. Elaine got the pun on tear before I did.

As many people have pointed out, the same president who said “Tear down this wall” spoke against a U.S.–Mexico “fence” and for people coming into the United States to work, with a border open for travel back and forth.