Why we should reach across borders, not close them

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Courtesy of Jim Hightower

nation’s border is nothing in and of itself. It’s just an inanimate line that has no philosophy, personality, feelings or meaning — beyond what people on either side attribute to it.

Unfortunately, thanks to Donnie Trump’s xenophobic demagoguery in this presidential election, America finds itself in a destructive border war — not with Mexico, but with itself. In his rallies, Trump led his true believers in angry chants of “Build that wall!” He demanded that our Southwestern border with Mexico be turned into a hostile barrier of national, cultural and racial separation that will physically scream at Latino people: “KEEP OUT!”       

You can see it for yourself, for about a third of that 2,000-mile frontier already has a massive metal wall, thrusting up to 30 feet high. It scowls at Mexico with pole-mounted cameras, 24-hour radar, vibration sensors, all-seeing drones, surveillance balloons and Blackhawk helicopters.       

It has made the border mean, yet — get this — it doesn’t work! Migrants and traffickers continually overcome it. “The wall is a fantasy,” says an Arizona border sheriff. Also a rancher who’s a diehard Trump supporter dismisses Donnie’s barrier scheme as a “farce.”       

Worse, the existing wall and Trump’s extension of it is a perversion of what this border has been for centuries: An enriching connection point for people on either side. In fact, there were no sides — festivals paraded from Mexico into the U.S. and back again, businesses were totally bi-national, families extended across the so-called line, and the community was an organic whole.       

Trump’s wall won’t keep undocumented migrants out, but it will lock out America’s egalitarian ideal of cross-culturalism. Rather than walling-off borders, our true national security requires that we reach across them.

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.   

  • ernie_oertle

    More Hightower misdirection & prevarication. Hightower plays readers to think of him as a Stetson-wearing good-old-boy full of wise homilies w/ a HillCountry-drawl. .. It’s a manipulation. .. The extremistly-cynical but extremistly-agenda-driven ideologists have
    tried to devise a scheme exactly for this border-crisis situation. You lefty useful-idiots who aren’t warriors will be subsidized by `contractors’ from south of the border. Hizpaniks, Cubans, Sandinistas, mexican-lookalike Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Syrian “refugees”, MichaelMoore’s gardeners. That’s why Obama&Holder were running Operation Fast&Furious. That’s why Obama & Dems have all along been against strengthening the border. They want it weak & open. Stalin’s so-called latino divisions will come to the rescue of Barry’s “fundamental-transformation”. Of-course, those `contractors’ will make mincemeat of you too (that’s part of theHardLefters plan).