VOICES-The main problem that I have with Trump's border wall is its outmoded usefulness in the 21st century. Let's face it, walls are not only a part of a different time period, they are part of a different mindset.
Walls signify economical sturdiness but result in commercial blockage. Walls symbolize communal strength yet their foundation is built on the sands of selfishness. Walls are built to keep nations safe, but they only keep people's fears hidden from the light of truth. In an age when products are bought and sold in quantities of millions per second, and when these products are distributed all over the globe, walls become cumbersome, antithetical, and obsolete. All of the important action goes right over them, right under them, and right through them. For there is no wall that can keep out good ideas, or that is so impenetrable that it can keep people from discovering their full potential.
What the United States should always promote is the tearing down of walls. Isn't that what Reagan advocated? It begs the question: who does Trump stand with more: a Soviet backed East Berlin police state or the freedom seeking conservatism of Ronald Reagan? Is Trump in the business of building walls or installing windows? Is he a nostalgic leader of a past autocracy or an enthusiastic pioneer of a democratic future?
It is now vital that our president realizes the historic purpose of our nation. Where other societies have tried to close down, retreat inwards, fortify and homogenize, the American experiment in democracy has always chosen, in its pursuit of a more perfect union, to embrace the hard road of mercy, openness, pluralism, and tolerance.
(George Cassidy Payne is a SUNY Adjunct Professor of Humanities and a social worker from Rochester, NY. His writing has been published in a wide variety of domestic and international journals, newspapers, and magazines.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.