The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘The Agony of the Wall’

I wrote today about Trump’s struggles to come up with something he can call a wall:

Build that wall! Eventually. Or at least patch up some existing fencing. If Chuck and Nancy will agree.

Donald Trump’s signature pledge to build a border wall, a.k.a The Wall, is diminishing almost by the hour. No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, said Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, the 19th-century German field marshal. He left no record of his view of what happens when an emotive slogan dressed up as a policy proposal comes into contact with the enemy, but we can assume that he didn’t think it would fare well.

It hasn’t. Trump is paying the price for making The Wall the most powerful symbol of immigration restriction, when it isn’t particularly important or achievable. He piled lurid fantasy on top of absurd overpromising by asserting that Mexico would somehow be made to pay for the barrier.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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