The Corner

Mr. Bush Build Up This Wall

I come down in favor of a border wall in USA Today:

The U.S. Congress — the seat of American democracy — is surrounded by a giant wall, concrete barricades, armed guards and German shepherds. You need to pass through layers of security to enter the Capitol. Has this diminished American democracy? No. Have the rules of the Senate or the House changed? No. Has the Constitution been altered as a result? No. Are lawmakers less tolerant of each others’ views than they were before the walls went up? OK, maybe, but not because of the security outside.

In fact, except for it taking a little more time to get in and out of the Capitol, one would be hard-pressed to point to a significant change in the daily operations of our democratic system as a result of the “militarization” of Capitol security. You can play this game with universities, museums, hospitals, day care centers, many of our own homes and even churches and make the exact same point: Walls do not a prison make, nor do they magically “betray” all of the principles an institution represents. It’s only when you talk about putting a wall, or even some extra fencing, along the U.S. border that — abracadabra — walls crush all that we as a people stand for.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the symbolism too. For years, I opposed a barrier between the United States and Mexico because of the symbolism. But this objection, while legitimate, isn’t sufficient.



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