As the debate around President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall (or is it a steel slat barrier now?) between the United States and Mexico rages, it’s both my sincere pleasure and profound regret to draw your attention to an astonishing display of what passes for right-wing innovation these days, fresh from the aptly named conservative website Hot Air.
Noting that the people who actually live along the U.S.-Mexico border have been fairly unenthusiastic about offering up their property for wall construction, and aren’t exactly thrilled that the federal government might just seize their land through eminent domain either, Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw proposed the following “quick solution” on Thursday: Why not just move that big beautiful wall, so those frustrated homeowners on the border end up on the outside looking in?
In his own words (emphasis mine):
All of the property owners along the border who don’t wish to support protecting our border can be put on the other side of the wall. This doesn’t need to be a cruel or inhumane solution. We’ll be sure to provide a port of entry every so often along the fence and have roads running along the outside so property owners can reach them. Assuming the landowners are all legal U.S. citizens, they will have no trouble getting through customs at the port of entry for any business they need to conduct in the interior of the country. (It just might take a bit longer if there are a lot of people waiting to get through.)
As Shaw notes elsewhere in his modest proposal, “there really isn’t any hard and fast rule as to how far back from the border the barrier must be,” because technically, the actual U.S-Mexico border runs through some rivers, and you can’t build a wall in water—that’s just crazy talk!
This is, in fact, a tremendous point. If there’s no hard and fast rule about where to build the wall, why not just move it a few more hundred miles inland—say, to Wyoming or Idaho, or somewhere else with a lot of wide open space? Then all the MAGA barrier-humpers can pack up, move there, and spend their days staring longingly at steel slats while the rest of the country goes about its business as usual. It’s a win-win!
In any case, it remains to be seen whether Trump will actually follow through on his threat (repeated again this morning) to declare a national emergency in order to bypass Congress to start wall construction. Lately, he’s been too busy handing out candy and throwing pissy temper tantrums at congressional Democrats to actually get much work done.