And then everybody made the exact same joke at the same time.
You see, the timing was too good, the irony too evident, and the metaphor too glaring for us to help ourselves.
So that’s why half of Facebook, most of Twitter, and all of the headline writers in America shouted the following:
“Trump finally got his wall. But it’s at the White House!”
And then we all laughed, or at least chuckled as much as we could while coughing up tear gas or choking down existential angst.
Yes, the president, who is so popular with his nation’s citizens that he has to hide in the basement, now has a riot fence to protect him from America. As many have pointed out, only despots ruling over troubled lands construct barriers to keep the populace at bay. A wall around the presidential residence is what “authoritarian rulers in third-world countries build to protect themselves from the passions of their own aggrieved people, and a far cry from the ‘people’s house’ that has for centuries symbolized a president accountable to the citizens who elected him.”
Furthermore, “as Trump tries to project strength, he instead appears weaker than ever.” After all, Mr. Law and Order can “bluster about force and domination,” but the new multilayered black fencing “around the executive mansion reveals the reality that he is operating not from strength but from fear.”
Seriously, can you imagine anything that petrifies Trump more than thousands of black people massed outside his bedroom window? The only way it would be scarier for him is if they all waved around copies of his tax returns.
To add insult to—well, insult—those protesters who terrify the president so much are now marching right up to the White House wall and plastering it with Black Lives Matter slogans. So the administration has given the demonstrators an even bigger platform.
With such a heavy-handed symbol of Trump’s ineptitude and cowardice encircling the White House, it’s a good time to ask, “Hey, whatever happened to the original wall?”
You know, the one that Mexico was going to pay for? The Trump campaign’s chief selling point to xenophobes? The central promise of his presidency that inspired racists to taunt Latino kids with chants of “Build the wall! Build the wall!” Yeah, that one.
Well, I’m glad you asked.
It turns out that the administration’s goal of blocking Latin America behind 2,000 miles of towering concrete has fallen just a little short.
The Customs and Border Protection has acknowledged that a mere 194 miles of border barriers has been constructed since Trump took office. Furthermore, 191 of those miles “already had barriers in place.” This means that the president has placed fresh obstacles on a grand total of three miles of borderland. Once again, the number of miles with new barriers is… three.
You can walk that distance in an hour or so. It amounts to less than a mile per year that Trump has been in office.
This is even more pathetic when you consider that the president has pulled billions of dollars from other military projects, and engaged in blatant cronyism while doing it.
Of course, it’s not just about length (ahem). It’s about strength.
Which makes it all the more laughable, or tragic—who can tell the difference anymore?—that the new barriers have been easily climbed, hacked through, carted off, and toppled over by heavy breezes.
Yes, the president “wants Americans to believe he’s built hundreds of miles of impenetrable wall that cannot be climbed.” But in truth, his half-assed engineering project is “not a wall; it’s not hundreds of miles; it can be climbed; it’s penetrable, and in one instance, it failed to withstand wind gusts.”
And it bears repeating that “Mexico isn’t paying for any of it, the Republican’s campaign promises notwithstanding.”
At this point, let me remind everyone that I repeatedly said, back in 2016, that there would never be a huge wall on the Mexican border, and to think otherwise was just racist, delusional nonsense.
I should have bet money on that statement.
So maybe the wall around the White House is as good as it gets for our beleaguered, doltish commander in chief. Yes, it’s true that “a president who needs to take shelter behind fences and barriers because he feels threatened by his own citizens is not their leader.” More accurately, “he is their prisoner.”
But give the guy a break. It’s the closest he’s come to fulfilling a campaign promise, and it won’t matter to his dead-eyed worshippers anyway.
No matter what, they will all keep chanting to “Build the wall! Build that wall!”—in denial to the very end.