Not so long ago…
“In our opinion the German people wish to have one united country. If the Soviet Union had lost the war, the Soviet people themselves would object to a line being drawn through Moscow and the entire country defeated in war. We wouldn’t like to have a line drawn down the Mississippi river.”
~John F. Kennedy
JFK was talking about the Berlin Wall, an infamous stretch of concrete supposedly put in place to keep the losers of World War II within the sight of Russian eyes. This wall kept the German people, mostly survivors of the war, not participants in it, from creating any more trouble. Although the tactic worked, the punishment was more severe than most of the people’s crimes. For decades the people of Eastern Berlin were oppressed. Their city was dreary and their eyes seemed to reflect that feeling. The opposite side, West Berlin, was a bustling, thriving hub of modernism. West Berlin kept up with the changes of the world. Its economy advanced. East Berlin remained stagnant. JFK was noting the distressing nature of the wall. I can’t help but wonder, “How would it have been different if JFK had succeeded in convincing the Soviets to tear down the wall?”
The analogy is not completely accurate for this day and age, I know. But I still love the quote. The idea of putting up a wall along the Mississippi is at once funny, appealing, and as ridiculous as a border between the United States and Mexico. And even though Mexico isn’t part of the U.S., it COULD be. If the U.S. didn’t incorporate and assimilate, we could at least be united in our goal to help the people of Mexico get better living conditions so they wouldn’t need to leave their homes. The two main problems they face are the drug pushers, and the government. Their government is unable to keep up with the drug lords. Either the drug lords have an invisible hand threatening the Mexican government, or the government is inept enough that they can’t control the malicious elements in their society. Either way, the result is the same: the mob rules.
People in America worry that the drug smugglers will have an easy time getting their drugs into the U.S. These worriers want to put up a wall because it makes them feel more secure. Unfortunately, a wall will not help the people who resort to drug smuggling to make a living wage decide to get a normal everyday job. It will only slow them down a little. In other words, a border wall doesn’t correct any bad behavior, it only creates a delay. A wall won’t promote aptitude in the Mexican government. It will only hide the lack of skilled governance. In fact, and sadly, a border wall would be a blatant exhibition of a lack in U.S. governance. A border wall would show how much the American people lack in empathy for their southern neighbors. A border wall would show the lack of control the American people have over their own government. A border wall between Mexico and the U.S. would show how the people of the U.S. have a lack of courage.
In conclusion, it is my opinion that an open border is not the problem. Lack of caring, lack of skilled and competent governing, lack of empathy and compassion, and lack of courage; these are the problems.