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Stop Trump’s border wall. America doesn’t need a symbol of fear

Migrants traveling with children walk up a hill to a waiting U.S. Border Patrol agent just inside San Ysidro, Calif., after climbing over the border wall from Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. | Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Walls are symbols of failure. Countries that fear the outside world build walls. Nations that lack a moral backbone build walls. Losers build walls.

No matter what President Trump says, there is no national emergency at the southern border. It’s a lie.

We have shared borders with Canada and Mexico since our nation’s founding. For most of that time, and as far as anyone living can recall, we have lived at peace with our neighbors to the north and south.

OPINION

Take a look around the world and you will see that is unique. Countries that share a border have long histories of warfare, ethnic hatred and generational feuds.

Over time, walls come to symbolize all that is vile to those locked out, or fenced in.

Those who live behind such walls are not seen as kind, generous or freedom-loving. And they almost never feel safe. They live in fear forever that their walls will be breeched. So, they build them higher, wider, stronger.

This national border emergency is as silly as our nation’s “just say no” to drugs campaign. Even as illegal narcotics poured into this country — enriching members of organized crime, financing Third World tyrants and killing our children — the most conservative politicians in this country urged everyone to “just say no.”

It was a slogan designed to appeal to the masses. Simple. Stupid. Ineffective.

A border wall will seem just as nutty someday, but it will remain a physical reminder of the way unreasonable fear caused our nation to turn against its own beliefs.

For those inside this country, it will represent barriers designed to protect the property of the powerful and meant to divide the nation racially and culturally.

For those outside the wall, it will represent the massive wealth of a country that purchased billions of dollars in illegal drugs each year, trafficked in human sex slaves and meddled in the internal affairs of our fellow American nations.

We have done far more harm to our fellow Americans south of the border than they have ever done to us.

It’s not just the wall that’s wrong. It’s the entire direction this country has taken since the beginning of the 21st Century.

We spy on our own citizens. Hold secret court proceedings. We have tortured prisoners in our custody and threatened the world with nuclear war.

We have kidnapped the children of immigrants at the southern border.

Our own fear drives all of this, even as we remain the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the history of the world.

People in South America, Central America and Mexico need our help. Many live in poverty. Their governments are corrupt. Their wives and children are threatened by drug lords and local gangs. Massive oceans never kept people in such circumstances from seeking a better life on foreign shores, and neither will a wall.

Yet, our political leader and his supporters prey on our fear of these persecuted people. This is the very same ruling class that pays for the sexual services of immigrants victimized by human trafficking, and hires them to work in their hotels and maintain their golf courses.

Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

Another great American had this to say, “I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.” That was George Washington.

I hope those worlds are inscribed on the wall if it is built. It would make a fitting epitaph for a nation that once dreamed of being better than all the rest.

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