U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric about building a “Great Wall” between the United States and Mexico is evaporating like a mirage in America’s vast southwest desert.
“Most of his supporters knew the Great Wall was baloney,” James Ryder, a Denver Republican strategist, told Xinhua on Tuesday.
“But they don’t care — he can do whatever he wants,” the 62-year-old lifelong Republican insider said. “They just wanted a change in Washington and to keep (Democratic candidate Hillary) Clinton out of the White House.”
“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border … and I will make Mexico pay for that wall,” Trump regurgitated many times during the heated 2016 presidential campaign. “It is something that can be absolutely done … and not done at tremendous cost.”
Less than a month after one of the most contentious and controversial elections in U.S. history, words of Trump’s drum-beat-themed “Great Mexico Wall” have all but vanished in the wind.
Last week Trump admitted that he would consider “fencing” and other budget-conscious alternatives to stop illegal immigrant from crossing the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border.
His top advisor Newt Gingrich even referred to the wall as a “campaign device” the day after the election.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, told CBS News on Sunday that the wall would be “a fence in places, or a barrier, or something else that secures the border.” He also rejected Trump’s idea of a deportation force to send undocumented immigrants out of the United States, another retreat from a campaign promise.
But at a Dec. 1 victory rally in Cincinnati, Trump supporters were still screaming the chant, “Build the Wall!”
“When Trump compared the Great Wall of China to his Mexico-USA wall, we all laughed,” Denver college history professor and WWII veteran John Yee told Xinhua.
Yee was a member of the legendary Flying Tigers (1941-1942) and worked in the control room with Claire Lee Chennault, one of the top generals in U.S. history.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says he won’t pay for the wall. And a 2015 CNBC study said the 2,000-mile-long wall would cost tens of billions of dollars and was virtually impossible due to easements and private property ownerships.
“It brought American politics down to a new, low level,” Seattle attorney and Washington insider David Richardson told Xinhua. Richardson spent years working on Capitol Hill in the 1980s and was an activist during the administration of Ronald Reagan.
“(The wall) is an easy, symbolic scapegoat for many who lost their manufacturing jobs to the forces of technological automation and the competitive global market. The wall said: keep out competition,” Richardson told Xinhua.
“The Chinese built the greatest wall in the history of the earth, and it didn’t keep anybody out,” emphasized Yee, who taught Chinese history at the University of Colorado in the 1960s. “If you study history for five minutes you realize all these walls never worked … they never stopped anybody … from Troy, to the Maginot Line, to Hadrian’s Wall, to the Ming Dynasty’s 13,000-mile wall,” he added.
And, as many predicted, Trump’s “Great Wall” has now faded into obscurity. “Sure, he will build some wall sections, put up fences, and the media will make a big deal about it … but it’s all for show,” Richardson said. “The unbelievable thing is, it worked.”
Source: Peter Mertz, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh