Donald Trump has said a lot of stupid things, both as a private citizen and as a presidential candidate. But now that he's president, he's been given a bigger platform for his freeform bullshit, and we all have to pay attention, because you never know which of these ideas will suddenly become true. Out of all the stupid ideas Trump has put forth, though, the wall he wants to build along the Mexican-US border might be the most childish—an infantile solution to the immensely complex issue of illegal immigration that he's maintained a stubborn allegiance to.
The details of the wall, however, keep shifting. (Remember when Mexico was going to pay for it?) He intends to make the wall solar-powered, he recently announced, and that's not all. "One of the things with the wall is you need transparency," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday. Transparency in government is good, you might naïvely think. But hold your horses.
"You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can't see through that wall—so it could be a steel wall with openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall," the president explained. "And I'll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw over the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don't see them—they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It's over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall."
So this is the problem Trump envisions: You're hanging out on the border, being a regular good American, enjoying the solar panels in the middle of the desert, or whatever, and some drug trafficker catapults (this part is real; they do use catapults) a big bag of coke over the wall. You're dead! If only you could have looked through the wall! Oh well.
It's important to note that even in this insane fantasy, transparent border walls would not save you. What if the catapult was really far away? Or what if you were looking at your phone?
There are a lot of valid arguments to be made about why Trump is completely unfit for the presidency. But the most alarming one is that he really seems to have no idea about what's going on in the world. According to him, ISIS has a hotel, Barack Obama has a mysterious past, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is a "war zone," Obama wiretapped him, and he won the popular vote.
Trump could be lying about all these things, of course, but regardless of whether he's espousing his actual beliefs, what he says is still completely moronic. The more likely scenario is that Trump really believes most or all of these "facts," and is going around thinking about the dangers of opaque walls and ISIS hotels. It would be funny, except he's the president.
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