Opinion | Hamilton: Walls: Then, and now
First, let’s dispense with the ignorant hysteria about presidential declarations of national emergency. In all, there have been 58 such declarations. President Clinton declared 17, President G.W. Bush 13, and President Obama 12. Thirty-one declarations remain in effect to this day.
Turning to America’s need for secure borders, and Robert Frost notwithstanding, “Good fences do make good neighbors.” Ask any dog owner who does not want his female dog made pregnant by his neighbor’s male dog.
In fact, “walls” may have been humankind’s first invention. When humankind decided to stop being nomads and take up farming, walls were viewed as a useful, labor-saving invention. To keep precious farm animals from wandering off, some poor shepherd boy might have said, “I am sick and tired of chasing these animals over hill and dale. So, I am going to pile up some stones around these animals and keep them in one place while I grab some sleep.”
Or, an early farmer might have said, “I am tired of my neighbor’s pigs eating my veggies. So, I’m piling up stones to keep them out.” Thus, early humankind learned that you can wall-in, and you can wall-out. For example: The Great Wall of China.
After the Romans conquered England, they were constantly invaded by those Haggis-smuggling Scots and ax-wielding Vikings, coming down from the north. The Romans did not have enough legionnaires to guard from sea-to-sea across the narrow waist of England. So, in 122 A.D., the Empower Hadrian built a 73-mile-long, manpower-saving, stone wall which still exists and is popular with tourists who have been known to hike along Hadrian’s Wall from one coast to the other.
In 1946, another famous wall was the Soviet-built Iron Curtain that stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea, effectively dividing free Europeans from captive Europeans. In August, 1961, the Berlin Wall was put in place to prevent the people of Socialist East Berlin from emigrating into Capitalist West Berlin. But, by November 8, 1989, the people of East Berlin revolted against the Soviet-imposed regime and took down the Berlin Wall. Eventually that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. By 1991, the Iron Curtain was gone, as well.
Unfortunately, some Latin American countries have chosen Socialism as their economic model (Comrades Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Ocasio-Cortez pay attention!), resulting in wide-spread poverty under the corrupt rule of dictators such as Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro. Desirous of some of the wealth produced by the Capitalist United States, migrants are flocking to our southern border by the thousands.
While many Americans admire the noble sentiment of taking in the “huddled masses yearning to be free,” we cannot open our borders to any and all who wish to cross our borders and still continue our current economic progress, to include preserving our standards of health and sanitation.
Like the Romans of old, we do not have enough soldiers to guard our southern border from Texas to the Pacific Ocean. Consequently, we must resort to walls as labor-saving devices. Placed at strategic locations and backed by modern technology, walls can reduce the flow of dangerous drugs, human trafficking, terrorists, and other violent criminals into our country. A no-brainer.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Dr. Hamilton is the author of The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: the Sage of Sheepdog Hill, Pegasus Imprimis Press (2017). “Central View,” can also be seen at: http://www.central-view.com.
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