That Damn Wall (My First Campaign Promise)

Immigration reform is one of Donald Trump’s key projects as POTUS.

Mr. Trump and I simply could not see the issue more differently.

I still remember how I felt, the day I first heard about his proposal to build a wall to separate the United States from Mexico. My stomach churned. In my anger and bewilderment, I said, “If he builds that wall, I will tear it down myself.” Probably some swear words in there, too.

Trump’s wall is the symbolic antithesis of what I am all about as a human being and as an American.

A vision has been gestating within my heart for years. I believe it was as early as 2009, when I told my fiancee that my ultimate dream was to create a barrier-free world.

By barriers, I mean anything that hinders a life-form’s freedom, autonomy, and well-being. We’ll come back to the barrier-free world concept multiple times for policies other than immigration, because this vision is the bedrock for my proposed ideal reinvention of the system. True north, so to speak.

Many barriers in society are invisible, intangible concepts of socioeconomic nature.

Trump’s wall would be a physical barrier, which represents human division. It also represents a philosophically unsound ideological perspective.

Alas, it is essential to be clear that the #hicksyou2020 campaign is one of total inclusion and respect for every sentient life-form on Earth.

Including Donald J. Trump.

Including and respecting everyone means, including and respecting people who do not include and respect other human beings.

And it means, putting some mental energy into understanding why others operate the way they do.

When I criticize the wall, my words are not to condemn Trump.

I am a philosopher. The president is a businessman.

I am a futurist.The president is an opportunist.

I strive to invent more effective, efficient paradigms of thought and being, while the president is inclined to operate within modes of thinking and being which are already established and readily available.

Both of our approaches have virtues and weaknesses.

We’d do much better working together, than against each other.

Some of you abhor Trump so much, that you might have already rage-quit this post.

I get it, OK? I don’t take this stance because it’s easy, or comes naturally. It’s not and it doesn’t.

I take this stance, because love is what I believe in.

Every human being is like a cell in the larger body of humanity. When cells fight each other, the body decays. When cells synergize, the body flourishes.

It may seem like we’ve strayed from the topic of immigration, but we haven’t. We’re right on target.

It would be hypocritical and philosophically unsound for me to criticize Trump’s plans for a wall on the grounds that it would promote divisiveness, fear, bitterness, and tension in the human race, while also behaving and speaking divisively, and with anger, bitterness, and tension towards another human being.

Trump wants to build a physical wall, and that puts fire ants in a lot of people’s pants. Including mine, just to be absolutely clear.

And yet, we’re all wall-builders. We build walls with our words, attitudes, spite, and judgment of others.

The walls we build are every bit as divisive and powerful as ones comprised of atoms.

But this is not about wallowing in guilt over our established human tendencies.

It’s about being aware. So that we can take steps together, towards flipping the script.

All of this said, let me make my first deliberate campaign promise.

If Donald Trump succeeds in his plan to build a wall (in whole or in part), when I become president one of my first priorities will be to deconstruct it and re-purpose its materials as follows:

-To construct a monument at the border, a collaboration between artists, designers, politicians, architects and builders in Mexico and in the U.S.

The monument would symbolize partnership, cooperation, oneness, and dissolution of tension between our countries and also represent themes of harmony with the rest of the world.

-To build and expand schools, libraries, and community centers in Mexico and in the U.S.

-Send a chunk to Donald Trump, if he wants a memento of his accomplishment.

Yesterday, a vision played out in my mind.

I was on the debate stage with President Trump, and we were discussing his wall. It went like this:

me: “Well, one of the reasons I cannot support the completion of this endeavor, is because my heart gravitates towards love, acceptance, and inclusion, while the wall project is based on division and fear.”

Trump: “Based on fear. That’s a meaningless statement. There is no fear here. I am not afraid of anything.”

me: “All right, I apologize for my miscalculation. Then please clarify for me the purpose of the wall.”

Trump: “We need to keep the drugs out, Andrew. Keep out the illegals. We need to keep our nation safe and secure, protect our jobs, and let the rest of the world know that we’re not to be messed with. I don’t know why you can’t see that.”

me: “So you’re building a wall to protect yourself from things you’re not afraid of?”

Trump: “Maybe there’s some fear there, maybe. But that’s why I am building the wall. So that the fear stays on the other side.”

me: “I see. That’s what I meant by saying that the project was based on division and fear.”

Trump: “You make it sound like a flaw to protect ourselves from threats. You seem to be under the impression that the world is all cotton candy and unicorns. It’s not true. It’s just untrue. The world is dangerous, Andrew.”

me: “The world is evolving, Mr. Trump. Our hearts are expanding. We have more capability and knowledge today than ever before, to understand others’ needs, empathize with their plights, and to respond with love, compassion, and constructiveness.

You pride yourself as a builder, and I admire your skills. What you’ve built is beyond that of what I’ve accomplished tangibly in this world.

I am a builder too, an inventor. Instead of using brick and mortar, my materials are ideas, innovations, and philosophy. I’ve dedicated my life to understanding others, building bridges between seemingly-disparate perspectives, and seeing the world through the eyes of the future.

Imagine what we could accomplish, Mr. Trump, if we combined our skill sets…”

Then, the daydream ended.

But it lives on in my heart, and my hope is for this dream to wake up in other people’s hearts too.

Everything that’s real, starts off as a dream.

Let’s dream beautifully and live beautifully.

So far on this topic, we’ve been mostly delving into abstract philosophics.

In tomorrow’s post, let’s get more specific and explore the barriers that human beings face in terms of immigration.

Here are some more questions:

1. What barriers have you faced at the U.S. borders, whether as an immigrant or traveler? What have been your most frustrating experiences, and what could be done differently by the Institution to eliminate or reduce those frustrations in the future?

2. Envision the world in thirty years. What do you see?

Also published on Medium.