If there is one singular moment this election keeps circling back to and it’s The Wall. A 15 foot wall meant to cover the 2,000 mile long border between Mexico and the U.S. through rivers, deserts, and mountains, and be the end all be all of illegal immigration. Financially and physically unfeasible it speaks volumes about the state of the nation because of it’s ability to polarize. We are a nation divided. Do we fix ourselves first or do we fix the world? Our jobs or ISIS? Can we do it all?
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have highlighted- though in different ways- the same subsection of America. Those convinced, perhaps rightly so, that America’s economy is rigged against them, built by and for a class of people who make up less than 1% of the population.
The same steady and impenetrable gloom that hangs over the economy hovers around race relations- only worsened by the shootings of white police officers in Dallas and the increasingly larger number of blacks killed seemingly without cause all over the nation.
These things have created one central viewpoint: America is going to Hell. The only things most Americans would disagree on is the why and the how of that statement. There is a sentiment that we need to, as a nation, return to something that we once were, a time that, if asked, most people could not pinpoint on an actual timeline. We were all raised to believe America was something other than what we, respectively, see today, and so we fight against our government and each other for the revival of a nostalgic time in America’s history which may have never existed at all. We just keep building walls.
The Wall however, is a different story. It’s a very distinct idea separating one side of America’s spiral into catastrophe from the other. The Wall is a crossing point for two subsections of America, two massively split parties, and perhaps it’s creator may be the downfall of Republican party all together. We are a country of those who believe that America is broken, but have very different ideas as to why– very different ideas of how to fix it– and even more different ideas of where our priorities lie.
Do we build a wall, furthering the idea that the problems America fixes today are the fault of an “other”. Do we stop and say that if we want America to be “great” again we have to be able to decide what that greatness was? Do we stop and ask, with a willingness to find an actual answer, where are we going? Where did we come from? What does it have to teach us? It is painfully true that this election is like no other ever seen before, but the catastrophe America has lying at it’s feet is not new at all. We have all the answers but will only be more incapable of finding them if we continue to only look within ourselves for the answers.
A wall is not what America needs to be great, we need cooperation and selflessness; politicians who are willing to actually work for the people that elect them, not for a reelection. We need people willing to be tolerant and who understand that to be American is to be of everywhere and absolutely nowhere simultaneously. We are a nation divided, but we don’t have to be.