Republican presidential candidate hopeful Donald Trump has said repeatedly that when elected he will erect a wall along the Mexico-US border. Not only will he have it installed, but Mexico will pay for the project. As is the case with most of his promises, Mr. Trump is a little sketchy on the details of just how he will get the Mexican Government to pay for the wall, but don’t worry about that….
Mr. Trump seems to have adopted the Frito Bandito approach to Mexico and Mexicans. In the sixties and seventies the Lays potato chip people marketed their Fritos corn chips with a cartoon character of what they evidently assumed was a typical Mexican; a bandito. The association of Mexican Americans finally succeeded in having the mascot changed.
But now fellow GOP hopeful, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has trumped Mr. Trump by suggesting a wall be constructed along the Canada-US border. That’s 5,525 miles, almost three times the length of the Mexico-US border which is 1,989 miles.
Before I continue let me go on the record as but one solitary Canadian and state that I’m not paying for any wall!!
Cross-border shopping is a multi-billion dollar – yep, that’s billion with B as in Boston – industry annually. Even with our small Canadian dollar many folks dash across the border (at the appropriate crossing points) to spend. We share the longest unprotected border in the world (although I imagine anyone who has been caught with an extra package of Freihofer’s Chocolate Chip cookies stashed in the trunk may argue the “unprotected” claim).
I believe that the vast majority of cross border shoppers enter and exit the U.S. at legal crossing points. No doubt with a border of such great length, there are some crossing at unmanned places. But what are they doing once they cross? Most likely buying gas. In an era when many borders are being erased, perhaps that would be the way to go here.
So I can’t help but wonder why Governor Walker would want to tamper with that flow of cash into his country, especially given his state’s location so close to the Canadian border?
Governor Walker is a well-known union-buster. Could he be concerned that the leaders of Canada’s heavily unionized labor force will infiltrate the U.S.? Does our way of life including socialized healthcare, grain pools and no-fault car insurance make him nervous?
The largest city in Wisconsin is Milwaukee; long a centre of beer brewing. Is it possible Governor Walker is suggesting a wall be erected to protect an influx of Canadian brewers who might introduce alcohol to the process of brewing American beer? What’s that you say? There already is alcohol in American beer? C’mon … you’re teasing!
Alas if Governor Walker is elected president and follows through on his plan may I suggest the wall be made of orange traffic cones. Anyone who has tried to get around a Canadian city during the summer knows that we have an abundance of these markers. Just string them out along the border. With no wall in place we obey the rules, so there really is no need for a concrete structure.