It was the summer of 2015 and The Wall was stoked. His life had just flipped over into an exciting new chapter. He was going to be “big and beautiful,” and he would stretch across the southern border of the US–almost 2,000 miles. And Mexico was going to pay for him! He was going to cost either $4 billion or $5 billion or even $7 billion. As if all that were not enough, he was going to stop crime and rapists and bring American jobs back!
“Wow,” thought The Wall. “I’m set for life.” And he settled down to daydream about his new career lording over vast plains of yucca and cactus.
Unfortunately, when the winter came and clouds rolled over head, The Wall found himself feeling a little blue. He was worried about his price tag, which had crept up to $8 billion, $10 billion or even $12 billion. He was also bothered by some really angry words that came from the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. Mr. Fox said the Mexicans would never pay for ”that fucking wall!” Also, Pope Francis had some kind of rough words, too. Traveling back to the Vatican from the border, the Pope said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
“WTH?” thought The Wall, even though truth be told, being on the wrong side of the Catholic Church made him super-anxious. But seriously, “Bridges? Really, Pope?”
That next summer an immigration plan was hatched, and The Wall was excited to be part of it. He was going to be “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful and beautiful.” And yes, Mexico was going to pay for him after all. He felt hope, but was also a little confused. In August, there was a new poll from Pew that had a lot of opinions and a lot of numbers. It said 63% of Republicans favored him but only 14% of the Democrats. Still, 79% of Trump supporters were for him, but only 10% of Clinton’s supporters. Overall, 61% of the American public opposed him and 24% said there should be ‘“better border security and stronger enforcement of immigration laws.”
At least he was sure of one thing. His job was to keep out bad hombres.
By fall The Wall had grown into a Talking Point, a Signature Campaign Promise and a Meme. He didn’t really understand if any of those concepts held water, but they sounded important. Plus, there was a new plan. Now, not only was he to be a Tremendous Wall, he was going to be the solution to New Hampshire’s opiod problem, keep out the dangerous drug dealers and stop that poison heroin epidemic. “Holy wow,” The Wall said to himself. “People in America are cheering my name!”
From Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania to Grand Rapids, Michigan to Greenville, Tennessee crowds were chanting “Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!” And that meant him.
Then in the new year everything changed. There was a new president in a White House, he had no political experience. There was a swamp. It was going to get drained. The Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Executive Order, 13767 was signed. And Fox News (who turned out to be no relation to Vicente) said that White House was planning for him to be 30 feet high, look good from the US side and be difficult to climb. Also, he was to have the best technology: above- and below-ground sensors plus towers and aerial surveillance to keep out criminal cartels.
“Dream come true,” The Wall whispered to himself, deciding to ignore a leaked report from the Department of Homeland Security that said he’d cost $21.6 billion. Anyway, it was only a matter of time before he was stretching across the border, staring at those cactuses.
At last, spring came. Global Warming shined down on Cherry Blossoms, who giggled and bloomed prematurely. Just as The Wall was finishing polishing his bricks in preparation for his new job, a group of Democratic staffers at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs published a report that estimated that he was going to cost a whopping $66.9 billion. That was a lot. Meanwhile, a negotiation arose over The Budget. At the same time, 100 Days started edging up to that White House, which blinked and decided that funding for The Wall would have to be delayed until at least September. “Oof,” said The Wall as he folded into himself, disintegrating into a pile of bricks.
Many dark days later, spent in bed with shades drawn, the covers over his head and a bottle of Laphroaig, The Wall decided that he was finally beginning to feel a little less like the poster boy for American Carnage. Maybe it was time to lift his heart and heal his division. With his chin up, The Wall crafted a tweet and sent it off to friends and trolls alike. He was taking a leave of absence in order to spend more time with his family!
Now the only question, what next?
“I know,” The Wall thought, launching LinkedIn and checking to see who’d viewed his profile, ”I’ll start by pinging my old friend, Mara Lago!
Stay tuned for more QZ Flip-Flop Fables you can share with friends! Including:
Peek inside the Oval Office
A Rude Awakening
The Cold, Cold War. A NATO Primer
We Got a New Cabinet!
Does Your Renminbi Float?
Repeal & Replace and the Hard Line
Mr. Muslim Ban Gets Held Up in Court
Carl the Carrier Corrects Course