The Wall

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times and it was published on Dec 26, 2018. I have included the original text–their version gets to the meat of the subject, but is somewhat abbreviated.

There should be no walls in the wilderness…

The poor cannot eat a wall. While bridges fail, forests burn, veterans sleep under bridges, the waters at our shorelines rise, and roads run rough with disrepair, we build a wall. Truckers cannot drive over it, it holds back no floodwaters, it cannot transmit or generate power, cannot carry fresh water, and cannot grow crops. It cannot cure disease, and cannot solve our manifest problems of suffering and political strife, only make them worse. And still, we spend billions on it–even donate millions to pirate GoFundMe sites which only enrich those who would prey on our stupidity. We deny earned pay to our workers as we wrangle while we ignore the truth and reality, but still, we build it. 

The wall and all that it represents is a monument to all that is wrong with our once great country. Its foundations and fences, its posts and concrete, this scar upon the once pristine wilderness, will stand forever in history. The politicians who call for it, the judges who nod, and the voters who scream for it will long be remembered as accomplices. 

And we let it happen. We voted for fast-talking con men saying anything to win votes, or we stayed home or voted for others who diluted our strength. Those who voted against this madness, this corruption, this immorality, this traitor to his wives and country were not enough. And yet, he still has two years to finish destroying all that we’ve created these last two hundred years. And there are those who still support him. Still. After all he has done. Still.

William Vaughn, Redmond, WA


Not long after this letter was published, someone posted a rebuttal saying the wall was essential for the security of the nation. He asked if I had a fence.
This is my reply:

Mr. Bowman: Yes, I do have a fence around my property. It’s to keep the Bobcats, stray dogs, and wandering deer away from my cats, and my wife’s flowers. We all do. Unfortunately, the wildlife still jumps over and digs under it. But it’s not there to stop people from trying to enter my property in search of help. For that, my gates are unlocked. Of course, they need not go into my backyard, as all they have to do is knock on my front door. And yes, when people in need come to me for help, I do what I can. When they’re lost, or being threatened, or just cold and hungry, I try to help. Most of us do. I don’t think everyone I see is a criminal looking to take advantage of me. I think there are millions of families displaced by the economic hardships we have imposed upon them by our inept and short-sighted foreign policies and yes, the misuse of our massive military. We should expect these tired, these huddled masses, these people yearning to breathe free, and the wretched refuse to keep knocking on our doors. After all, we invited them. For them, I leave my porch light burning.

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