Qin, Hadrian, Trump

A frequent English correspondent from Stratford-upon-Avon who contributes regularly to this magazine wrote recently to express the frustration mockers of Donald Trump’s Big Beautiful Wall have been causing him.  Hadrian’s Wall, he pointed out, begun in a.d. 122 by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to keep the Picts and other barbarians from invading England from the north, was extremely effective.  So was the Great Wall of China, on which construction began in the seventh century b.c. and continued under Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, and later the Ming Dynasty, in controlling immigration, emigration, and customs enforcement.  Why then, this man asks, is Trump’s Wall widely treated as a ludicrous fantasy by Trump’s opponents?

A recent article in the New York Times attempted to explain exactly why, at very great length.  “Experts,” it seems, claim the Wall is an impossibility for geologic, geographic, hydrological, biological, zoological, environmental, technical, political, and economical reasons.  The Wall could not cross rivers.  Parts of it would rest on unstable ground.  It would disrupt animal migrations north and south.  It would violate established water rights, and international treaties with Mexico concerning riverine flows.  A 50-foot wall would have to be grounded on a foundation of implausible depth to prevent its tipping over. ...

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