Experts agree: Trump’s promised wall between the U.S. and Mexico is probably not going to happen. But that does not make the idea itself any less harmful or indicative of a country gone wrong.

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In much the same way that the Statue of Liberty does not actually facilitate immigrants’ safe passage and prosperous assimilation into the U.S., even less so would Trump’s proposed wall along the nation’s southern border actually stop those seeking refuge from entering unabated.

But like so many other promises made by the now president, the wall is merely as a figurative fantasy; one designed and distributed ad-nauseam to placate the delusions of the alt-right and its lesser yet equally misinformed ilk.

Since early 2016, Trump’s great and fearful wall spanning the 2,000 mile expanse between the U.S. and Mexico was a central talking point of his campaign.

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” he said. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

But now – some three months into his so-far-befuddled presidency – the administration is walking back its promise due in large part to its inability to deliver on such audacious promises within the confines of reality.

Anti-immigration supporters wearing 'Mr. Trump Build That Wall' at a pro-Trump rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 22 February 2016.
Anti-immigration supporters wearing ‘Mr. Trump Build That Wall’ at a pro-Trump rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 22 February 2016.

“The president and his surrogates have been laying the groundwork for this retreat for months,” writes Elise Foley at The Huffington Post, “saying the ‘wall’ wouldn’t need to span the entire border, could be technological, and could supplement existing fencing, even though the president has criticized that fencing and publicly claimed a new wall was necessary.”

“If the muddle is successful,” Foley continues, “it would mean Trump could add some border fencing and technology, and then claim victory for creating his wall without actually building the new structure he promised.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said that a wall itself would not only fail to resolve border security issues, but would is unlikely to even be a wall at all.

“It’s unlikely that we will build a wall or physical barrier from sea to shining sea,” Kelly said, adding “but it is very likely – I’m committed to putting it where the men and women say we should put it.”

But still, the wall’s civilian proponents – the ones screaming about “losing American jobs to illegals” and how “Donald Trump will keep us safe” – need this fantasy to feel secure and spoken for.

The president’s incessant promises over walls and borders (not to mention travel bans and Muslim registries, but that’s for another post) rallied his would-be voters into a frenzy time and time again; true believers thinking, hoping, praying, knowing with full faith and conviction that he was the one who would finally save them from the intruders who would threaten them.

A Donald Trump supporter flexes his muscles with the words "Build The Wall" written on them as Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Plattsburgh, N.Y. on April 15, 2016. (Elise Amendola / AP)
A Donald Trump supporter flexes his muscles with the words “Build The Wall” written on them as Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Plattsburgh, N.Y. on April 15, 2016. (Elise Amendola / AP)

Despite statistics proving the exact opposite of their predictions, Trump’s supporters stand by the idea that an actual physical wall would stop illegal immigration, fatten their wallets, improve their schools, secure their jobs; all fantasies born of the very fear and loathing that has incubated within the socially conservative base for decades.

His promises – a constant placebo for the nationalism-addicts – were everything they needed to get by while succumbed to the darkest, dullest visions of America.

Neither Secretary Kelly nor the president has offered any recent, narrowed-down costs for the project, though estimates place it upwards of $20 billion. And while there is still no secured funding for the project, over 200 design and construction firms have already submitted bids.

The Trump Administration has offered little else in the way of planning for the president’s greatest campaign promise, other than Donald Trump himself lauding the idea as “beautiful.” For their part, the DHS has ensured that construction bids would be judged on aesthetics.

Because, as with everything stamped with Trump’s name, superficial is as superficial does.

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Native to Phoenix, Arizona, Bernard is an active LGBTQ rights activist, writer and documentarian currently living in San Diego, CA. As an educated theologian, his work often examines the social impact of religion and politics both in America and abroad.