I have been vaguely aware of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 for some time now, but I am a bit concerned that this promising structure may never realize its full potential unless someone gets behind it with a really good marketing strategy.
As originally proposed, this baby was going to stretch nearly 700 miles along the 1950-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico. And soon there were visionaries who proposed a complete barrier that would cover the entire expanse! But after two years, only 300 or so miles of ugly fencing has been erected.
As the Christian Science Monitor aptly reports: "Only a fraction of the new barriers resemble anything like the images of formidable fencing - the Berlin Wall or the bleak monolith that divides Israel and the West Bank - envisioned by the initial proposal." What's up with that? We want a wall, damn it.
Of course, the problem involves resistance from goody two-shoes who lack the intestinal fortitude to make a statement. Local landowners and Native American Indians and civic leaders... you know the types. Why can't they just get on board with the new program that is the United States?
Sure, there was a time when we built bridges and tore down walls, but that was in olden times, back in the 20th century. Now we have a new imperative. Forget the whole Statue of Liberty thing; we really don't want your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Then again...
We want to protect what we have and keep everyone else out. That's the new order.
So how do we make it happen? It all starts with the wall. It must be big... huge. It must make a statement. It must be so intense that people will travel from all around the globe just to see it. It must become an attraction... a point of destination. It must demand attention.
It must shout: "This is the [insert sponsor name] Wall, look at how effective I am at keeping the wretched refuse, the homeless and the tempest tossed out of our land." It's just the shot in the arm that our national ego needs.
And here is the added bonus: the sponsor naming rights alone will cover the cost of construction and maintenance. It is a win-win scenario.
Enough with all the rhetoric from thoughtful guys like Ted Turner and activists like Jesse Ventura. It's the 21st century already; time to concede to Lou Dobbs and Git r Done.