Last week we got together with several of our longtime friends, and, like many Americans, we eventually spoke of the sad state of current national affairs.

One friend had a very insightful comment that the last time a wall was part of our national news was when then-President Ronald Reagan declared “tear down this wall.” I believed that instilled a lot of pride in nearly all Americans.

Another friend asked why there is no discussion of our other borders, which really got me to thinking about our current impasse. The president is demanding $5.7 billion to build a wall across less than 250 miles of the U.S. southwestern border. So, the real question is whether the $5.7 billion is better spent helping protect our entire U.S. border – across land, sea, air or internet. To speak of less than 5 percent of our security problem seems to trivialize the real and complex issue.

In two recent speeches, President Trump mentioned the wall around the Vatican, and more recently he mentioned that wealthy Americans build security walls around their homes. The obvious problem with these examples is that they describe a completely enclosed secure zone – not a very arbitrary tiny fence.

I was fortunate to have been brought up in Hancock County surrounded by some old-time “flannel and wool” Down Easters who were short on cash but long on common sense. Were they still on this earth today, I am certain what their comments would be.

“Everyone wants their chickens to be safe and secure, but only a damn fool builds a one-wall chicken house. It don’t keep nothing in, and it sure don’t keep nothing out!”

Jerry Blodgett


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