The United States-Mexico border, as we know it today, began with a party: a three-day shindig in 1849 that was attended by the surveyors from both countries who worked together to establish and map the frontier.

When the surveyors’ work was done, they erected a marble marker overlooking a lonely beach on the Pacific Ocean. The first iron fence erected at the border in California was a cage to protect that monument from vandals.

The United States built the first truly formidable border barrier here in the 1990s. In March, President Trump traveled to the border to stand before eight prototypes of the wall he wants to build there.

But, a “wall” already exists all along the border. Mr. Trump’s proposed “big, beautiful” barrier would be overkill, and little more than an act of political symbolism. It would be a taxpayer-funded work of colossal conservative conceptual art running across the North American continent. (In fact, in January, a nonprofit group circulated a petition to protect the prototypes from demolition, arguing that they should be characterized as “a major Land Art exhibition” of “significant cultural value.”) In the same way certain pretentious art drives practical-minded people crazy, the idea of this Pharaonic project infuriates people like me.

Read on, courtesy of The New York Times


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