Readers React

From Reagan ('tear down this wall') to Trump ('a great, great wall')

To the editor: Kimball Taylor identifies the practical problems with Donald Trump's pledge that he “will build a great, great wall on our southern border.” He argues that it will be ineffective when migrants are coming here for economic reasons or fleeing political turmoil and will exact “a hefty price on our…collective dignity.” He urges us to seek better long-term solutions. ("History shows Trump's 'beautiful' border wall would be worthless," Opinion, March 20)

Taylor's piece made me think of the distance between Trump's statements and Ronald Reagan's, who, standing in front of another wall whose purpose was to prevent people seeking opportunity or fleeing repression from crossing a border, said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.... The wall cannot withstand freedom.”

Trump wants to make America great again. Has he forgotten what Reagan understood, that we became a great nation because of the promise inscribed on the Statue of Liberty? Letting anyone in is not the solution, but trying to close the door violates our fundamental principles.

Jonathan Hubbell, Laguna Niguel


To the editor: Taylor's piece has more holes than our current border fence. He says that a wall won't work because one can cut holes in a fence. Fences are not walls.

Then he tells us that migrants won't come for economic reasons if we have “fair economic policy.” So, the economic woes of other countries are the fault of our unfair policies? Should we send the countries south of us billions of dollars or more of our jobs?

As for solving “political turmoil” through a “just foreign policy,” any U.S. foreign policy that removes political turmoil in other countries is surely to be viewed as imperialistic. Taylor, not Trump, is the one with the fantasy.

Greg Chambers, Los Angeles


To the editor: Taylor neglects to mention a wall that has been most effective: the one Israel erected between itself and the West Bank to restrain would-be terrorists from blowing themselves up in Israeli public places.

The rate of such incidents has been reduced to practically zero since the construction of the wall.

Grace Nevell, Los Angeles 

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