Robert Frost was clearly on to something when he declared a liberal to be a “man” (sic) too broadminded to take his own side in an argument.” There is much to be said too for “good fences make good neighbors,” a wise, avuncular pronouncement, not at all mean-spirited.
Those words no longer seem quite so benign after Donald Trump and his wall, the one that was supposed to span the entire southern border and for which Mexico would pay. Trump’s wall is a kind of fence, and it is hard to see how it is good for anything, much less for making good neighbors.
Could it be that, on border security, Frost, a hard-nosed, cantankerous poet, a political ally of Henry Wallace and John Kennedy, harbored sentiments similar to Donald Trump’s?
I hope not. It would be disheartening to think that a major American poet and “a racist, a conman, and a cheat,” a major embarrassment to the human race, would have anything of importance in common.
In more normal times, this would go without saying. But, of course, these are not normal times. This isn’t entirely Individual Number One’s fault. But, for the world’s current state of befuddlement, no one is more culpable.
If we want to Make America Great Again – not in Trump’s sense, but according to what those words actually mean – then, insofar as the facts allow, we should honor, not demean, the giants of American letters.
And if we want to stop…