ON THURSDAY, PRESIDENT Donald Trump stressed the importance of a particular feature of his proposed border wall: transparency. His reason? Without it, a 60-pound bag of heroin might fly over, and hit an unassuming passerby on the head, striking them dead.
The vivid image invites flashbacks to Chuck Jones cartoons, and more than a few questions. But to take it on its merits: Yes, drugs do fly over the wall. But … not like that. And it has precious little to do with your border wall’s opacity.
‘As Crazy As That Sounds’
First, the full quote from President Trump, to establish some parameters of exactly we’re exploring here.
“As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them–they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of the stuff? It’s over,” the President said aboard Air Force One yesterday, according to the official White House transcript. “As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.”
OK, there’s that.
Now I See You
Let’s start with the idea that a wall should be ‘transparent.’ Which, actually, yes. Homeland Security Secretary has said in multiple interviews that the wall would be “see-through,” in parts, which sounds like science fiction, but in practice likely means a chainlink fence, or offset, corrugated steel.