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Today in 2020 Politics: the Border Wall vs the Statue of Liberty

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Trump heads to Arizona; Schumer heads to New York harbor

Today, Donald Trump heads to Arizona to hug his border wall. Tonight, Chuck Schumer delivers his convention speech in front of the Statue of Liberty. 

Trump will demonize immigrants, claim inaccurately that his wall saved us from the pandemic, and thrill his shrinking core of white grievance voters. Reportedly he will have the illegally-appointed Chad Wolf and the soon-to-be-forgotten Martha McSally by his side. 

Schumer will extol the virtues of immigration, call for a new roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in America, and speak to the multiracial majority that wants big solutions to long-overdue challenges.  

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

In this existential moment of truth for the American experiment, voters face a stark choice. The chasm between the two parties could not be bigger or clearer.

Today, the leader of the monochromatic GOP celebrates an ineffective and expensive border wall. It is being paid for by taxpayers (not Mexico) with funds raided from military and disaster relief appropriations and built by corrupt contractors to serve the political interests of a president who has failed to protect the nation from a deadly pandemic. Trump’s purpose is to deflect from his historic inability to protect the nation at home and send a signal that Republicans want to wall off the world, especially from ‘the non-white other.’

Today, a leader of the diverse Democratic Party celebrates the Statue of Liberty. It is a symbol of America’s tradition of welcoming people from all over the world in an historic effort to forge a nation that extends freedom, justice and equality to one and all, regardless of birthplace or background. Schumer’s purpose is to embrace the polyglot nature of this nation of shared ideals and send a signal that Democrats want to formally recognize 11 million undocumented immigrants — many of whom risk their lives as essential workers — as the Americans they already are. 

The choice is between a retrograde America anchored in blood-and-soil ethnonationalism and a forward-looking America aspiring to multiracial, multiethnic egalitarianism. The outcome will determine the viability of the American experiment.