Thursday, January 10, 2019

Border Fence, Common Sense

My new fence
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.
~ Robert Frost, Mending Wall

I had a new fence installed across my rear property line today. How timely.

The old fence was rickety, full of dry rot, and starting to lose boards. The neighbor's house on the other side faces onto a main road, in close proximity to a bus stop and tons of traffic. Uncounted people pass within yards of my property each day. Call me crazy, but I like to feel safe in my home. The fence was a large expenditure, but I feel more comfortable now that a secure barrier encloses my little piece of God's earth.

The need for a wall or fence along the southern border is simply my personal situation, writ large. Just as my house is my home, the United States is our national home. So many unknown people attempt to breach its border, just as the many strangers that pass by my home each day might wander into my yard if no fence existed. A border fence will cost some money to build, yes, just as my own fence did. It's worth the cost to protect our country, along with everyone in it. What is so difficult for Democrats to understand?

I'd prefer not to spend money on a fence. I'd much rather be able to see all the way past my yard, my neighbor's yard, and off into the distance. I'd like to be able to welcome any unknown person who stepped into my garden. But the fact is, I would not be safe in that situation. Walls and fences work quite effectively as protective barriers. They have worked since "medieval" times up to this very day. As Frost's classic poem Mending Wall reminds us, "Good fences make good neighbours." There's a current of common sense embedded in this beautiful poem, a timeless message about careful stewardship, keenly relevant for any era.