“We Need Wall”

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December 20, 2018 3:12 p.m.
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Here’s one of the weirder dimensions of late 2018 Trumpism. For reasons that are not entirely clear to me the word has apparently come down from the White House that the wall, as in the wall to be built along the southern border, must now be called “wall”. In other words, no definite article, no “the”. President Trump now does this. It was part of a DHS press release a week ago. And today in a congressional hearing, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Rep. Tom Marino: “From Congress I would ask for wall. We need wall.”

This is clearly supposed to make some point. But honestly, I’m not sure what the point is. I imagine there have been private conversations in which White House advisors have told cabinet officials “I know you’ll sound dumb. But that’s the way the President wants it and that’s final. ‘We want wall. Give me wall.'”

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