Sen. Kevin Cramer has recently given lots of attention to President Trump’s proposed wall at the Mexican border. In a recent opinion piece, he was very critical of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and a construction firm they contracted. I was not sure why that was something of vital interest to the North Dakotans he represents. A Washington Post news story published in the May 26th Forum explains it.
It turns out that Cramer has talked to Trump about a Dickinson firm, Fisher Industries, that would like to build the wall. Just coincidentally, CEO Tommy Fisher and members of his family donated thousands of dollars to Cramer’s recent election campaign.
Trump and Cramer claim that the North Dakota firm can build a wall faster and cheaper than anyone else. Trump knows because he saw it on Fox News. Of course, Fisher has the right to submit a plan and a bid like anyone else. In fact, they already have but were not chosen. Since neither Trump nor Cramer are civil engineers, I would much more trust the Army Corps of Engineers to assess the design and choose a contractor.
The whole idea of a wall, a fifth century solution to twenty-first century problems, was never part of a studied plan. Whatever you may think are problems at the border, a wall does not begin to solve any of them. The wall was just campaign talk used by Trump to fire up certain people that are part of his base. And, of course, Mexico is going to pay for it.
One good thing (or less bad thing) that has come from recent developments is changing the wall design from concrete to steel. When everyone realizes how asininely stupid this is, the steel can be melted down and made into something useful.