Who would have thought a wall between the U.S. and Mexico would end up becoming such a wedge issue. I mean, it’s just a freaking wall, not a WMD for Chrissake.

But it’s what that wall represents that counts.

When Donald J. Trump stood in his eponymous tower and announced his intent to run for President, he made fixing America’s broken immigration system and border security his signature issue. And he made building a wall one of his powerful rallying cries.

I’m not sure if it was a democratic strategist’s brainchild or something that happened organically, but the left made the wall a symbol of Trump’s nationalistic America first policies, and blocking its construction the cornerstone of their resist movement.

And through some creative semantic sleight of hand — conflating legal and illegal immigration and equating border security to xenophobia – the left also managed to make Trump’s wall the antithesis of just about everything progressives stand for. You know, equality, diversity and inclusion, illegal immigrants flooding the nation and all that.

I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on, you have to marvel at the effectiveness of the anti-wall campaign. Even with control of Congress the President was unable to secure funding to build his wall. And now the Dems have the House and Washington’s purse strings.

Remember Barack Obama’s red line in the sand moment? The partial government shutdown was Trump’s. The problem, as I said to Kim back in December – on the day of that contentious meeting between the President and Chancy (Chuck and Nancy) – is that Trump has no leverage.

Nothing has changed, except that Trump has earned a new nickname: Caveman. And here we are.

Last week I wrote that a MAGA hat is just a hat, and those who allow themselves to be triggered by it are just using that as an excuse for bad behavior. That’s true. Also true is that MAGA is symbolic of Trump’s agenda. As is Trump’s wall.

It’s fascinating how much symbolism can be attached to anything, even inanimate objects. With the right kind of political positioning and plenty of reinforcement, just about anything can be weaponized to move mobs of people to action.

So what happens now? Will Trump go the national emergency route? Beats the hell out of me. All I know is both sides want immigration reform and border security. The American people want immigration reform and border security. I can see a deal getting done – if it weren’t for that damned wall.

Image credit Gage Skidmore (Trump) / AFGE (Pelosi) / Flickr