The wall is one of the more common metaphors in the English language. If you said that a proposal met “a wall of opposition,” most people would understand that you were not describing a literal vertical barrier. The metaphor can even be used in slightly more complex ways, such as in the famous Pink Floyd album, which is still simple enough to be understood by your average stoned teenager.
In an interview last night with former president Trump, Sean Hannity tried one of the more basic variations of the metaphor. “There’s no course correction with” President Biden, Hannity asserted. “He seems locked into every one of these failed policies. So, you know, you know, you keep banging your head against the wall. Why would you expect a different result?”
The trick to acing a Hannity interview is that he is usually handing his subject the answer in the question. Here, Trump merely needed to reiterate the “question” as an answer: Yes, Sean, Biden keeps banging his head against the wall. It’s like taking a true-false test where every answer is true.
Instead, the metaphor flummoxed him, and Trump — after a few seconds of confused silence — went straight into his material about building the wall:
Well, we would have had the wall completed in three weeks. It was largely completed. We did almost 500 miles of wall in the southern border … [Trump continues his border wall riff.]
At the risk of introducing another metaphor Trump might not understand, it’s like talking to a wall.
As a side note, imagine having four years to complete a border wall that was your central campaign promise and having the project fail because you came three weeks short of completion. Why is he boasting about this when, by his own account, he would have completely secured the southern border if he just started the thing a few weeks earlier?