President Trump presents a "typical standard wall design" as he participates in a roundtable discussion at the White House on Jan. 11. (Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
Columnist

“They say a wall is medieval — well, so is a wheel. A wheel is older than a wall. There are some things that work, you know what? A wheel works, and a wall works.” — President Trump

“They say it’s medieval. But so is the wheel, medieval. I look at all the vans … every one of those had the wheel … some things don’t change. Wheels and walls. They haven’t found an alternative to either of those two. Right? They haven’t found an alternative.” — Also Trump

Just because it is medieval does not mean it no longer works.

Medieval things are just as good as what we have in the present. Walls are medieval? Well, so are wheels! So, for that matter, is the Malleus Maleficarum, but I have yet to hear of a BETTER or more comprehensive manual for identifying whether someone is a witch! So is feudalism, and are you going to tell me with a straight face that we have come up with BETTER ways of apportioning land and resources since then? Medieval Times were bad? Would we voluntarily go to a restaurant whose theme was Bad Times? Nay, say I!

What other source of malady is there but an imbalance in the four humors? And how better to draw out the humors than by bleeding? What better means of classifying the human soul than into the four humors — melancholic, phlegmatic, sanguine or choleric? We are all bilious and have been bilious for hundreds of years.

Has a better mode of apportioning land and power than feudalism been invented? I’m waiting!

What better light than torchlight? What better food than a hunk of roasted pheasant? Are you telling me that you no longer store your robes (and transact other business) in a garderobe, and that you have determined a better hole to place your enemies in and forget them than the oubliette? If something better than the oubliette has been invented, then why is that where Trump’s tax returns have been for months?

What music is better to hearken to than the sound of the lute and sackbut? Indeed, I have yet to hearken to any sound more delightful than the sackbut.

The combination moat and drawbridge remains the No. 1 technology for keeping armored knights from penetrating your keep.

They used to imagine dragons — are we any different?

If you aren’t illuminating your manuscripts, what are you doing? If you do not have little men sitting in the O’s fishing or ailing kings making a gesture of blessing, your manuscript is not all that it could be.

You don’t like serfdom? Well, resistance is feudal.

Have we come up with anything that compares to the trebuchet as a technology for flinging missiles in siege warfare? Speaking of which, have we improved on siege warfare as a method for taking castles of rival lords? Is there a better geniture than primo? Is there a better way to govern than in solitary splendor in a castle, surrounded by truckling and terrified vassals?

Is there a better average age at which to perish than 30-ish? (I understand that this has changed; we are doing our best to lower it back.)

Is there anything better to hunt than pheasant? Than witches? Is there a better cause to dedicate yourself to than the pursuit of invisible enemies, unseen and noxious forces that require a great mustering of energy and much muttering of dire imprecations?

Sitting enthroned, surrounded by serfs, in a world lit only by torchlight: This is the American Dream.