After fighting to tear down one wall, America looks to build another

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall fell 27 years ago today - a day when a wall may have determined who people voted for in this year's presidential election.

In 1961, GDR head of state Walter Ulbricht in East Berlin said: "Nobody has the intention of building a wall." 

More than twenty years later, Reagan was pursuing a simple Cold War strategy ("We win, they lose"), urging the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall in June 1987.”

Today, only several small stretches of the Wall remain at the original Berlin sites. One has been turned into one of the world’s biggest street art exhibitions. Another tells the history of the wall in signposts. A German group wants to rebuild a whole segment of the Wall, including the Death Strip, as a historical attraction, in the vein of Auschwitz, but plans have not so far come to fruition.

Is history repeating itself?

During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump proposed building a border between the United States and Mexico to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

"It can have a gate, it can have a door, we'll let people in legally, but we have to stop what's happening to our country," he said last year, referring to the alleged $113 million dollars spent on illegal immigrants.

Exit polls from Tuesday’s voting suggest that the border proposal has not earned major support among voters. A total of 54% of voters said they were opposed to the idea of a wall.

Surveys conducted for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall show three-quarters of East Germans said the fall of the wall had improved their lives, with only 15% insisting that life had been better before. Half of West Germans feel they have benefited from the reunification.

Mr Trump flew to Mexico to meet the country's president, Enrique Peña Nieto, to discuss the building of a wall.  Mr Trump, reportedly, did not discuss the issue of who would pay for the wall. At previous rallies, he has suggested that the cost will be footed by the Mexican government. It's estimated that the border would cost upwards of $25 million, according to the Washington Post.

Peña Nieto later said the political leaders had discussed the wall and he had "made it clear" that Mexico wouldn't pay for it. "At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall," Peña Nieto tweeted. He also called Trump "a threat to Mexico."

There are more than 3,200 kilometres separating Mexico and the United. The Berlin Wall stretched over 140 kilometres. Twenty seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Americans have voted in someone who is preparing to do the same thing they fought to remove elsewhere.

"The division caused by his campaign is a reminder of the Berlin Wall, a country divided by opposing ideas and unwillingness to compromise", poet Terrell Washington Anansi said on The Good Men Project, "No matter which side wins, we have the bitter truths, for so long, held within."

Journalist Daniel Greenfield took a different approach, comparing those who manually demolished the wall to Trump voters who seemingly annihilated "the Great Blue wall" of the Democrats.

"Like the ordinary men chipping away at the Berlin Wall, they tore down an unnatural thing that had towered over them. And as they watched it fall, they marveled at how weak and fragile it had always been. And how much stronger they were than they had ever known."