Keywords: Affect; Propaganda; Politics; Trump; New Left.
One of the key promises of the Trump presidential campaign was a massive wall that would cover the entirety of the U.S./Mexico border, and as president it remains a priority to him and his supporters. The Trump wall is an iconic image that represents an entire discourse of U.S. politics. It is also an image that evokes affect. The wall may never be built, but the intensity surrounding it works to anchor and legitimate an entire logical apparatus that uses affect to shape people's perceptions. The Trump wall is an example of the success the U.S. right has in using propaganda to create the conditions for affective images to emerge. The left has trouble keeping pace with the right's deft use of affect, they do not have an image like the Trump wall to offer. To explore the disparity in affective resonance between left and right, this paper uses an anecdote about a homeless man confounding a room full of left-leaning intellectuals with a simple question: What is your wall?