LONDON On Nov. 9, 1989, the world saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, marking the beginning of the end of the Cold War era.
Twenty-seven years later to the day, the world woke up to discover that a man whose campaign centred on promises of a new wall had been elected to the office of the presidency in a nation that had been instrumental in bringing the one in Berlin down.
That man is of course Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The irony of his controversial pledge coupled with the historical significance of the date of his election has not been lost on Twitter:
Ironic that today marks the 27 year anniversary of the Berlin wall coming down, and the USA elects a President who wants to build one
Charlie Condou (@Charliecondou) November 9, 2016
The irony of today being the 27th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall has only just hit me and I feel like screaming.
A Pumpkinfield (@AzButterfield) November 9, 2016
27 years ago the Berlin Wall fell, I remember my grandma in Berlin calling us… crying of joy. Let us tear down walls, not build them!
Tanya Urrutia (@astrobellatrix) November 9, 2016
The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolized the end of an economically and socially divided Europe heralding a period of enormous growth, but 27 years later, have we reaped what we have sown?
The reality of globalization, for all its benefits, has simultaneously ushered in a world where anti-immigration sentiment and protectionist tendencies have been increasingly mainstreamed, evidenced by the appeal of populist politicians like Trump.
Crashing markets indicate global unease at what a Trump presidency will mean in terms of America’s future relationship with Mexico, Europe, and the rest of the world. Whether Trump follows through on his promise to construct a physical structure or instead opts for a policy design that isolates the U.S. from the world, post-Cold War euphoria has long since subsided and people are thirsting for change.
Where to next? Like it or not, it will be a President Trump that leads the way.