President Trump and the Republicans wants to spend more than $20 billion building a border wall even though there’s always plenty of physical barriers at the border. Even though a border will stop nobody and accomplish nothing, other than poisoning relations with our country’s vital ally and southern neighbor, Mexico.

The determination to build the wall should change the debate over a California controversy: high-speed rail.

If the feds have that kind of money for a totally useless wall, then they should be able to contribute $20-plus billion to high-speed rail. Easy.

High-speed rail has its problems, including its expense and the slow pace of construction, but it’s undeniably better than the wall. For one thing, it’s not useless. It would connect the Central Valley to the state, spark revival in places like Fresno, the city of San Jose, and Bakersfield, and spur the development of regional transit networks. $68 billion may be a high price to pay for that, and I’d prefer it connected L.A. to San Diego.

But hey, at least it’s not a super-expensive and pointless border wall.

Of course, the wall does have one value: political. It puts the lie to Republican concerns about wasteful spending on infrastructure. And it hands Democrats the talking point they should use. Republicans want to build a wall, when they could do something that would actually serve a purpose – like roads, bridges or high-speed rail.

And heck, maybe if we connected high-speed rail across the southern border, maybe Mexico would help pay for it.