Immigration, both legal and illegal, is perhaps the central issue of our time. Robert W. Merry:
And, of all the issues roiling Europe these days, none generates more political force and energy than the immigration crisis—representing a direct threat to the very definition of the West as well as its cultural coherence and health. The globalist elites don’t get it, even now, but their days are numbered. It is noteworthy that the two political institutions seeking a coalition government in Italy represent some 69 percent of the March 4 vote. That’s a lot of populist sentiment, and the elites may be able to chip away at it if the coalition stumbles, but they won’t be able to reverse it. The country is set upon a populist course for years to come.
Bill Galston, who is no populist (his latest book is entitled Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy), nevertheless understands the wellsprings of populist movements. “Throughout Europe,” he writes, “immigration is at the core of the populist critique of the liberal democratic order.” He notes that Orban in Hungary, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, France’s Marine Le Pen, and Matteo Salvini “all have highlighted the EU’s stance on immigration, raising important questions about economic globalization, political transnationalism, and cultural liberalism.” He adds that dismissing these concerns as simply retrograde is “counterproductive.” Instead, Europe’s leaders will have to take them seriously—“while offering better answers than unscrupulous demagogues like Orban can muster.”
Why should populism be considered a threat to liberal democracy? It is a threat to a leftist internationalism that rejects national borders and denies to nations the right to preserve their cultures, the right to stop illegal immigration, and the right to select those immigrants who are most likely to prove to be a net asset to the host country, and most likely to assimilate. There needn't be anything white supremacist or white nationalist about populism. (By the way, white supremacism and white nationalism are plainly different: a white nationalist needn't be a white supremacist.) And of course there needn't be anything racist or xenophobic or bigoted about populism.
Populism in the Trumpian style is not a threat to liberal democracy as the Founders envisioned it, but a threat to the leftist internationalism I have just limned and which contemporary 'liberals' confuse with the liberal democracy of the Founders. It is also quite telling that these 'liberals' constantly use the word 'democracy' as if it is something wonderful indeed, but they almost never mention that the USA is a democratic republic. Our republic has a stiff backbone of core principles and meta-principles that are not up for democratic grabs, or at least are not up for easy grabs: the Constitution can be amended but it is not easy, nor should it be.
Those who think that democracy is a wonderful thing ought to realize that Sharia can be installed democratically. This is underway in Belgium. Brussels could be Muslim within 20 years. Let enough Muslims infiltrate and then they will decide who 'the people' are and who are not 'the people.' The native Belgians will then have been displaced. Ain't democracy wonderful?
Let enough illegal aliens flood in, give them the vote, and they may decide to do away with the distinction between legal and illegal immigration as well as the one between immigration and emigration. Ever wonder why lefties like the word 'migrant?' It manages to elide both distinctions in one fell swoop.
A sane and defensible populism rests on an appreciation of an insight I have aphoristically expressed as follows:
No comity without commonality.
There cannot be social harmony without a raft of shared assumptions and values, not to mention a shared language. Merry, above, speaks of "cultural coherence." A felicitous phrase, that. Our open, tolerant, Enlightenment culture cannot cohere and survive if Sharia-supporting Muslims are allowed to immigrate. For their ultimate goal is not to assimilate to our ways, but to impose their ways on us, eventually replacing us.
This is happening in Europe, Belgium being one good and chilling example. Muslim culture, however, is inferior to ours (on balance, not in every respect) and it is our decadence that blinds us to this fact. Suppose you are a benighted relativist who cannot or will not comprehend what I just wrote. Still, a nation has a right to its heritage and its culture. This is why there cannot be open borders. We have every right to preserve our culture just as Muslims have a right to preserve theirs.
1) Immigration issues will drive our politics, and not just ours, for the forseeable future.
2) The populist juggernaut will be hard to stop, and not just here.
Bill Keezer recommends Civilizational Jihad in the USA: The Practicum. You will find it very interesting, if that's the word.