America First does not mean that that the USA ought to be first over other countries, dominating them. It means that every country has the right to prefer itself and its own interests over the interests of other countries. This is compatible with respecting other countries' interests and right to self-determination.
So America First has nothing to do with chauvinism which could be characterized as a blind and intemperate patriotism, a belligerent and unjustified belief in the superiority of one's own country. America First expresses an enlightened nationalism which is obviously compatible with a sober recognition of national failings.
An enlightened nationalism is distinct from nativism inasmuch as the former does not rule out immigration. By definition, an immigrant is not a native; but an enlightened American nationalism accepts legal immigrants who accept American values, which of course are not the values of the Left or the values of political Islam.
An enlightened nationalism is not isolationist. What it eschews is a fruitless meddling and over-eager interventionism. It does not rule out certain necessary interventions when they are in our interests and in the interests of our allies.
So America First is not to be confused with chauvinism or nativism or isolationism.
It is also not to be confused with xenophobia. The America Firster has no irrational fear of persons or things foreign. The same holds for every enlightened nationalist.
An enlightened nationalism is not a form of idolatry. 'America First' is not in competition with 'God First.' The principles belong to different orders. The first is a 'horizontal' principle defined over countries; the second is a 'vertical' principle having to do with countries and God. Obviously the following two propositions are logically consistent:
1) Every country has the right to prefer itself and its own interests over the interests of other countries.
2) No country is an appropriate object of worship; only God is worthy of worship.
Finally, an enlightened nationalism is not white-supremacist. I will now quote Rabbi Aryeh Spero, not only because he makes good points, but to distance myself from those Alt-Rightists who are anti-semitic and white-supremacist:
It is not “white supremacism” when people with self-respect display love and admiration for their background and history, wish to defend it, and are proud of it. It is normal and healthy. The opposite is rootlessness. Nor are sincere calls for the maintenance of Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian ethos, as liberals today accuse, “code words for racism”.
The purpose of the shaming we now see coming from liberals against fellow Americans is to muzzle us, so that what we believe is no longer able to be heard or transmitted. It is an enforcement of our political impotence. Longer term, the never-ending demonization is designed to end our civic and religious heritage. Through left-wing bullying and scorn, our heritages are being replaced by the new theologies of progressivism and non-distinctiveness.
That's right; I quibble only with the good rabbi's misuse of 'theology.' Just as progressivism is not a religion, as I have lately argued ad nauseam, it is also not a theology. 'Theology' refers either to God's knowledge of himself, which lies beyond our ken, or to our attempted knowledge of God. But progressivism has no truck with God, being secularist and atheist in its core forms.
It is. Illegal immigrants are subject to criminal penalties. While improper entry is a crime, unlawful presence is not a crime. One can be unlawfully present in the U. S. without having entered improperly, and thus without having committed a crime.
If a foreign national enters the country on a valid travel or work visa, but overstays his visa, failing to exit before the expiration date, then he is in violation of federal immigration law. But this comes under the civil code, not the criminal code. Such a person is subject to civil penalties such as deportation.
So there are two main ways for an alien to be illegal. He can be illegal in virtue of violating the criminal code or illegal in virtue of violating the civil code.
Those who oppose strict enforcement of national borders show their contempt for the rule of law and their willingness to tolerate criminal behavior, not just illegal behavior.
The pointlessness of much contemporary political discourse was brought home to me once again last night. One Giselle Fernández was a guest on the O'Reilly Factor. In a blatant display of typical liberal-left mendacity she referred twice to a southern border wall as a "Berlin-style wall."
Perhaps the best evidence of the greatness of America and the failure of communism is that communist regimes need walls to keep people in whereas we need walls to keep them out. Hence the rank absurdity of the comparison of a wall on our southern border to the Berlin Wall. Now the leftists who make this comparison cannot be so obtuse as not to see its rank absurdity. But they make it anyway because they will say and do anything to win.
There is no point in further 'conversations.' Action by us, defeat for them.
For a good laugh, see the Telegraph piece below. Germany was once the land of poets and thinkers (Dichter und Denker). Then it became the land of judges and hangmen (Richter und Henker) And now? Untergang des Abendlandes.
1. First of all, we must insist on a distinction that many on the Left willfully ignore, that between legal and illegal immigration. (Libertarians also typically elide the distinction.) Legal and illegal immigration are separate, logically independent, issues. To oppose illegal immigration, as any right-thinking person must, is not to oppose legal immigration. So no one should be allowed to enter illegally. But why exactly? What's wrong with illegal immigration? Aren't those who oppose it racists and xenophobes and nativists whose opinions are nothing but expressions of bigotry and hate? Aren't they deplorable people who cling to religion and guns? Doesn't everyone have a right to migrate wherever he wants?
2. The most general reason for not allowing illegal immigration is precisely because it is illegal. If the rule of law is to be upheld, then reasonable laws cannot be allowed to be violated with impunity simply because they are difficult to enforce or are being violated by huge numbers of people. Someone who questions the value of the rule of law is not someone it is wise to waste time debating.
But of course a practice's being illegal does not entail its being unjust or wrong or reasonably opposed. So we need to consider reasons why immigration controls are reasonable.
Reasons for opposing illegal immigration
3. There are several sound specific reasons for demanding that the Federal government exercise its legitimate, constitutionally grounded (see Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution) function of securing the national borders, and none of these reasons has anything to do with racism or xenophobia or nativism or any other derogatory epithet that slanderous leftists and libertarians want to attach to those of us who can think clearly about this issue.
There are reasons having to do with national security in an age of terrorism. There are reasons having to do with assimilation, national identity, and comity. How likely is it that illegals will assimilate if allowed to come in in great numbers, and how likely is social harmony among citizens and unassimilated illegals? There are considerations of fairness in respect of those who have entered the country legally by satisfying the requirements of so doing. Is it fair that they should be put through a lengthy process when others are allowed in illegally?
There are reasons having to do with the importation of contraband substances into the country. There are reasons having to to do with the sex trade and human trafficking generally. There are reasons having to do with increased crime. Last but not least, there are reasons pertaining to public health. With the concern over avian influenza, tuberculosis, ebola, and all sorts of tropical diseases, we have all the more reason to demand border control.
Borders are a body politic's immune system. Unregulated borders are deficient immune systems. Diseases that were once thought to have been eradicated have made a comeback north of the Rio Grande due to the unregulated influx of population. These diseases include tuberculosis, Chagas disease, leprosy, Dengue fever, polio, and malaria.
You will have noticed how liberals want to transform into public health issues problems that are manifestly not public but matters of private concern, obesity for example. But here we have an issue that is clearly a public health issue, one concerning which Federal involvement is justified, and what do our dear liberals do? They ignore it. Of course, the problem cannot be blamed solely on the Democrat Party. Republicans like G. W. Bush and John McCain are just as guilty. On immigration, Bush was clearly no conservative; he was a libertarian on this issue. A libertarian on some issues, a liberal on others, and a conservative on far too few.
Illegal aliens do not constitute a race or ethnic group
4. Many liberals think that opposition to illegal immigration is anti-Hispanic. Not so. It is true that most of those who violate the nation's borders are Hispanic. But the opposition is not to Hispanics but to illegal entrants whether Hispanic or not. It is a contingent fact that Mexico is to the south of the U.S. If Turkey or Iran or Italy were to the south, the issue would be the same. And if Iran were to the south, and there were an influx of illegals, then then leftists would speak of anti-Persian bias.
A salient feature of liberals and leftists -- there isn't much difference nowadays -- is their willingness to 'play the race card,' to inject race into every issue. The issue of illegal immigration has nothing to do with race since illegal immigrants do not constitute a race. There is no such race as the race of 'llegal aliens.' Opposition to them, therefore, cannot be racist. Suppose England were to the south of the U. S. and Englishmen were streaming north. Would they be opposed because they are white? No, because they are illegal aliens.
"But aren't some of those who oppose illegal immigration racists?" That may be so, but it is irrelevant. That one takes the right stance for the wrong reason does not negate the fact that one has taken the right stance. One only wishes they would take the right stance for the right reasons. Even if everyone who opposed illegal immigration were a foaming-at-the-mouth redneck of a racist, that would not detract one iota of cogency from the cogent arguments against allowing illegal immigration. To think otherwise is to embrace the Genetic Fallacy. Not good.
5. The rule of law is a precious thing. It is one of the supports of a civilized life. The toleration of mass breaking of reasonable and just laws undermines the rule of law.
6. Part of the problem is that we let liberals get away with obfuscatory rhetoric, such as 'undocumented worker.' The term does not have the same extension as 'illegal alien.' I discuss this in a separate post. But having written thousands of posts, I don't quite know where it is.
7. How long can a welfare state survive with open borders? Think about it. The trend in the USA for a long time now has been towards bigger and bigger government, more and more 'entitlements.' It is obviously impossible for purely fiscal reasons to provide cradle-to-grave security for everyone who wants to come here. So something has to give. Either you strip the government down to its essential functions or you control the borders. The first has no real chance of happening. Quixotic is the quest of strict constructionists and libertarians who call for it. Rather than tilting at windmills, they should work with reasonable conservatives to limit and eventually stop the expansion of government. Think of what a roll-back to a government in accordance with a strictly construed constitution would look like. For one thing, the social security system would have to be eliminated. That won't happen. Libertarians are 'losertarian' dreamers. They should wake up and realize that politics is a practical business and should aim at the possible. By the way, the pursuit of impossible dreams is common to both libertarians and leftists.
'Liberal' arguments for border control
8. Even though contemporary liberals show little or no understanding for the above arguments, there are actually what might be called 'liberal' arguments for controlling the borders:
A. The Labor Argument. To give credit where credit is due, it was not the conservatives of old who championed the working man, agitated for the 40 hour work week, demanded safe working conditions, etc., but the liberals of those days. They can be proud of this. But it is not only consistent with their concern for workers that they oppose illegal immigration, but demanded by their concern. For when the labor market is flooded with people who will work for low wages, the bargaining power of the U.S. worker is diminished. Liberals should therefore oppose the unregulated influx of cheap labor, and they should oppose it precisely because of their concern for U. S. workers.
By the way, it is simply false to say, as Bush, McCain and other pandering politicians have said, that U.S. workers will not pick lettuce, clean hotel rooms, and the like. Of course they will if they are paid a decent wage. People who won't work for $5 an hour will work for $20. But they won't be able to command $20 if there is a limitless supply of indigentes who will accept $5-10.
B. The Environmental Argument. Although there are 'green' conservatives, concern for the natural environment, and its preservation and protection from industrial exploitation, is more a liberal than a conservative issue. (By the way, I'm a 'green' conservative.) So liberals ought to be concerned about the environmental degradation caused by hordes of illegals crossing the border. It is not just that they degrade the lands they physically cross, it is that people whose main concern is economic survival are not likely to be concerned about environmental protection. They are unlikely to become Sierra Club members or to make contributions to the Nature Conservancy. Love of nature comes more easily to middle class white collar workers for whom nature is a scene of recreation than for those who must wrest a livelihood from it by hard toil.
C. The Population Argument. This is closely related to, but distinct from, the Environmental Argument. To the extent that liberals are concerned about the negative effects of explosive population increase, they should worry about an unchecked influx of people whose women have a high birth-rate.
D. The Social Services Argument. Liberals believe in a vast panoply of social services provided by government and thus funded by taxation. But the quality of these services must degrade as the number of people who demand them rises. To take but one example, laws requiring hospitals to treat those in dire need whether or not they have a means of paying are reasonable and humane -- or at least that can be argued with some show of plausibility. But such laws are reasonably enacted and reasonably enforced only in a context of social order. Without border control, not only will the burden placed on hospitals become unbearable, but the justification for the federal government's imposition of these laws on hospitals will evaporate. According to one source, California hospitals are closing their doors. "Anchor babies" born to illegal aliens instantly qualify as citizens for welfare benefits and have caused enormous rises in Medicaid costs and stipends under Supplemental Security Income and Disability Income.
The point is that you can be a good liberal and oppose illegal immigration. You can oppose it even if you don't care about increased crime, terrorism, drug smuggling, human trafficking, disease, national identity, national sovereignty, assimilation, the rule of law, or fairness to those who have immigrated legally. But a 'good liberal' who is not concerned with these things is a sorry human being.
This is a re-run from 24 April 2010. The quotation from James Kalb is worth studying.
But the times they are a'changin' and with Trump in the saddle, a man with the cojones to punch back hard against destructive leftards and quisling wimp-cons, we are likely to see some improvement. Trump's dressing-down yesterday of the lamestream media was a delight to watch.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law Arizona Senate Bill 1070. Illegal aliens are of course up in arms over it. But why do the ruling elites tend to tolerate mass illegal immigration? Why are they not upholding the rule of law? James Kalb (The Tyranny of Liberalism, ISI Books, 2008, pp. 49-50) writes,
As to immigration, the people value the ties that make them a people and believe that the country should be run for their own benefit. Ruling elites, by contrast, are concerned with the power and efficiency of governing institutions, the status and security of those who run them, and maintenance of the liberal principles that support and justify their rule. It is in their interest to expand the human resources available to them, even at the expense of those who are already citizens, and to weaken the mutual ties that make it possible for the people to resist rational management and to act somewhat independently. In addition, any moderately self-seeking ruling class prefers cooperating with members of the ruling class in other countries to representing the interests of their constituents. The practical result of such influences has the suppression of immigration as an issue in the interest of an emerging borderless world order. Restrictionist arguments are scantily presented in the mainstream media, and concern with cultural coherence, national identity, or even the well-being of one's country's workers is routinely denigrated as ignorant and racist nativism.
Kalb's book is proving to be an insightful and stimulating read.
Trump Labor Secretary nominee Anthony Puzder is under fire for having employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. But why should liberals care given that they do not distinguish legal from illegal immigrants while standing for open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions in defiance of the rule of law? Suddenly, these destructive leftists care about immigration law? Liberals should praise Puzder for giving the poor woman a job. After all, as they say, no human being is illegal!
What the Left is doing here is employing a Saul Alinsky tactic. The fourth of his Rules for Radicals reads:
Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
Leftists judge us by rules for which they have nothing but contempt.
The ordinary hypocrite will not practice what he preaches, but at least he preaches, thereby paying lip service to ideals of conduct that he puts forth as binding on all. The Alinksyite leftist is a hyper-hypocrite who preaches ideals of conduct, not to all, but to his enemies, ideals that he has no intention of honoring.
Of course, I am not saying that Puzder did not do wrong in hiring the illegal immigrant. He did, assuming he knew she was illegal.
A while back a front page story in the local rag of record, The Arizona Republic, implied that one is either a native American, a black, or an Anglo. Now with my kind of surname, I am certainly no Anglo. And even though I am a 'person of color,' my color inclining toward a sort of tanned ruddiness, I am undoubtedly not black either.
It follows that I am a native American. This conclusion is independently supported by the following argument:
1. I am a native Californian. 2. California is in America. 3. If x is native to locality L, and L is within the boundaries of M, then x is a native M-er. Therefore I am a native American.
This argument is impeccable in point of logical form, and sports manifestly true premises. What more do you want?
Note that (2) is true whether 'America' is taken to refer to the USA or to the continent of North America.
Let us also observe that since I am a native American, it cannot be the case that "we are all immigrants" as far too many liberal knuckleheads like to claim.
We need more mockery of liberals. There is little point in attempts to engage them on the plane of reason, for that is not the plane they inhabit.
It can be expected that Catholic bishops will respond with dismay to President Trump’s order banning immigration from seven Muslim nations. When Trump first proposed banning Muslims from entering the U.S., Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the president of the USCCB issued a statement repudiating “the hatred and suspicion that leads to policies of discrimination.” At about the same time, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore said Catholics could “not possibly countenance” restricting entry to the U.S. solely on the basis of religious affiliation. It can also be expected that bishops will employ an argument they have long used against opponents of Muslim immigration—namely, that Catholic immigrants were once treated with similar suspicion.
The willful stupidity of Catholic bishops never ceases to amaze me on this issue and on others. Many of them give the impression of being leftists first, and Catholics second, if at all.
But it is worse than willful stupidity: it is a vile slandering of decent people who maintain a sound view backed with arguments.
It must be remembered that Islam is a hybrid ideology: both a religion and a political system. Sharia, or Islamic law, is essential to it. Coming from God, it cannot be questioned by man: man must submit to it. The primary meaning of 'Islam' is submission. God's law must be imposed on all and woven into the fabric of everyday life. It is theocratic right out of the box. There is no provision in Islam for mosque-state separation. But that is to put it in the form of an understatement. Islam positively rules out mosque-state separation.
John Hick, An Interpretation of Religion (Yale UP, 1989, pp. 48-49):
From the point of view of the understanding of this state of islam [submission to Allah] the Muslim sees no distinction between the religious and the secular. The whole of life is to be lived in the presence of Allah and is the sphere of God's absolute claim and limitless compassion and mercy. And so islam, God-centredness, is not only an inner submission to the sole Lord of the universe but also a pattern of corporate life in accordance with God's will. It involves both salat, worship, and falah, the good embodied in behaviour. Through the five appointed moments of prayer each day is linked to God. Indeed almost any activity may be begun with Bismillah ('in the name of Allah'); and plans and hopes for the future are qualified by Inshallah ('if Allah wills'). Thus life is constantly punctuated by the remembrance of God. It is a symptom of this that almsgiving ranks with prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and confession of faith as one of the five 'pillars' of Islam. Within this holistic conception the 'secular' spheres of politics, government, law, commerce, science and the arts all come within the scope of religious obedience.
What Hick calls a "holistic conception," I would call totalitarian. Islam is totalitarian in a two-fold sense. It aims to regulate every aspect and every moment of the individual believer's life. (And if you are not a believer, you must either convert or accept dhimmitude.) But it is also totalitarian in a corporate sense in that it aims to control every aspect of society in all its spheres, just as Hick points out supra.
Islam, therefore, is profoundly at odds with the values of the West. For we in the West, whether (old-time) liberals or contemporary conservatives, accept church(mosque)-state separation. We no doubt argue heatedly over what exactly it entails, but we are agreed on the main principle. I regularly criticize the shysters of the ACLU for their extremist positions on this question; but I agree with them that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . ." This implies that the government shall not impose any religion upon the people as the state religion.
This raises a very serious question. Is Islam -- pure, unEnlightened, un-watered-down, fundamentalist, theocratic Islam -- deserving of First Amendment protection? We read in the First Amendment that Congress shall not prohibit the free exercise of religion. Should that be understood to mean that the Federal government shall not prohibit the establishment and free exercise of a totalitarian, fundamentalist theocratic religion in a particular state, say Michigan?
The USA is a Christian nation with a secular government. Suppose there was a religion whose aim was to subvert our secular government. Does commitment to freedom of religion enjoin toleration of such a religion?
Obviously not! Sharia is essential to true Islam. But Sharia is subversive of our system of government. So we are under no obligation from the Constitution to tolerate Sharia-based Islam. The Constitution is not a suicide pact. This implies that Muslims who do not renounce Sharia should not be eligible for positions in the government.
"But this violates Article VI of the Constitution!" No it doesn't. There we read that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." But this cannot be interpreted sensibly in such a way as to allow into the government elements subversive of the system of government the Constitution defines.
Why is Islam incompatible with the West? One reason is because Islam violates the separation of the religious and secular spheres. But why should they be kept apart? One reason is that we in the West have come to realize over the centuries that no one can legitimately claim to know the answers to the Big Questions about God, the soul, the purpose of human existence, the nature of the good, and so on. Only if one were absolutely certain of the answers to these questions would one be justified in imposing them via state power on everyone and forcing everyone to live in accordance with them. If we know that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and that God has condemned sodomy, and sanctioned the killing of sodomites, then we would perhaps be justified in outlawing sodomy and punishing it by death as it is indeed punished in some ten Muslim countries.
But surely no one of us KNOWS that God exists, let alone that God has revealed himself to man, let alone in a particular book or set of books, let alone inerrantly. Not knowing these things we have a good reason to tolerate homosexual and heterosexual sodomites, subject to certain restrictions, e.g. 'between consenting adults,' etc. We have reason to allow such behavior as legally permissible even if it in fact morally impermissible. For again, even if sodomy is is in fact morally impermissible because condemned by God, no one can legitimately claim to KNOW that it is.
In a surprisingly contemporary passage of his Summa Theologica, Aquinas noted that the Jewish people of Old Testament times did not admit visitors from all nations equally, since those peoples closer to them were more quickly integrated into the population than those who were not as close.
This entry from 6 January 2012 bears re-posting in the light of current events. 'Light' indeed. A new day is dawning. Things are looking up. We now have a president with the cojones to take action, and he has. Who would have thought that Donald J. Trump of all people would be the patriot to save the country? The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. What a week it's been! While conservatives rejoice -- I mean true conservatives, not NeverTrump quislings and jokers -- leftists lose their minds and descend into thuggery showing themselves plainly for what they were all along.
Philosophers hate a contradiction, but love a paradox. There are paradoxes everywhere, in the precincts of the most abstruse as well as in the precincts of the prosaic. Here are eight paradoxes of illegal immigration suggested to me by Victor Davis Hanson. The titles and formulations are my own. For good measure, I add a ninth, of my own invention.
The Paradox of Profiling. Racial profiling is supposed to be verboten. And yet it is employed by American border guards when they nab and deport thousands of illegal border crossers. Otherwise, how could they pick out illegals from citizens who are merely in the vicinity of the border? How can what is permissible near the border be impermissible far from it in, say, Phoenix? At what distance does permissibility transmogrify into impermissibility? If a border patrolman may profile why may not a highway patrolman? Is legal permissibility within a state indexed to spatiotemporal position and variable with variations in the latter?
The Paradox of Encroachment. The Federal government sues the state of Arizona for upholding Federal immigration law on the ground that it is an encroachment upon Federal jurisdiction. But sanctuary cities flout Federal law by not allowing the enforcement of Federal immigration statutes. Clearly, impeding the enforcement of Federal laws is far worse than duplicating and perhaps interfering with Federal law enforcement efforts. And yet the Feds go after Arizona while ignoring sanctuary cities. Paradoxical, eh?
The Paradox of Blaming the Benefactor. Millions flee Mexico for the U.S. because of the desirability of living and working here and the undesirability of living in a crime-ridden, corrupt, and impoverished country. So what does Mexican president Felipe Calderon do? Why, he criticizes the U.S. even though the U.S. provides to his citizens what he and his government cannot! And what do many Mexicans do? They wave the Mexican flag in a country whose laws they violate and from whose toleration they benefit.
The Paradox of Differential Sovereignty and Variable Border Violability. Apparently, some states are more sovereign than others. The U.S., for some reason, is less sovereign than Mexico, which is highly intolerant of invaders from Central America. Paradoxically, the violability of a border is a function of the countries between which the border falls.
The Paradox of Los Locos Gringos. The gringos are crazy, and racist xenophobes to boot, inasmuch as 70% of them demand border security and support AZ SB 1070. Why then do so many Mexicans want to live among the crazy gringos?
The Paradox of Supporting While Stiffing the Working Stiff. Liberals have traditionally been for the working man. But by being soft on illegal immigration they help drive down the hourly wages of the working poor north of the Rio Grande. (As I have said in other posts, there are liberal arguments against illegal immigration, and here are the makings of one.)
The Paradox of Penalizing the Legal while Tolerating the Illegal. Legal immigrants face hurdles and long waits while illegals are tolerated. But liberals are supposed to be big on fairness. How fair is this?
The Paradox of Subsidizing a Country Whose Citizens Violate our Laws. "America extends housing, food and education subsidies to illegal aliens in need. But Mexico receives more than $20 billion in American remittances a year -- its second-highest source of foreign exchange, and almost all of it from its own nationals living in the United States." So the U.S. takes care of illegal aliens from a failed state while subsidizing that state, making it more dependent, and less likely to clean up its act.
The Paradox of the Reconquista. Some Hispanics claim that the Southwest and California were 'stolen' from Mexico by the gringos. Well, suppose that this vast chunk of real estate had not been 'stolen' and now belonged to Mexico. Then it would be as screwed up as the rest of Mexico: as economically indigent, as politically corrupt, as crime-ridden, as drug-infested. Illegal immigrants from southern Mexico would then, in that counterfactual scenario, have farther to travel to get to the U.S., and there would be less of the U.S. for their use and enjoyment. The U.S. would be able to take in fewer of them. They would be worse off. So if Mexico were to re-conquer the lands 'stolen' from it, then it would make itself worse off than it is now. Gaining territory it would lose ground -- if I may put paradoxically the Paradox of the Reconquista.
One of the purposes of this website is to combat the stupidity of Political Correctness, a stupidity that in many contemporary liberals, i.e., leftists, is willful and therefore morally censurable. The euphemism 'undocumented worker' is a good example of a PC expression. It does not require great logical acumen to see that 'undocumented worker' and 'illegal alien' are not coextensive expressions. The extension of a term is the class of things to which the term applies. In the diagram below, let A be the class of illegal aliens, B the class of undocumented workers, and A^B the intersection of these two classes. All three regions in the diagram are non-empty, which shows that A and B are not coextensive, and so are not the same class. Since A and B are not the same class, 'undocumented worker' and 'illegal alien' do not have the same intension or meaning. If two terms differ in extension, then they differ in meaning. (The converse does not hold.) Differing in both extension and intension (sense, meaning), 'undocumented workers' and 'illegal aliens' expressions are not intersubstitutable.
To see why, note first that there are illegal aliens who are not workers since they are either petty criminals, or members of organized criminal gangs e.g., MS-13, some of whose illegal alien members are terrorists, or too young to work, or unable to work. Note second that there are illegal aliens who have documents all right -- forged documents. Note third that there are undocumented workers who are not aliens: there are American citizens who work but without the legally requisite licenses and permits.
So the correct term is 'illegal alien.' It is descriptive and accurate and there is no reason why it should not be used.
Now will this little logical exercise convince a leftist to use language responsibly and stop obfuscating the issue? Of course not. Leftism in some of its forms is willfully embraced reality denial, and in other of its forms is a cognitive aberration, something like a mental illness, in need of therapy rather than refutation. The latter are sick and one cannot refute the sick. They need treatment and quarantine and those who go near them should employ appropriate prophylactics.
So why did I bother writing the above? Because there are people who have not yet succumbed to the PC malady and might benefit from a bit of logical prophylaxis. One can hope.
Hope for the best. But prepare for the worst.
The winds of change that have blown the Orange Man into the White House have brought us to the shores of hope, hope for a return to sanity and order and the rule of law.
The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common National sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias, and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education and family.
This goes beyond, but is in line with, my aphorism:
What follows, from Victor Davis Hanson, is the correct view on illegal immigration. But you will never get a destructive, hate-America leftist to accept it:
Illegal Immigration. No country can exist without borders. Hillary and Obama have all but destroyed them; Trump must remind us how he will restore them. Walls throughout history have been part of the solution, from Hadrian’s Wall to Israel’s fence with the Palestinians. “Making Mexico pay for the wall” is not empty rhetoric, when $26 billion in remittances go back to Mexico without taxes or fees, largely sent from those here illegally, and it could serve as a source of funding revenue Trump can supersede “comprehensive immigration” with a simple program: Secure and fortify the borders first; begin deporting those with a criminal record, and without a work history. Fine employers who hire illegal aliens. Any illegal aliens who choose to stay, must be working, crime-free, and have two years of residence. They can pay a fine for having entered the U.S. illegally, learn English, and stay while applying for a green card — that effort, like all individual applications, may or may not be approved. He should point out that illegal immigrants have cut in line in front of legal applicants, delaying for years any consideration of entry. That is not an act of love. Sanctuary cities are a neo-Confederate idea, and should have their federal funds cut off for undermining U.S. law. The time-tried melting pot of assimilation and integration, not the bankrupt salad bowl of identity politics, hyphenated nomenclature, and newly accented names should be our model of teaching new legal immigrants how to become citizens.
For the record, I cop to being a “nativist.” I prefer policies that explicitly favor the existing American citizenry, the people born here, i.e., the natives. I’m somewhat impressed that Pethokoukis and his ilk have managed to redefine this age-old, bedrock political principle as radical and “racist.” It’s like forcing people to say the sky is green—a real propaganda feat, at which hats must be tipped in awe. But acknowledging leftist success as blunt force propagandists doesn’t require accepting the underlying lie.
By etymology, a native to a place is a person born in that place. Should immigration and other policies of a nation favor those born there? Of course. That is just common sense. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people must of course be FOR the people, and these people are not people in general but the people of the nation in question. The United States government, for example, exists to benefit the people of the United States. That is its main task regardless of any subsidiary tasks it may take on such as foreign disaster relief.
So there is an innocuous and defensible sense of 'nativism.' It has nothing to do with xenophobia. 'Liberals' know this, of course, but for their ideological purposes they ride roughshod over the distinction.
And of course it has nothing to do with 'racism.'
Some 'liberals' accuse opponents of illegal immigration of being racists; but this betrays a failure to grasp a simple point, namely, that illegal immigrants do not form a race. Is this difficult to understand?
And while we are on the delightful topic of race, let me point out to our liberal pals that Muslims are not a race either. Muslims are adherents of the religion, Islam, and these adherents are of different races and ethnicities. Got that?
So if a conservative objects to the immigration of Sharia-supporting Muslims, his objection has nothing to do with race.
I apologize to the intelligent for making points so obvious; but given willfull 'liberal' self-enstupidation, these things cannot be repeated too often.
Hence my political burden of proof:
As contemporary 'liberals' become ever more extreme, they increasingly assume what I will call the political burden of proof. The onus is now on them to defeat the presumption that they are so morally and intellectually obtuse as not to be worth talking to.
Trump insists that anyone residing in the United States illegally is subject to deportation. Many commentators regard such comments as inflammatory. I am baffled by their outrage. What, exactly, is meant by “illegal” if the lawbreaker is immune from consequences?
I am baffled too. No reasonable person could consider it inflammatory or hateful to enforce just and reasonable laws. Nor could any reasonable person refer to Trump's Phoenix immigration speech as 'hateful,' yet many liberal commentators did exactly that.
On the O'Reilly show recently, a seemingly intelligent liberal referred to a wall such as the one Trump proposes as "hateful." This illustrates what I call the topical insanity of liberals. On some topics they suffer cognitive melt-down. Suppose our liberal pal has security doors installed on his house to protect his wife and children. Would he consider that 'hateful'? Presumably not. But then why can't he see that drug trafficking, human trafficking, and the invasion by criminals and terrorists is something that cannot be tolerated? Why can't he see that the rule of law must be upheld even in the case of the majority of illegal immigrants who simply seek a better life? Why can't he appreciate how precious the rule of law is, and how important a role it plays in making ours a great and prosperous country that half the world wants to come to? What blinds him to the necessity of disease control via border control? What we have here on the part of liberals is either topical insanity or willful stupidity which, because willful, ought to be morally condemned.
[. . .]
The very notion of limiting immigration—building a wall—gets Trump described as “anti-immigrant.” But isn’t job number one for our political leaders to protect the interests of Americans, which surely entails restricting the number of people who can immigrate?
Of course. Note also the verbal obfuscation that contemporary liberals routinely engage in by eliding the obvious distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. Trump is not anti-immigrant, he is anti-illegal-immigrant, as we all should be.
[. . .]
Something strange is going on here, something I don’t fully understand.
It may be that Reno does not understand, or want to understand, how destructive and vicious leftists are. I suppose most of us would like to believe that most of our fellow citizens are basically decent people, morally speaking. But the evidence is against it in the case of leftists. Morally decent people, for example, don't slander their opponents. But leftists (and this includes contemporary liberals) routinely slander and disrespect their opponents in lieu of engaging their point of view. For example, if you point out the clear and present danger of radical Islam, they say or imply that you are in the grip of a phobia. Now a phobia is an irrational fear, whereas concern about the threat of radical Islam is eminently rational.
A decent person does not impugn the rationality of his interlocutor by dismissing his arguments unexamined and ascribing to him groundless fears and phobias. A decent person does not behave as Hillary Clinton recently did when she dumped 50% of Trump supporters into a "basket of deplorables."
Liberals like Bill and Hillary Clinton regularly smear their opponents and then issue hypocritical calls for 'civility.' What passes for argument among liberals is the hurling of SIXHRB epithets: sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, racist, bigoted. (I borrow the acronym from Dennis Prager) For example, if you oppose illegal immigration then you are a xenophobe; if you carefully argue against Obamacare then you a racist; if you give reasons why marriage is between a man a woman you are dismissed as a bigot. If you oppose that slaughter of innocent human beings which is abortion you are waging war against women and interfering with their 'health' and 'reproductive rights.' If you point out the very real threat of radical Islam, then you are dismissed as an 'Islamophobe' with a mental illness.
How is it possible to resist the conclusion that Hillary and her ilk are moral scum?
[. . .]
A recent essay in Foreign Affairs by Kishore Mahbubani and Lawrence Summers, “The Fusion of Civilizations: The Case for Global Optimism,” outlines a vision for a more globalized, peaceful, and prosperous future—in which nations become less significant. Today’s emphasis on multiculturalism and “diversity” participates in this vision of the future, one in which differences are overcome and borders are irrelevant. It’s species of utopianism, to be sure, but it has a powerful grip on the moral imagination of the West.
In this view, national interest is an impediment to progress. Concerns about identity are, by definition, forms of ethnocentrism bordering on xenophobia. This is why the upsurge of populist concern about immigration . . . are so vigorously denounced by mainstream politicians, journalists, and political commentators.
The above is not only utopian, but incoherent. On the one hand we are told that "diversity" promotes the overcoming of differences and the making irrelevant of borders. But what is "diversity" if not a celebration of differences? An emphasis on "diversity" leads to identity politics which is supposedly what the above authors oppose. There can be no comity without commonality.
Liberals falsely imagine that we are all the same and that we all have the same values. That is manifestly not the case. Most Muslims do not share our Enlightenment values. This is why there can be peace with them only if they stay in their own lands. You may not like borders, but they reflect unbridgeable differences and make peaceful coexistence possible. The conservative, unlike the liberal, has a reality-based, sober understanding of how different and how limited we human beings are.
The morning of 9/11 was a beautiful, dry Arizona morning. Back from a hard run, I flipped on the TV while doing some cool-down exercises only to see one of the planes crash into one of the towers. I knew right away what was going on.
I said to my wife, "Well, two good things will come of this: Gary Condit will be out of the news forever, and finally something will be done about our porous southern border."
I was right about the first, but not about the second.
Do you remember Gary Condit, the California congressmann? Succumbing as so many do to the fire down below, Condit initiated an extramarital affair with the federal intern, Chandra Levy. When Levy was found murdered, Condit's link to Levy proved his undoing. The cable shows were awash with the Condit-Levy affair that summer of 2001. 9/11 put an end to the soap opera.
But it didn't do much for the security of the southern border.
We have one last chance,and his name is Donald Trump.
Liberals, whose love of political correctness gets the better of their intellects, typically object to the phrase 'illegal alien.' But why? Are these 'migrants' not in our country illegally, as the result of breaking laws? And are they not aliens, people from another country?
"But you are labelling them!" Yes, of course. Label we must if we are not to lose our minds entirely. 'Feral cat' is a label. Do you propose that we not distinguish between feral and non-feral cats? Do you distinguish between the positive and the negative terminals on your car battery? You'd better! But 'positive terminal' and 'negative terminal' are labels.
Label we must. There is no getting around it if we are to think at all. There used to be a political outfit that called itself 'No Labels.' But that too is a label. Those who eschew all labels label themselves 'idiots.'
Related to this is the injunction, 'Never generalize!' which is itself a generalization. Label we must and generalize we must. Making distinctions and labelling them, and constructing sound generalizations on their basis, are activities essential to, thought not exhaustive of, the life of the intellect.
Liberals also object to 'illegal immigrant.' In fact, the AP has banned the phrase. But given that there are both legal and illegal immigrants, 'illegal immigrant' is a useful label. There is nothing derogatory about it. It is a descriptive term like 'hypertensive' or 'diabetic.' It is just a fact that the 'migrants' are in violation of U. S. law, whatever you think of the law.
One consideration adduced at the AP site is that actions are illegal, not persons. But suppose your doctor tells you that you are diabetic, and you protest, "Doc, not only are you labelling me, you are forgetting that diabetes is a medical condition and that no person is a medical condition." The good doctor would then have to explain that a diabetic is a person who has diabetes. Similarly, an illegal immigrant is one who is in the country illegally. There is the act of illegally crossing the border, but there is also the state of being here illegally.
Plain talk is an excellent antidote to liberal nonsense. When a liberal or a leftist or a libertarian misuses a word in an intellectually dishonest attempt at forwarding his agenda, a right-thinking person ought to protest. Whether you protest or not, you must not acquiesce in their pernicious misuse of language. Or, as I have said more than once in these pages,
If you are a conservative, don't talk like a liberal!
Bear in mind that many of the battles of the culture war are fought, won, and lost on linguistic ground. If we let our opponents destroy the common language in which alone reasonable debate can be conducted, then much more is lost than these particular debates. The liberal-left misuse of language is fueled by their determination to win politically at all costs and by any means, including linguistic hijacking.
It ought to be obvious that anyone seeking entry into our country should be ideologically certified. We have no obligation to accept subversive elements. Now those who promote Shari'a are subversive elements. Therefore, we have no obligation to allow them in. Indeed we, or rather the government as representing us the people, has a moral obligation not to let them in.
This is just common sense. Trump, not Hillary, possesses this common sense as he made clear in his outstanding Phoenix immigration speech.
But you loathe Trump the man, don't you? And you have some good reasons. I suggest you make a distinction. There is the candidate and there is the candidate's ideological agenda. Both of the candidates have deeply flawed characters. But one supports a destructive leftist agenda and the other does not. And one or the other will be the next president. It won't be Jill Stein.
So, if you are a conservative, is it not obvious that you must vote for Trump?
Things are coming to a head. We cannot tolerate as a 'new normal' another Islamist slaughter of innocents every six months or so. So what is to be done? What prophylactic measures do we need to take to protect the USA and the rest of the West from the Islamist virus?
London Ed writes,
What kind of public policy, if any, would you advocate to improve the currently dire relations between the Islamic communities in the West, and their neighbours? All Muslims I know (not many, however) are horrified by extremism, and do not see it as Islamic. ‘They are just thugs’, said one of them. Most immigrant communities have ended up assimilating in some way. My first encounter with Islam was in Turkey, where a nice ex-policeman showed us round some mosques and explained Islam. He told me a moving story about a Turkish earthquake where a badly injured man, crushed under some concrete, begged him to shoot him. The policeman refused, saying it was for God to make those kind of decisions about life and death. The man died an hour later. Here we are talking about ‘ordinary Muslims’. It is a fact that all religions have extremists, and that such extremists tend to hold disproportionate power. Is there any way of redressing the balance? I.e. if you were home secretary or the US equivalent, what measures would you be taking?
Let me first take issue, not with the truth, but with the import, of the claim that all religions have extremists. The claim is true, but it is misleading unless various other truths are brought into proximity with it. It is not enough to tell the truth; you must tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There is a mode of mendacity whereby one tells truths with the intention of deceiving one's audience. See How to Tell the Truth without being Truthful .
Here is a second truth: the raw number of Islamic extremists (terrorists and those who foment terrorism) is vastly greater than the number of Buddhist extremists. So one cannot use the truth that all religions have extremists to downplay the threat of Islam, or to suggest that there is a moral equivalence between Buddhism and Islam.
So when a leftist says, "There are Buddhist terrorists too!" force him to name one that that was involved in a terror attack in London or Madrid or Paris or New York or Orlando or San Bernardino or . . . . Not only are there very few Buddhist terrorists, they are not a threat to us, meaning chiefly: the USA, the UK, and Europe.
There is another important point that Ed the philosopher will appreciate, namely, the distinction between being accidentally and essentially a terrorist. Suppose there is a Buddhist monk who is a terrorist. Qua Buddhist monk, he cannot be a terrorist because there is nothing in Buddhism that supports or enjoins terrorism. What makes him a Buddhist does not make him a terrorist or predispose him toward terrorism. Our Buddhist monk is therefore accidentally a terrorist. His committing terrorist acts is accidental to his being a Buddhist. He is a Buddhist monk and a terrorist; but he is not a terrorist because he is a Buddhist. Muslim terrorists, however, commit terrorist acts because their religion supports or enjoins terrorism. Their terrorism flows from their doctrine. This is not the case for Buddhism or Christianity. No Christian qua Christian is a terrorist.
Of course, not every Muslim is a terrorist; but every Muslim has at the ready a religious doctrine that enjoins and justifies terrorism should our Muslim decide to go that route. There are many more potential Muslim terrorists than actual Muslim terrorists.
Note also that a Muslim does not have to commit terrorist acts himself to aid and abet terrorists. He can support them monetarily and in other ways including by refusing to condemn terrorist acts.
While not every Muslim is a terrorist, almost every terrorist at the present time is a Muslim. We ought to demand that leftists admit the truth of both halves of the foregoing statement. But they won't, which fact demonstrates (a) their lack of intellectual honesty, (b) their destructive, anti-Western agenda, and (c) their ignorance of their own long-term best interest. As for (c), liberals and leftists have a pronounced 'libertine wobble' as I like to call it. They are into 'alternative sexual lifestyles' and the defense of pornography as 'free speech,' and such. They would be the first to be slaughtered under Shari'a. Or have they forgotten Orlando already?
London Ed tells us that in Turkey he met "ordinary Muslims" who were fine people. Well, I lived in Turkey for a solid year, 1995-1996, and met many Muslims, almost all of them very decent people. These "ordinary Muslims," some of them secularists, and others of them innocuously religious, are not the problem. The jihadis are the problem, and there are a lot of them, not percentage-wise, but in terms of raw numbers. It is irrelevant to point out that there are good Muslims. Of course there are. We all know that. But they are not the problem.
So what measures should we in the West take?
I will mention just the most obvious and most important one: severely curtail Muslim immigration. There is no right to immigrate, and correspondingly, we are under no obligation to let in subversive elements. We have a culture and a way of life to protect, and their culture and way of life is inimical to ours. Muslims who enter the USA should be forced to sign a statement in which they renounce Shari'a, and then they must be monitored for compliance.
This is not a religious test but a cultural-political test: do you share our values or not? Chief among these values is toleration. If not, stay home, in the lands whose inanition and misery demonstrate the inferiority of your culture and your values. The main reason for carefully vetting Muslims who aim to immigrate into the USA is political rather than religious, as I explain in the following companion post:
"But you can't bar Muslims from immigrating! We have freedom of religion! That's not who we are! That goes against our values!"
Andrew C. McCarthy answers this sort of nonsense very sensibly here.
As I would put it: Freedom of religion does not extend to the protection of a hybrid political-religious ideology whose aim is to subvert the very Constitution that protects the freedom in question, and protects it for all.
Liberals love 'diversity' even at the expense of such obvious goods as unity, assimilation, and comity. So it is something of a paradox that their refusal to take seriously the enforcement of immigration laws has led to a most un-diverse stream of immigrants. "While espousing a fervent belief in diversity, immigrant advocates and their allies have presided over a policy regime that has produced one of the least diverse migration streams in our history." Here
As an addendum to The Incompatibility of Islam and the West, let me add that the case against Muslim immigration is political not religious. It is because Muslims are politically subversive that their immigration must be curtailed or eliminated, not because they have a different religion.
The U. S. Constitution in its First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion: one is free to practice the religion of one's choice, or refrain from the practice of any religion.
Now if Islam were a religion like Buddhism or Christianity or Judaism, there would be no problem. But Islam is unique. On an extreme view which I do not endorse, Islam is a political ideology masquerading as a religion; on a moderate view, which I do endorse, it is a hybrid ideology: at once both a religion and a political ideology. Either way is not a pure religion.
Qua political ideology, Islam is incompatible with Western values, or at least U. S. values. One reason for this is that Islam is not tolerant of religious diversity. It cannot be since it blends the religious and the secular and does not recognize the separation of church/mosque and state. Secular law is driven by Islamic law, or rather secular law just is Islamic law. So the 'infidel,' whether Buddhist, Christian, Jew, or whatever, must either convert or accept dhimmitude.
Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 13 June: "Omar Mateen despised gays in the same way that Donald Trump and too many of his supporters despise Muslims."
Why isn't this libel?
'Libel' as defined in the law:
1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander, which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who can prove the statement about him/her was a lie. Read more.
Dvorak and her employers ought to be careful. Trump is a vindictive man with the will and the wherewithal to take legal action against his enemies. There are plenty of negative things she could say about the man that are true.
Whether or not Dvorak's outrageous statement counts as libel, she has no evidence for it. To call for a moratorium on Muslim immigration is perfectly reasonable in present circumstances and does not imply any hatred of Muslims.
Analogy. The law forbids the sale of firearms to felons. I think this provision of the law is wise and good and conducive unto law and order. Does that make me a hater of felons? I don't hate them; I merely hold that it would be unwise to allow them to purchase firearms. Similarly, I don't hate Muslims, I merely hold that in present circumstances it would be wise to vet carefully immigrants from Muslim lands.
Is diversity our strength? Or anybody's strength, anywhere in the world? Does Japan's homogeneous population cause the Japanese to suffer? Have the Balkans been blessed by their heterogeneity -- or does the very word "Balkanization" remind us of centuries of strife, bloodshed and unspeakable atrocities, extending into our own times?
Has Europe become a safer place after importing vast numbers of people from the Middle East, with cultures hostile to the fundamental values of Western civilization?
Read the whole thing in the light (darkness?) of Orlando.
It's about time these establishment types began wising up:
[. . .] Immigration to the U.S., and citizenship itself, should be seen, again, as a privilege, not a right—and assimilation and integration, not multicultural separatism and ethnic and religious chauvinism, should be the goal of the host. We need not single out Muslims in terms of restricting immigration, but we should take a six-month timeout on all would-be immigrants from countries in the Middle East deemed war zones—Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen—not only for our own immediate security but also to send a general message that entrance into the U.S. is a rare and prized opportunity, not simply a cheap and pro forma entitlement.
The inability of Barack Obama and the latest incarnation of Hillary Clinton to utter “radical Islam” or “Islamic terrorism” in connection with Muslims’ murderous killing sprees again is exposed as an utterly bankrupt, deadly, and callous politically correct platitude. Mateen did not learn to hate homosexuals from the American government, popular American culture, or our schools, but rather from radical and likely ISIS-driven Islamic indoctrination. From Iran to Saudi Arabia, the treatment of gays is reprehensible—but largely exempt from Western censure, on the tired theory that in the confused pantheon of -isms and -ologies, multiculturalism trumps human rights.
Finally, the Left will blame guns, not ideology, for the mass murder, forgetting that disarmed soldiers who could not shoot back were slaughtered by Major Hasan, that the Tsarnaev brothers preferred home-cooked explosives to blow up innocents in Boston, that the Oklahoma and UC Merced Islamists did their beheading or stabbing with a knife, and that Mateen likely followed strict gun-registration laws in obtaining his weapons.
Indeed. There is no right to immigrate, and the USA has no obligation to accept subversive elements. We do have a right, however, to demand assimilation. This has definite consequences. If you are a taxi driver you cannot refuse to accept as a fare a person coming out of a liquor store with a closed container of spirits. If you work check out in a supermarket, you cannot refuse to touch a package of bacon. If you refuse, you ought to be fired on the spot. If you want to dress up like a nun of the 1950s, go right ahead, but we had better be able to see your face.
We are tolerant, but not to the point of tolerating the intolerance of Sharia. You must renounce it and accept our values if you wish to live among us.
We are peace-loving, but we are prepared to defend our superior culture against barbarians.
Mr. Cohen feels that Trump is betraying the principles that America stands for:
It ['betrayal'] is the word that comes to mind almost on a nightly basis when I see some Trump surrogate defend his position on one of the cable news shows. How can you? I want to ask. Do you believe that the government should apply a religious test to let people into this country? Christians? Yes. Jews? Sure. Buddhists, Hindus and Zoroastrians, step this way. Muslims? Not so fast.
Do the people who support Trump realize that they are betraying not merely Muslims but the principles that America stands for? We don't apply religious tests to anything. In that way, we are different than some other countries. In that way, we are better.
How foolish can a liberal be? There is no right to immigrate and the U.S. has no obligation to allow subversives into the country. Now sharia-supporting Muslims are subversives. The values of sharia are antithetical to American values. So it makes perfect sense to carefully vet Muslims who seek to come here. Only those who renounce sharia and show a willingness to assimilate should be allowed in. We have every right to preserve and protect our culture and values.
The U.S. Constitution is not a suicide pact, and it obviously needs to be interpreted in such a way that it is not made into one. Article VI ends as follows: ". . . no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Whether a test is religious depends on what counts as a religion. Is Islam a religion? There are those who maintain that it is a political ideology masquerading as a religion. If this is right, 'no religious test' does not apply to Islam. On a more moderate view, Islam is a hybrid ideology: both a religion and a political ideology incompatible with American values. But then my point about subversive elements kicks in.
Only if a Muslim renounces sharia, embraces American values, and shows a willingness to assimilate should he be allowed into our country. Isn't this just common sense? Of course it is, and it is precisely what liberal idiots like Cohen lack. These same idiots typically label 'xenophobic' those who express such rational concerns as I am now expressing. A phobia is an irrational fear, but there is nothing irrational about fear of Muslim subversives. Typical liberal behavior: misuse language and slander your opponent.
With fools there can be no productive dialogue. We are left with condemning them for their willful stupidity.
So while Trump's rhetoric is incendiary and irresponsible, the essential content of his message about Muslim immigration and Mexican illegal immigration is sound and easily defended.
Every morning I find a new batch of anti-Trump articles by so-called conservatives. These anti-Trumpsters clearly see the man's many negatives, but most of them refuse to come clean on the question: "Do you advocate not voting for Trump thereby aiding and abetting a Clinton victory? Yes or no?"
Conservatives latched on to the GOP as an instrument to express their ideals. Now loyalty to party is causing many to abandon their ideals. Conservatism is not misogyny. Conservatism is not nativism and protectionism. Conservatism is not religious bigotry and conspiracy theories. Conservatism is not anti-intellectual and anti-science. For the sake of partisanship -- for a mess of pottage -- some conservatives are surrendering their identity.
Here is a little fair and balanced commentary on Gerson's outburst.
True, conservatism is not misogyny. And it is true that Trump has stupidly made misogynistic statements. By alienating the distaff half of the electorate, it is is a good bet that the foolish man has sealed his fate. We shall see. But whether he is fairly described as a misogynist is not clear given his appointment of women to high positions in his organization.
'Nativism' and 'protectionism,' like 'isolationism' are not neutral words. They are pejoratives. Suppose someone sees the failures and false assumptions of U. S. foreign policy and appreciates that some U. S. interventions make things worse instead of better. If you wanted to describe such a person fairly and neutrally you would call him a non-interventionist, not an isolationist. There are paleo-cons and neo-cons. A paleo-conservative non-interventionism, which need not exclude judicious and well-thought-out interventions, has arguably a better claim on the honorific 'conservative' than neo-conservative interventionism.
The same goes for 'protectionist' and 'nativist.' They are pejoratives. People interested in a serious discussion ought to use neutral terminology.
Suppose you are neither a libertarian nor a leftist. You appreciate that the U. S. is neither a shopping mall nor a job market. It is a nation with a culture, a long tradition, and a commitment to a set of values including liberty, self-reliance, self-determination, and constitutionally-based limited government. You appreciate that a nation has a right to preserve and protect its culture and resist its dilution let alone its "fundamental transformation." Having this right, a nation has the right to protect itself from illegal immigration and a right to select those groups which it will allow to immigrate. A nation has no obligation to allow immigration at all, let alone immigration of groups of people whose values are antithetical to the nation's values. True, immigration can enrich a nation if the immigrants are willing to assimilate and embrace the values and traditions of the host country. Ask yourself: are sharia-supporting Muslims immigrants of this kind? The answer is obviously in the negative.
There is no net benefit to Muslim immigation. Of course there are are wonderful individual Muslims. See my high praise for Zuhdi Jasser. But policies cannot cater to individuals.
'Nativism,' like 'racism,' is a term used by leftists and other destructive types to slander their opponents and pre-empt rational debate.
When people like Gerson employ the 'nativism' epithet they play the same filthy game as leftists. So how conservative are people like him? A conservative is not a leftist. Nor is a conservative a libertarian.
Is it "religious bigotry" to insist that subversive, sharia-supporting Muslims with no intention of assimilating and every intention of "fundamentally transforming America" not be allowed to immigrate? Of course not. It is just common sense.
The lion said to the turtle, "Come out of your shell, and join the party!" The turtle said to the lion, "OK, Leo, after you have had yourself declawed and defanged."
Defense mechanisms, both physical and psychological, serve a good purpose even as they limit relations with others. But too much armor, psychic and otherwise, will stunt your life. Too little may end it.
Among a body politic's defense mechanisms are secure borders and a wise immigration policy.
The USA at present has neither. You know what to do.
There is, however, a minor problem with this notion, namely, that Mexican invaders will then have to travel so much farther north to get to a place worth living in.
The graphic below is from a recent Trump protest rally in California. Now Trump's negatives have been on display for a long time and there is no need to recount them. But is he a racist?
You can always count on a liberal to play the race card. And so it is part of their reflexive and unreflective nature to label anyone who is not a liberal a racist. It is a tactic that has proven effective. So of course Trump is called a racist. I see no evidence that he is.
In any case, the issue of illegal immigration is not about race.
Most liberals think that opposition to illegal immigration is anti-Hispanic. Not so. It is true that most of those who violate the nation's borders are Hispanic. But the opposition is not to Hispanics but to illegal entrants whether Hispanic or not. It is a contingent fact that Mexico is to the south of the U.S. If Turkey or Iran or Italy were to the south, the issue would be the same. And if Iran were to the south, and there were an influx of illegals, then then leftists would speak of anti-Persian bias.
To repeat, a salient feature of liberals and leftists -- there isn't much difference nowadays -- is their willingness to 'play the race card,' to inject race into every issue. The issue of illegal immigration has nothing to do with race since illegal immigrants do not constitute a race. There is no such race as the race of 'llegal aliens.' Opposition to them, therefore, cannot be racist. Suppose England were to the south of the U. S. and Englishmen were streaming north. Would they be opposed because they are white? No, because they are illegal aliens.
I apologize to the intelligent for saying things so obvious, but the stupidity of liberals is wide and deep and we must repeat, repeat, repeat. And repeat some more.
"But aren't some of those who oppose illegal immigration racists?" That may be so, but it is irrelevant. That one takes the right stance for the wrong reason does not negate the fact that one has taken the right stance. One only wishes they would take the right stance for the right reasons. Even if everyone who opposed illegal immigration were a foaming-at-the-mouth redneck of a racist, that would not detract one iota of cogency from the cogent arguments against allowing illegal immigration. To think otherwise is to embrace the Genetic Fallacy. Not good.
Here. The problem is not that Hillary is too stupid to grasp the distinction between legal and illegal immigration; the problem is that she is a corrupt leftist out for her own personal gain at the expense of her country.
Chris Hedges over at Truth Dig is worried about the rise of American fascism. But first things first. First we crush Hillary and the Dems. There will be plenty of time to keep an eye on Der Trumpster should he make it to the White House.
I am not worried about American fascism. We Americans are not a bunch of Germans about to start goose-stepping behind some dictator. Our traditions of liberty and self-reliance are long-standing and deep-running. A sizeable contingent of Trump supporters are gun rights activists who would be open to an extra-political remedy should anyone seek to instantiate the role of Der Fuehrer or Il Duce. True, Trump appeals to those having an authoritarian personality structure. But his supporters are also cussedly individualistic and liberty-loving. I expect the latter characteristic to mitigate the former.
There is also the following interesting question wanting our attention: why is it better to have the personality structure of the typical leftist? Why is it better to be a rebellious, adolescent, alienated, destructive, irreverent, tradition-despising, anti-authoritarian, ungrateful, utopian, dweller in Cloud Cuckoo Land?
Someone told me today that Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals is dedicated to Lucifer. Lucifer, not Lucifer Schwarz of Poughkeepsie. Makes perfect sense.
An outstanding essay by Victor Davis Hanson, except that he fails to address the question of Muslim immigration and the question of a moratorium on it. A failure of nerve? A desire to remain comfortably respectable in his ivory tower? You will recall the 'conservative' Lindsay Graham's denunciation of Donald Trump as a 'xenophobe' when he made his moratorium proposal. That's exactly how liberals talk! The implication is that one has an irrational fear of foreigners because one has an entirely reasonable desire to keep jihadis out of the country.
How insidious is political correctness! It infects even conservatives.
Only politically correct topics may be discussed. So Eric Holder called for a 'conversation' on race as if we had never talked about this before. But I don't recall him calling for a 'conversation' on immigration.
The other constraint is that 'conversation' must consist in an acquiescence by the conservative in the leftist's nonsense. No dialog allowed.
So whatever you say about Donald Trump, we ought to give him this much: he began a real conversation (no sneer quotes) about immigration. And the RINOs are going to be dragged into it.
You don't like Trump's crudity, bombast, and exaggeration? Me neither. He is undoubtedly lacking in the gravitas department. But on immigration he is basically on the Right track. For proposals more temperate and nuanced we may turn to thinkers such as Daniel Pipes. See here.
Let the conversation (no sneer quotes) begin. Let's see how serious you leftists are about real conversation.
A measured statement from the Christian evangelical camp by Mark Tooley. Excerpt:
At the very least, Christian immigration advocates should urge U.S. immigration policies that strongly prohibit persons who reject American democratic principles. Over one hundred years ago immigration policies screened against anarchist sympathies, which murderously raged in Europe. Later U.S. policies screened against Bolshevism. Of course, the U.S. screened against Nazi and Fascist sympathizers. So too it should protect against adherents of Islamist theocratic political supremacy.
This should strike one as supremely self-evident unless one is a hate-America leftist as are too many people in high places. I don't need to name names.
(That's a curious expression, isn't it? If I write or say a name, I haven't named it. I have named the bearer of the name. For example, if I write 'Obama,' I haven't named that name; to name that name I would have to write something like, " 'Obama'. ")
Donald Trump’s great contribution is saying the unsayable; putting things on the table that would otherwise be buried; calling a spade a spade in a time when political correctness has made us unable to discuss things that have to do with our basic national survival. This is the crux of the issue. Every time he creates a controversy like this he also tells this country that its emperors, Republican and Democrat, have no clothes. That they prefer propriety over defending the country. That they are dedicated only to keeping the lid on a cauldron of threat and challenge they have allowed to boil over.
This is why Trump is so popular. This is why people overlook his gratuitous insults, exaggerations, egomania, and all the rest. Clearly, a moratorium on Muslim immigration is just common sense given the Islamic threat and the incompetence of our leaders in dealing with it. But no mainstream Republican has the courage to call for it. They are, let us say, 'pc-whipped.' One of those whom the cognitive aberration known as political correctness has infected is former Vice President Cheney. Here is Diana West on Cheney:
Cheney says that Trump's proposed ban "goes against everything we believe in," and cites "religious freedom" specifically, which, he notes, is a "very important part of our history."
It should be (but isn't) self-evident by now: Continued Islamic immigration will ensure that "religious freedom" is exactly that -- "part of our history." In the past. Something we read about in books. It is a clear-cut matter, even if seems to have escaped the vice president's ken (despite his waging two wars in the Islamic world): There is no religious freedom in Islam. Nada. Zilch. Rien. Geert Wilders isn't kidding when he says, the more Islam in society, the less freedom there is in society.
This central feature of Islamic law, this central feature of Islam -- namely, the absence of religious freedom -- turns the vice president's appeal for Muslim immigration on the grounds of our history of "religious freedom" into so much emotionalism, so much puffery. In other words, it may puff up the old self-esteem -- what a kindly, generous, beneficent personage am I -- but when the inner smile dies our republic and Constitutional liberties are still imperiled by Islamic immigration waves that carry with them a transformative sharia demographic.
To put it very simply: you cannot grant religious freedom to a religion one of whose central aims is to stamp out all freedom of religion.