Wednesday, May 18, 2016

RCP: 1996: Bill Clinton Talking Like Donald Trump About (Illegal) Immigration

"We are a nation of laws"
   There are legitimate criticisms of Trump's assertions about immigration. For example, it's obviously nuts to suggest a ban of any kind on people because of their religion. Even if Trump were qualified otherwise, IMO that assertion comes pretty close to disqualifying him.
   OTOH, there are lots of illegitimate criticisms of Trump on the topic. For example, he did not say that "Mexicans are rapists," contrary to what many have said. For another, he is not "anti-immigration." Almost no conservatives are anti-immigration, but they are described thusly more commonly than they are described accurately, i.e. as anti-illegal-immigration. There is all the difference in the world between those two things. The fact that "anti-immigration" is the formulation that's most common seems to indicate either that those using the term can't understand the simple distinction, or they're intentionally being dishonest.
   At any rate, here's the video.
   Clinton is being reasonable, and Trump has said many similar things. So...same, right?
   I take it that this is supposed to constitute a consistency ad hominem against Democrats.
   But it doesn't work.
   Only the extremely uninformed or dogmatic think that Trump hasn't said anything reasonable about immigration. The problem is that he's said at least one entirely unreasonable thing about it as well.
   Some sectors of the left have moved fairly far from Clinton's '96 position. The PC left basically wants open borders (which would likely constitute the end of the U.S. as a viable political entity), and many liberals aren't all that far from the same position. After all, "sanctuary cities" are basically predicated on the idea that it is wrong to enforce immigration laws.
   Anyway, though Trump's Muslim comment was crazy, in general, conservatives are saner than the PC left. As a wise web pundit who shall remain nameless once said to me: there is no alternative to the humane enforcement of just immigration laws.
   A lot of anti-Trump sentiment also seems to have been generated by his advocacy of a border fence. Early liberal opposition to a fence often cited an objection to the "imagery," and made reference to the Berlin Wall. That's a really stupid argument. The Berlin Wall was/is a symbol of oppression because East Germany built it to keep its own citizens from leaving, not to keep non-citizens out. I'm in favor of a fence if it's sufficiently cost-effective and doesn't interfere with important wildlife migration patterns. If someone is dim enough to think it recalls the Berlin Wall, that's their problem, not ours. If you see that the symbolism argument is dopey, and you recognize that we have to have immigration laws, and you think that a fence would be cost-effective, I don't see how you can be against it... And if you recognize all those things and still think we need more immigration from south of the border, I'd suggest that you lobby for increased legal immigration. That'd be perfectly reasonable. As I always add: I'd like to see us get serious about the population problem some day. It'd be better if that happened sooner, but it needn't happen immediately. (Of course all concern about overpopulation has itself been decreed racist...but I'm done shredding dumb points for one night.)

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