Sunday, January 19, 2020

Robert W. Merry: Democrats Ignore The Immigration Elephant In The Room

IMO this is exactly right:
   Indeed, in their 2018 book, The Great Revolt, Salena Zito and Brad Todd posit that Trump got an extra boost from working class Americans put off by the attacks on him from prominent politicians of both parties who called his immigration concerns “unhinged,” “reprehensible,” “xenophobic,” “racist,” and “fascist.” Zito and Todd write that many Trump voters “saw one candidate, who shared their anxiety about immigration’s potential connections to domestic terrorism, being attacked by an entire political and media establishment that blew off that concern as bigotry.”
   In this great political divide, the Democratic candidates at the debate represent the elite preference for policies that embrace or nearly embrace open borders. An NPR study of candidate positions indicated that, on the question of whether illegal crossings should be decriminalized, four of those on the debate stage say yes, while the positions of the other two remain “unclear.” On whether immigration numbers should be increased, four say yes, while two are unclear. On whether federal funding for border enforcement should be increased or decreased, five have no clear position, while one says it should be decreased. A separate Washington Post study on the candidates’ views as to whether illegal immigrants should be covered under a government-run health plan found that five say yes while one has no clear position.
   The Democratic Party has become the party of the country’s elites—globalist, internationalist, anti-nationalist, free-trade, and open borders. Those views are so thoroughly at variance with those of Trump voters that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that we have here a powerful issue of our time, perhaps the most powerful issue. Yet the journalistic moderators at Tuesday’s event didn’t see fit to ask about it. And the candidates weren’t inclined to bring it up in any serious way.
The question isn't whether we will have immigration--it's whether we will have a lot of immigration, or a massive flood of immigration. And: whether we'll try to keep it legal and controlled, or basically just let the flood flood in. There are perfectly legitimate grounds for thinking that mass immigration can sometimes be bad, and that we might want to throttle it back for awhile. Perhaps, y'know, actually enforce the rather minimal laws we have... But the progressive left only has one argument now: you're a racist. If you think immigration should be only done legally, you're a racist. If you think it's even possible that immigration rates are too high, you're a racist. If you think we should generally not let people in who will immediately end up on the dole, you're a racist. If you think immigration--illegal or legal--might increase crime, you're a racist. In fact, if you don't believe that immigration numbers should be raised without limit, and that such immigration is an unmitigated good, you're a racist, racist.
   Several problems intersect here. First, progressives generally have no idea what they're talking about. They don't know whether unrestricted immigration is good or not. They merely accept that it is as an article of their quasi-religion. Second, if they/we are wrong, the damage will likely be extremely difficult to undo. Third, the only way to know is to have an honest, open public inquiry--but honest, open inquiry is racist, racist. Honest, open inquiry is never permitted under progressivism. If you question the faith, you're a racist. So the real danger of doing irreparable harm to the nation intersects with the progressive ban on free and open thought, inquiry and discussion. These reasons alone are sufficient, in my view, to categorically reject the progressive view. I'm happy to admit that I don't know what to do about immigration policy. But I'm immediately against any faction that has a commitment to the suppression of free thought, inquiry and discussion. The problem is made worse by the fact that we know we can't trust most of the research on the question that comes from academia. And so, to be safe, we ought to throttle back on immigration until its possible to rule out the likelihood of social harm with fair certainty. 
   None of this entails being anti-immigration, nor anti-immigrant, nor does it entail giving up a commitment to substantial immigration. It means we need honest, objective investigation, and an honest, open debate about it. More importantly, we have to defeat progressivism and any other political movement that substitutes religious or quasi-religious dogma for rational inquiry.


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