'Nativists need not apply!'
0 comment Tuesday, July 29, 2014 |
The title of this post is a quote from a self-described conservative blogger, who, in a post on the border issue, invited comments and 'debate', incongruously adding the caveat: 'Nativists need not apply!'
Was he ironically alluding to that famous phrase of the 19th-century exclusionary sign, stating 'No Irish need apply'?
I would guess so, although I would point out that the story of the 'No Irish' signs is now considered apocryphal by some scholars. But regardless, the phrase has entered our store of 'common wisdom' though it may not be true; it's always used by those seeking to discredit 'nativism' and to advocate for free, unfettered immigration.
Nativism: the word has certainly been getting quite a workout of late. The New York Times, true to liberal practice, throws the word around rather freely, lately using it in an op-ed piece on March 3, 2006. But oddly the phrase is much favored by the pro-amnesty faction of the GOP lately, too. What do we make of an insult which is deployed by both the ultra-liberal NYT and a 'conservative' like Michael Medved? Of course Medved is not the only Republican to whip out the 'nativist' card, but he did so in yesterday's piece at Townhall.com.
This is sadly typical of the 'respectable conservative' viewpoint; attempting to paint the amnesty faction as the 'mainstream', majority opinion, and to distance oneself from those evil narrow-minded 'nativists' who are thus being disinvited from the 'debate.' I wonder what kind of debate can be had with only certain points of view allowed? Is this in the spirit of our Founding Fathers? Maybe those founders were themselves (shudder!) nativists according to the neocons' definition.
But what is the dictionary definition?
1. A sociopolitical policy, especially in the United States in the 19th century, favoring the interests of established inhabitants over those of immigrants
2. The reestablishment or perpetuation of native cultural traits, especially in opposition to acculturation.
Now I suppose I need some morally superior neocon open-borderite to explain, from his high moral perch, what is wrong with the above policy. When, specifically, did it become wrong to favor 'the interests of established inhabitants over those of immigrants'? What kind of person thinks such a policy is objectionable? If it is so, then we have to condemn just about any country which has existed since time began; it is a 'given', at least in a world which makes any sense, that a country exists for the benefit of its people. The people, according to our Founders, are the nation. The 1798 Naturalization Act provided certain conditions for those desiring to become citizens of the United States. The people of this country, via their representatives, had a right to decide who enters and who becomes an American, according to their own interests as a nation. It is a given that the country exists for the citizens, not for the whole world, or humanity at large. Citizens have primacy. So find fault with that. Tell me why it is not so, or why it should not be so.
Yet I guarantee you that many people today would find fault with that principle, and do. These people are by defnition liberals, because they evidently believe that each generation can rewrite the principles of their country to suit modern prejudices. Liberals take it as a given that each generation is more enlightened, wiser, more knowledgeable, and just better than those benighted old white guys who founded this country. They, our forebears, were ignorant, and didn't know what we know. And there are a good many people who subscribe to this arrogant view of history, who really believe that we today are superior to the writers of our Constitution, and even better than our parents and grandparents. These people conflate scientific and technical knowledge with wisdom and enlightenment. It is undeniable that we are technically more advanced than previous generations but the state of the world belies the notion that we are wiser or more advanced. Yet people arrogantly assume this. And not all those who do so are Democrats; there are plenty of liberals who vote Republican as well as those who blindly follow the Democrat Party or the Greens. Liberalism, as I will continue to say, suffuses all our thought these days, and unless we consciously reject it and swim against the current, we end up being swept along with the liberal tide.
There are plenty of Republicans, especially those of the Wall Street Journal/Country Club set, whose presuppositions are mostly liberal; they mingle with the hip liberal intelligentsia and they don't want to be associated with those hicks and rednecks who hold 'backward' nativist views. And there are Republicans whose principles are nothing more than blind loyalty to a party label or the person of the President, and who will follow pied pipers towards open borders and other such radical notions.
And there are Republicans who differ from Democrats only in supporting a strong military or lower taxes.
So we have an unholy alliance of ostensible 'conservatives' aligning with the likes of ultra-liberal Ted Kennedy in support of the Senate amnesty bill. Why these people have suddenly lost their antipathy for the most liberal of Democrats is a mystery, but many Republicans are suddenly choosing strange bedfellows on this border issue. As I've said, we are seeing a sifting of the GOP via this issue, and the results aren't promising. Precious few of the GOP are proving to be truly conservative or pro-American. It's getting harder to assume that the GOP are the 'pro-American' patriotic party, while so many of them are supporting mass immigration, a truly radical notion. I will say it again: there is nothing conservative about mass immigration and the transformation of our country. There is no conservative argument to be made for it.
None. Whatsoever.
So, Michael Medved and his fellow liberal Republicans, they of the 'respectable' wing of the GOP, are lining up with the leftists to take potshots at conservatives, and resorting to using the same ad hominems and trite NYT-style name-calling. Thanks for showing us where you stand, and where your loyalties lie.
Medved, I am afraid, is in the same camp as the other immigration sentimentalists, who are legion. If I had a dollar for every maudlin story I've heard lately about poor immigrant grandparents (who came to Ellis Island penniless, in steerage, not knowing a word of English, etc). I would be wealthy beyond my wildest dreams. Enough with the hackneyed tearjerker stories. When did we confer mass sainthood on immigrants? Why is having immigrant grandparents or great-grandparents suddenly a claim to moral authority on the border issue? If anything, it increases the likelihood of a blind spot on the subject. Bias comes in many forms, and these people, with their weepy soft spot for immigrants, have a bias, and cannot treat the subject rationally. Perhaps these people, not those bad, bad nativists, should abstain from the debate because they cannot detach from their feelings and personal prejudices on the subject. We don't make policy on the basis of anecdotes about family members, or at least in a civilized, rational country we shouldn't. If, in a democracy, we have people making decisions on the basis of personal bias and emotion, without regard for the common interest or the well-being of the country as a whole, our country will not be a principled country. It will be everybody against everybody else, based on selfish feelings and competing interests. But we live in a narcissistic age when the individual's 'feelings' reign supreme. So we have de facto open borders, and tens of millions of illegals because we have gone soft and maudlin about immigration. Those of us who counsel detached common sense and adherence to the rule of law, and to our traditions, are called 'mean-spirited' or 'hard-hearted' or -- wait for it -- 'nativist.'
So be it.
I'd rather be a 'nativist' than a Politically-Correct open borders shill, selling out my country for the sake of striking a morally superior pose. Or for the sake of cheap domestic help or exploitable labor. The word 'nativist' is only a slur in the minds of those who don't put the interests of American citizens first.
And if I am part of a 'fringe' movement, as all the liberals in both parties say, then hooray for the fringe. My ancestors (who were not immigrants, thank you, but settlers, colonists, trail-blazers, and oh yes, some American Indians) who fought for this country's independence, were a 'fringe' group, according to the establishment of that time. The majority of the 'respectable' folk wanted to stay part of the British colonial system, and gave their allegiance to the Crown. I promise you that these respectable, establishment loyalists called my patriot ancestors in Virginia and Massachusetts disparaging names. According to them, the patriots were a 'fringe' group. So much for mainstream opinion.
I also guarantee you that my Founding ancestors held views which were much more 'nativist' and 'xenophobic' than the pious cant spouted by the pro-amnesty, open borders 'conservatives' of today. I challenge Medved, who prides himself on being some kind of American History expert, to find any support in the founding documents, or in the personal writings of our Founders, for mass immigration or open borders. Can't be done. The maudlin, hack poem by Emma Lazarus,(Give me your tired, your poor...') contrary to public opinion, is not representative of our Founding principles.
So, I will hold fast to the principles of my forefathers in this country: for a sovereign America, which is based on an Anglocentric history, culture, and language, a sovereign America which has borders and protects them, a sovereign America which is not hopelessly entangled with the corrupt leaders of a country like Mexico. I will stand with those men, whom I know to be right and to be sound thinkers and true patriots. If doing so draws scorn and derision and abuse from the 'open borders' pharisees and cheap labor procurers, then that merely confirms I am on the right side.
I encourage my fellow nativists (and I know there are many; we are the majority, contrary to what the country club Republicans and the moonbat lefties say) to reclaim the word, not to be ashamed of it.
So I will wear the 'nativist fringe' badge with considerable pride.