0 comment Thursday, August 7, 2014 |
In these times, it's hard not to wonder what, exactly, are our politicians thinking. I have asked, rhetorically, why they seem to be willfully deaf to the voice of the American people, and I have asked what their defiance of us means to the future of our Republic. My questions are addressed by this important essay at the Center for Immigration Studies website, titled 'Immigration and Usurpation: Elites, Power, and the People's Will.'
The answers suggested in the article are not surprising, but they are distressing and maddening.
Written by Fredo Arias-King, who was a foreign relations advisor to Vicente Fox in 1999-2000, this piece deals with the huge and baffling disconnect between the pro-immigration stance of our political elites and the American people. Arias-King met with dozens of senators and congressmen during the period in question, and he has many incisive observations about the politicians and their motives.
He also writes about the implications for our republican system of government. When the elected officials knowingly circumvent or flout the will of the majority, this has dire implications, which Arias-King examines.
Indeed, American politicians are overwhelmingly pro-immigration, for a variety of reasons, and they do not always admit this to their constituents. Of those 50 legislators, 45 were unambiguously pro-immigration, even asking us at times to ''send more.'' This was true of both Democrats and Republicans.
These empirical findings seemed to confirm what some analysts without that level of access termed as a political "perfect storm" of widespread political-elite support for immigration despite its general unpopularity with the average American. The paradox is that immigration is the only issue (perhaps besides trade policy) that represents a notorious discrepancy between elite and popular opinion in the United States. But this contradicts the established conventional wisdom of a representative democracy such as the United States. If mass immigration from Latin America has debatable benefits for the United States as a whole, if a majority of the American people is against it, and if immigrants cannot vote until they become naturalized (which can take years after their arrival), why would nine-tenths of the legislators we spoke with be so keen on increasing
Arias notes the usual and obvious reasons advanced for the dominance of the pro-immigration position, such as the prospect of many likely new votes for the Democrats, and the GOP's desire to please business and church groups, who have vested interests in increasing immigration. But Arias-King surmised that there was more to it than that.
But there were other, more nuanced reasons that we came upon, usually not discussed by the critics, and probably more difficult to detect without the type of access that we, as a Mexican delegation, had.
[...]Of a handful of motivations, one of the main ones (even if unconscious) of many of these legislators can be found in what the U.S. Founding Fathers called "usurpation." Madison, Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and others devised a system and embedded the Constitution with mechanisms to thwart the "natural" tendency of the political class to usurp power�to become a permanent elite lording over pauperized subjects, as was the norm in Europe at the time. However, the Founding Fathers seem to have based the logic of their entire model on the independent character of the American folk. After reviewing the different mechanisms and how they would work in theory, they wrote in the Federalist Papers that in the end, "If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America �" With all his emphasis on reason and civic virtue as the basis of a functioning and decentralized democratic polity, Jefferson speculated whether Latin American societies could be governed thus.
While Democratic legislators we spoke with welcomed the Latino vote, they seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and "dependable" in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American.'
'[...]they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and "teaching," they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them. Republicans seemed to idealize the patron-client relation with Hispanics as much as their Democratic competitors did. Curiously, three out of the five lawmakers that declared their opposition to amnesty and increased immigration (all Republicans), were from border states.
Also curiously, the Republican enthusiasm for increased immigration also was not so much about voting in the end, even with "converted" Latinos. Instead, these legislators seemingly believed that they could weaken the restraining and frustrating straightjacket devised by the Founding Fathers and abetted by American norms. In that idealized "new" United States, political uncertainty, demanding constituents, difficult elections, and accountability in general would "go away" after tinkering with the People, who have given lawmakers their privileges but who, like a Sword of Damocles, can also "unfairly" take them away. Hispanics would acquiesce and assist in the "natural progress" of these legislators to remain in power and increase the scope of that power. In this sense, Republicans and Democrats were similar.
This is the first time I have read corroborating evidence of what I have suspected to be true; certainly it has been said by some that the politicians were intent on electing themselves a new constituency. I don't claim that as an original insight, but I think it needs to be recognized, Of course the Democrats want a malleable and docile constituency, one which will be a loyal clientele for their handouts and social programs, and a group which will deliver votes faithfully in exchange for benefits and preferences. Maybe they see the Hispanics as a more easily influenced group than blacks or other native-born minorities. I honestly think that they want a less 'uppity' constituency, and they think that a third-world people will be more easily pleased and easily manipulated, or maybe they think, in their delusion, that one more sizeable minority group will act as a 'buffer' between black and white. Or, even more likely, they want to further neutralize 'whitey', those rednecks they spoke of to Arias-King. And I suspect many on the Republican side are guilty of the same motivations.
And yes, Arias-King says that these two-faced politicians used such terms as 'redneck' in speaking of those they pretend to represent and serve
I remember few instances when a legislator spoke well of his or her white constituents. One even called them "rednecks," and apologized to us on their behalf for their incorrect attitude on immigration. Most of them seemed to advocate changing the ethnic composition of the United States as an end in itself. Jefferson and Madison would have perhaps understood why this is so�enthusiasm for mass immigration seems to be correlated with examples of undermining the "just and constitutional laws" they devised.'
[Emphasis mine]
Please note the passage about 'changing the ethnic composition of the United States...'
This is what many of us have been saying, to mostly deaf ears, for some time now.
Apparently these duplicitous pols let their guard down with Arias-King; no doubt they felt they could show their true face to their Hispanic colleague.
More outrageous passages from this piece:
Some legislators had also mentioned to us (oftentimes laughing) how they had "defanged" or "gutted" anti-immigration bills and measures, by neglecting to fund this program or tabling that provision, or deleting the other measure, etc. "Yes, we passed that law, but it can�t work because we also�" was a usual comment to assuage the Mexican
In light of what we learned from speaking to them privately, it is surprising that many legislators have gone public recently with their pro-immigration views, as opposed to simply adding their votes discreetly and imposing a fait accompli...'
So these quislings admit, laughingly, that they are fooling and duping us 'rednecks' and rubes. A recent example would be the passing of the border fence legislation, in May of this year, then in July, refusing to fund it:
Senate denies funds for new border fence
Likewise, the initiative announced by Presidente Bush to put Guardsmen on the border, then sending a mere few, who are allowed only a 'supporting' role. This is the kind of Janus-faced deceit practiced by our elected officials.
Arias-King's article is a lengthy one, but an important one. The issues discussed are ones which we Americans urgently need to attend to. It is bad enough, shocking enough, that our political elites are attempting to replace or displace the population of the country they supposedly serve. It is disgusting (but sadly, not surprising) that they apparently regard us, the American people with such contempt and scorn. It is appalling that they have no loyalty and no patriotic, fellow feeling for their constituents and their heritage, But it is unconscionable, and a crime, that they are actively and knowingly subverting the will of the people and the Constitutional system they are sworn to uphold.
Our elected officials, for the most part, are a treasonous, corrupt, co-opted breed. It's past time that we had a clean sweep. We need to vote out almost all the incumbents, and start fresh, with politicians who are honest men and women. We need a new political party, because it seems all too clear that the existing parties do not have our interests at heart, and have regard only for their own power and greed. Because of these 'men' and women, our country's future is on the line. Truly. I am not sure that many people really grasp that fact.
I know there are many diehard party loyalists on the GOP side who claim that the Republicans are our only hope, insisting that a few isolated patriots in the party (Tancredo, for example) prove that the party is still worthy to survive. Sorry, but a few exceptions do not disprove the rule. The majority in both parties are selling this country out. And the pathetic argument that the GOP is the 'lesser of the evils' is a feeble one. To quote a trite (but true) saying, 'the lesser of two evils is still evil.'
I truly hope that this piece by Arias-King will get the attention it deserves, but somehow I suspect it won't; the big-time bloggers will probably pass it by, in favor of the usual partisan dust-ups, and this will be buried and forgotten. But it needs to be seen and read and discussed. I urge everyone to read it.
Postscript: Here is a link to a wonderful essay by Fredo Arias-King, in which he expresses heartfelt admiration and support for the United States. If only some of 'our' elected officials had as much sincere appreciation for America as he obviously does.