The Stupidity of Fanatics

For many people, the last decade or so has been a transition away from conventional politics into something outside of that narrow realm of Left versus Right. Whatever one wants to call the new sort of politics emerging outside conventional politics, it is largely driven by the fanaticism of both Left and Right. Both of those camps are convinced they can solve the problems of the human condition. The result is this.

The electoral upset of Eric Cantor last week — partially blamed on his squishiness about immigration, along with stories of immigrant children streaming across the US-Mexican border — have seriously dimmed the prospects of legislating immigration reform anytime soon.

That’s a shame, because normalizing the status of our millions of illegal immigrants, while clearly benefiting them, is also essential to the economic and social welfare of the country as a whole.

The writer claims to be a conservative. He is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, which bills itself as right-wing, but in the current context that simple means slightly to the Right the Left. Regardless of ideology, you would think someone sporting the title “senior fellow” could get the facts right. Cantor lost because he favored amnesty and open borders. That’s not a fact in dispute by people who pay attention to these things.

Calling amnesty “normalizing the status of our millions of illegal immigrants” is dishonest even by the standards of the usual suspects. Of course, the fanatic first deceives himself, which is why he can so shamelessly try to deceive others. That’s what makes “conservative” an useless label these days. This guy calls himself a conservative, yet he is every bit as deluded and fanatical as a lefty.

Let’s start with what is not going to happen — no matter who is the House majority leader. Most illegal immigrants will not be leaving the country, either voluntarily through “self-deportation” as suggested by Mitt Romney, or involuntarily through actual deportation, notwithstanding the current administration’s aggressive efforts in this direction.

So, we have only two options in dealing with these 11 million American residents: We can keep them in their current marginal status with all the negative effects that entails for them and their communities or acknowledge their ongoing presence among us and legalize it.

Peter Salins is an unbalanced fanatic. Unless he has been in a coma for the last decade, waking up only to pen this column, he most certainly has heard the many other suggestions to deal with the invasion from the south. We have lots of options, but open borders fanatics like Peter Salins are incapable of hearing them. That’s the nature of fanatics. They see only that which feeds their fanaticism.

Both they and the country will be much better off if we pursue the latter course.

For the opponents of immigration reform, there appear to be three major concerns. Illegal immigrants: 1) broke the law, and thus shouldn’t be rewarded with “amnesty”; 2) are harming the American economy by displacing American workers and burdening American taxpayers; and 3) are a threat to American culture and values.

There are two other reasons why many Americans would like to pull the plug on immigration. One is we simply don’t want a bunch of foreigners in our towns. As citizens, that is our right. The other is men like Salins made these same arguments in the 1960’s and the 1980’s. In both cases, they were all wrong. Prudent people will wisely suspect that the third time is not the charm. Gis arguments are the same well-rehearsed nonsense we have heard for years.  He concludes with this bit:

If congressional politicians in both parties can craft a tough and realistic “grand bargain” on these terms, they would be unleashing a human capital windfall not only for the affected immigrants but for all of American society.

Well, if we can conjure leprechauns riding unicorns with gold bars flying out of their butts, we can solve all of our problems! My goodness. How can you make it to old age and still have such silly nonsense in your head?

1 thought on “The Stupidity of Fanatics

  1. I read recently in a book on U.S. Presidents that several candidates in the 19th century had floated the idea of paying Spain for Mexico (100 million $) much the same as the purchase of Florida (5 million $). Mexico would have been carved up into states with borders similar to the current ones, and the U.S. would instantly have millions of new citizens. Perhaps we should try for something like this again. The only opposition at the time was from Southern slave states, as Spain had just made slavery illegal. We are certainly going to have to be creative if we are going to clean up the mess, and a solution like this is not forthcoming from lib/prog/conservative people. Cuba was also for sale at one time. Buy ’em out. That’s how we quadrupeled our resources in a few short years in the past, and seems to be the American way.

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