Happy New Year to all the VDARE.COM readers who have supported my columns since they first appeared in November 2001.
I have been touched and inspired by the hundreds of e-mails you have sent me during the last three years.
Speaking as someone who has cranked out hundreds of thousands of words about immigration reform since 1988—occasionally wondering what impact those words may have—I cannot adequately express how welcome your encouragement is.
I am fortunate to work with my equally dedicated VDARE.COM colleagues.
Special thanks go to my editor, Peter Brimelow, who provides me with just the right mix of guidance and journalistic freedom. And thanks also to James Fulford for inserting the hyperlinks into all the VDARE.COM columns that make them immensely more interesting and informative.
To my columnist friends who double as grassroots activists—Dave Gorak, D.A. King and Brenda Walker—I wish an especially rewarding 2005. Banging heads against the immigration crisis by day then writing about it by night is a heavy load.
And to the other VDARE.COM contributors with whom I have met and from whom I have learned, all best wishes in 2005: Thomas Allen, Sam Francis, Michelle Malkin, Juan Mann, Ed Rubenstein, Linda Thom and Steve Sailer.
Most importantly to our friend Allan Wall, who will ship out to Iraq with his National Guard unit any day now, I send special wishes and prayers.
Summarizing 2004, we had a good—if not quite great—year.
Earlier this week, Michelle wrote a sober and 100% accurate assessment of where the immigration reform movement stands. Her bottom line: as long as the borders remain open, the U.S. is in trouble.
No one can argue.
But closing the borders will be our final triumph. Before that will happen grassroots momentum for reform must build to such a level that the federal government can no longer ignore it.
We're not quite there yet. But we are marching tirelessly toward that goal.
Let's take a longer view of progress toward immigration reform by comparing where we were a few years ago to where we are today.
Here, over roughly five years, is what we've accomplished:
Most importantly, immigration reform was a campaign issue in dozens of 2004 elections. Our side lost more than we won. But the important thing is that we fielded good, solid candidates—too numerous to list—who never backed down.
Each of them is a trailblazer.
Consider this analysis that California Republican Ed Laning shared regarding his Congressional loss to incumbent Joe Baca:
Summarizing his campaign as "extraordinary," Laning pointed out that
"I received 44,000 votes and Joe Baca received 76,000 votes. The Republican candidate who ran in 2002 received 20,000 votes, so we made progress.
Look at the trend. Laning, running hard on a serious immigration reform platform against an avowed reconquista, got more than twice the votes of the 2002 challenger.
It's taking time. But we are getting there.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.