Peter Brimelow writes: This is the transcript of my interview with American Renaissance Editor Jared Taylor, which he posted as a podcast August 24 under the title Donald Trump: A Call for Deportation. I was taken off guard by Jared’s question about how I would “put a cherry on top [of Trump’s plan] and improve it to the point of perfection”—a measure of how very long immigration patriots have been on the defensive—and am still thinking of bigger cherries.
Jared Taylor: Hello. This is Jared Taylor. My guest today is Peter Brimelow, known to many of us as the founding father and presiding genius of VDARE.COM.com. VDARE.COM bills itself as the premier news outlet for patriotic immigration reform and I’d say that hits the nail right on the head. Today I’d like to speak to Mr. Brimelow about Donald Trump’s program for immigration reform.
There are more and more reasons to take his program seriously because it is more and more likely that Mr. Trump could actually win the Republican nomination. According to the very recent polls, he’s increased his lead over his competitors for the nomination and now, no fewer than 32% of probable Republican voters say he’s their top choice. Jeb Bush is trailing with just half that number at 16%. [VDARE.com note: One poll shows Trump with 28 percent, and Jeb with seven percent—his lowest since 2013. Another poll gives Trump 40 percent.]
In any case, on Sunday [August 15], Mr. Trump formally issued his policies on immigration reform. So, Mr. Brimelow, tell me, what do you think of his policies?
Peter Brimelow: Well—Mr. Taylor—they are stunning. I’ve been following this subject now since 1992 when I wrote that National Review cover story that evolved into Alien Nation and this is the most explicit any presidential candidate has ever been. I think Pat Buchanan was very good, but he never really put this kind of emphasis on it.
The really extraordinary thing is that we thought Trump was playing this game of “Illegal Bad; Legal Good,” which is a common way that Republican politicians get around the issue. There were signs that he was doing that—until he suddenly comes forward and issues this statement.
If you read it carefully, you see, for example, that he’s implying that he would go for a moratorium. He would do without green cards until the employment situation improves. That’s a moratorium, he just doesn’t say so in so many words.
Taylor: Yes, he seems to be saying that until every American who wants a job, gets one, he is just going to stop letting people come in legally.
Brimelow: Now, he’s wobbled on that, subsequently. One of the really strong bloggers in this area, Norm Matloff, who follows the H1B question, is angry at Trump because of this. But, you know, Trump also waffled on the question of illegal immigration. I don’t think it’s really fair to judge Trump in the way in which you would judge any other candidate. He doesn’t have focus groups, who carefully look at every position, he just shoots from the hip. But his hip seems to be moving in a very good direction.
Taylor: Yes, and I think most Americans rather admire the fact that he doesn’t have focus groups, he doesn’t lick his finger and put it up in the air to decide what position to take. He really says what he feels like.
Brimelow: I agree. Ann Coulter, whom I have a tremendous amount of admiration for—I really think her book, Adios America is quite excellent—thinks that Trump is popular because of the immigration issue. And generally speaking, I guess that’s true. But I think that there is something deeper and, in some ways, non-political about his appeal. There’s just something about his personality. John Derbyshire wrote something for us recently saying that you have to read The Golden Bough to understand American politics. There is something deeply Jungian about it, something archetypically masculine, kinglike in his appeal.
Taylor: I agree 100%. I think as far as policies are concerned that ordinary Americans are absolutely thrilled to find someone like Donald Trump. But at the same time, I believe it’s correct that he’s been touting polls saying Hispanics like him more than other Republicans, and I think that reflects a kind of macho charisma.
But, back to his positions on immigration, I agree that at the end of his official statement, it does seem like he is asking for a moratorium. But aside from that, what are the aspects that you think are the most encouraging?
Brimelow: Well, for us at VDARE.COM.com, the thing that delighted us the most in the proposal is reform of the birthright citizenship interpretation 14th Amendment reform—closing the “Anchor Baby” loophole. It’s one of our favorite subjects, one we’ve been writing about for 14 years. All by itself, this would defang the political incentive to have illegal immigration, because Democrats would no longer be importing undocumented Democrats. And that’s of course why they are responding with such hysteria.
We have calculated on VDARE.COM.com, Ed Rubenstein ran the numbers, that ending birthright citizenship would all by itself halve the speed of Republican drift into minority status. This isn’t, by the way, because I particularly care about the Republican Party. But we have this concept at VDARE.COM of GAP as opposed to GOP—the Generic American Party. Republicans are the party of the American majority by default. Anyways, all by itself, birthright citizenship would give them many more years as the dominant party.
By the way, Jared, looking at your remarks in American Renaissance about two days ago [Is Trump Our Last Chance? August 20, 2015], I don’t think this is the last election that whites can elect the champion of a white-orientated party. We’ve run numbers on that too, and it came out that they could do it, even without an immigration moratorium, well into the middle of this century. But they simply would just have to mobilize the base. They would have to start getting all American whites voting like they do in the South, 80-90% for the Republican Party.
Taylor: Yes, I am sure that’s true. It seems that, from one presidential year to another, the white percentage of the electorate goes down something in the order of 2%-2.5%.
Brimelow: You mean of votes cast?
Taylor: Well of the electorate, so yes.
Brimelow: See, the problem that we’ve seen in the last two presidential election cycles, both for McCain and for Romney, is that white turnout has fallen sharply. So it’s not simply a question of the Republicans not getting a particularly good share of the white votes cast—they don’t. I think Romney barely got about 57-58%, which is just not enough. But the actual turnout, the raw numbers, are also down.
Having said that by the way, the Hispanic turnout was down too. The Hispanic turnout is absolutely atrocious, 27% in 2014—because they don’t really care about American politics.
Taylor: Well, certainly, the last two times around white people, who really care about their country, didn’t feel like they really had a candidate that mattered.
I think you’re right, yes, it would take mobilization of white voters. But do you think the GOP has the backbone to realize that and act on that?
Brimelow: The short answer is no. But the medium-term answer is that politicians are quite adroit about doing things that ensure their own survival. A classic example being, of course, Pete Wilson in California latching on to Proposition 187 in 1994. That got him reelected even though he raised taxes and has done all types of unconservative things that annoyed the Republican base.
And the long-term answer, Jared, is, you know, it doesn’t really matter in some respects. There is this concept of the “implicit community.” Just by not being Obama, the Republicans are going to get votes.
Taylor: I was just speaking with a friend today who said that that is an enormous part of Trump’s appeal—that he is absolutely the mirror-image opposite of Barack Obama. Everything about Barack Obama, turn it on its head, and you get Donald Trump. And I think he’s right about that.
Brimelow: Was he raising questions about Obama’s sexuality?
Taylor: [laughs] He has, yes. I’m not sure I buy that. But in fact, this friend of mine is a blogger in his own right who has looked into this question about the rumors circulating among the gay bars in Chicago. I don’t know what to make of that myself, but the theory is once he’s out of office, tongues will begin to wag…
Brimelow: Well, once he’s out of office, we’ll probably find out he was born on Mars, but the Mainstream Media covered it up.
One of the really interesting things about American politics and American media politics over the past 15 years that I’ve been doing VDARE.COM.com is the extent which the MSM has coordinated itself. The Internet is a two-edged sword. On one hand it allows us to get our point of view out there. But it also allows them to coordinate, and I don’t know which is better.
Taylor: I think that they’ve been coordinating for a long time though, even without the Internet. They have the kind of Hive mentality—or the “Cathedral,” as some of the Dark Enlightenment people refer to it.
Brimelow: Yes, but it’s more efficient now.
Taylor: Yes, that’s certainly true. Well, you said that eliminating birthright citizenship would reduce a lot of the demand or desire for illegal immigration. I’m not convinced so much of that.
Brimelow: No, Jared, it wouldn’t necessarily reduce the demand for illegal immigration because these people would still be here. What it would do is reduce the political impact, the voting impact.
Taylor: I see.
Brimelow: Actually, it is actually what Ted Cruz occasionally insinuates he wants. The Republican donors are not actually all that committed to having these people as citizens. They would just like them here as helots—as non-voting slaves.
For example, this awful woman, Helen Krieble, the Loctite heiress, who runs horse farms in Colorado, put a lot of money up during the last Bush Amnesty attempt to try to get some sort of compromise, what she called a “Red Card.” A Red Card meant that people could live here legally, but not as citizens. She flat-out said that she does not want to see these people naturalized. All she is interested in is cheap labor.
Taylor: Yes. I think that if that attitude were really widespread and dominant, there could be a way to import labor that was basically hermetically sealed from the rest of society. But I just don’t think that Americans have it in them to maintain that kind of hermetic seal. Once workers start coming in, then they will drift through the seal. And we’ll have to educate them, we’ll have to pay for their courtroom interpreters, and that sort of thing.
Brimelow: Well this goes to the non-Proposal parts of what Trump has been saying. As you know, in the “Meet the Press” interview he gave, he just flat out said “they have to go.” Now, he doesn’t say that in his actual position paper, but it is good news. And he’s right, they should go, all of them.
Taylor: What do you think the prospects are of actually getting them all to leave? All the illegals, I mean.
Brimelow: I mean, it would be a rather simple thing to do. I was just looking at this idiot George Will column, that came out in the Washington Post a couple of days ago saying that nobody could be in “The Party Of Liberty” and be in favor of mass deportation. Well where the devil was “The Party Of Liberty” when Eisenhower implemented Operation Wetback? They threw a million and a half people out of the country in 1952. And they didn’t actually have to deport 1.5 million people. What they did was deport a couple hundred thousand and that sent the message to the rest, and they left. And that’s what will happen now.
Taylor: I agree. I think, first of all, that if Donald Trump really does implement E-Verify, so it is difficult for people to be employed in anything but cash under the table kind of jobs, that would send a lot of them scurrying home just by itself. But, on top of that, just a few high profile deportations of utterly unoffending, deep-roots-in-the-community type of admirable Mexicans, if the Trump administration has the backbone to do that, that’s all it would take. The word would get out. Either you decide when you go or ICE will decide when you go. And given that choice, I think the vast majority would clear out.
Brimelow: There are two issues. One is attrition through enforcement, which Mitt Romney calls self-deportation. The other thing that VDARE.COM talks about is strategic deportation. You go to someone like this Jose Antonio Vargas character, this Filipino who worked for the Washington Post, or some illegal valedictorian, and you throw them out.
But Jared, you know, it’s not illegal immigration that is ultimately important, it’s legal immigration. And that’s the really wonderful thing about what Trump has done here. He seems to have bought the whole Jeff Sessions thesis that we have to run legal immigration in the interests of American workers—i.e. less of it will reduce workforce competition.
Taylor: Yes, I find that it’s startlingly refreshing to find a major politician saying that immigration policies should be in service of Americans, rather than foreigners.
Brimelow: Unheard of, isn’t it? Although, having said that though, one of the good things about this current crop of GOP presidential candidates is that there are a few of them saying this—like Santorum, and of course Scott Walker in a fumbling sort of way, so there’s glacial progress. There’s glacial progress everywhere except for Trump, where it’s is dramatic.
Taylor: But is not the glacial progress due to Trump really having set fire to this issue?
Brimelow: Well, no, it isn’t, because Santorum actually said this last time he ran. He hasn’t emphasized it since, but he has started to say it again. Scott Walker announced that he changed his mind on immigration and has started talking about the workers and that he was influenced by Sessions, before Trump even declared, I think.
But the issue is on fire now because of Trump.
Taylor: Yes. The other thing that the Trump phenomenon has set me to musing about is the possibility that a Trump administration, which is not in the realm of pure fantasy now. It seems to me the given, the bully pulpit effect, not only of the presidency, but the cabinet and political appointees, he could change the way Americans speak not only about immigration, but about a whole host of subjects. Do you not agree?
Brimelow: Absolutely. One thing that is very clear, and that he has clearly shown, is that the Establishment consensus about what can be said and what can be done is very brittle. It was always very clear from opinion polls that Americans didn’t agree with it. But it turns out that the Establishment consensus is much less enforceable than they thought.
Taylor: Yes. Back to something you said earlier, that the one thing American politicians seem to be good at is survival. Now I can think of certain exceptions in which candidates had opportunities to take a poke at a non-white opponent and refrained to do so and then lost, But if it is evident (and I believe it is) that Trump’s policies on immigration are part of his popularity, I’m sure they will be adopted by others. It wouldn’t have to be this time around, but they will become part of the armature of people who are seeking political office.
Brimelow: You know, on a normal calculation about politics, I would say that. But, studying this immigration issue over the past 20 or so years, I have become aware of the fact that there is almost an occult force in American politics which prevent politicians from doing this, even though it’s obviously popular. I mean it is absurd on its face that the Republican Party, and a Republican president, has twice tried to push through Amnesty, and then there was this Gang of Eight Bill, although it was obviously suicidal for the Party. It was completely suicidal for the Party. Why are they trying to do this? I think you have to look toward a number of factors, one of which is the influence of the big donors.
Taylor: But, is it not really at root, a question of race? It seems to me that if current immigration were exactly as it is in terms of professional and criminal and welfare use profile, but were all white, then wouldn’t it be so much easier to say, “throw the baggage out?”
Brimelow: Oh yes, sure. There would be no hesitation. People often say if these people are coming across the southern border voted Republican, there would have been a cutoff years ago. Nancy Pelosi would be on the border. [Laughs]
Taylor: Well, if you were going to take the Trump position and put a cherry on top and improve it to the point of perfection, what’s the cherry that you would add?
Brimelow: Let’s assume the Trump position includes that he was actually serious about deportation. And let’s assume that he is serious about reducing the numbers of illegal immigrants. And let’s assume that he actually cuts off the Refugee Racket, which basically is like 100,000 a year.
I would like to have a flat-out immigration moratorium indefinitely. I think I would like to see some type of Official English legislation, to make it illegal for employers to make it a requirement to speak Spanish and that sort of thing, modeled, of course on what was done in Quebec. Official English is something that simply has not been mentioned yet in the campaign and should be.
What I personally would actually like to see is retroactivity in the abolition of birthright citizenship. I think the U.S. should strip citizenship from people who are the children of illegal immigrants.
It’s a radical proposal, of course, but it has been done. Both in the American South and in South Africa, citizenship was basically stripped from blacks, in South Africa after the Afrikaners got control in the early 1900s.
Of course, this will be denounced as racist and the examples that I’ve given are racial, but in both cases, they’re cases of nations trying to define themselves and trying to get control of political institutions. That’s in the end what is going on here.
Taylor: Well, yes. It would be a question of stripping American citizens of citizenship that they got in ways now considered illegitimate. That would be a matter of law and not a matter of race.
Brimelow: That’s next! [Laughter]
Taylor: Well the other aspect of this that could conceivably be very important, and this may be the subject on which we’ll close, is that if the U.S. were to take a healthy view on its borders and on turfing out the people who broke the law to get in here, it would be a tremendous example for Europe.
Brimelow: Right, and the European crisis now has suddenly become more acute than the U.S. crisis. Although, no more acute than the Israeli crisis was. They’re in the situation the Israelis would have been—if the Israelis hasn’t actually cut off their inflow and thrown these people out and built a fence and all these things we advocate.
Taylor: Yes. I’m very concerned about what’s happening in Europe. It’s a slow motion version of the Camp of the Saints, it seems. And although there are stirrings of resistance against what the French are increasingly calling “The Great Replacement,” it’s not nearly enough.
Jared Taylor [Email him] is editor of American Renaissance and the author of Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America. (For Peter Brimelow’s review, click here.) His most recent book is White Identity.