June 10, 2004
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From: Bob Simmons [email him]
I've always have been a voracious reader of your web site. But now I have a problem.
Ya wanna hear about it?
No matter, here it is. Do you know what the weebee geebees are? Well, that's what I got after reading In Memoriam: Ronald W. Reagan. Don't laugh cuz the weebee geebees are nothing to laugh about.
Ronald Reagan a great president! GAWD! He's one level below a skunk in heat. And I'm talking about one thing: Immigration reform. And that's what you should be talking about, but apparently aren't.
Guess who not only signed the infamous IRCA law in 1986 but also lobbied for it? Guess who not only signed in infamous SAW temporary residency law and also lobbied it? Guess who told the INS to back off asking for funds to finance the employer sanctions part of IRCA Law? The floodgates at the border were opened letting millions to flood in - guess in whose administration?
That's right. You got it in one try. YOUR BOY, RONALD REAGAN.
Peter Brimelow responds: A significant number of readers have been distressingly sniffy about Ronald Reagan. (So was Sam Francis, but he's a grouch.) Of course, this sniffiness serves an important galvanizing function: Bob Simmons is quite right to stress the disaster of mass immigration, already becoming visible during Reagan's Presidency.
Nevertheless, I think this sniffiness unfair analytically and unwise politically.
Analytically, Reagan concentrated on two or three issues that were vital in his day and ignored much else in the sprawling, hydra-headed federal government. Immigration was not among those issues. But that was then and this is now. A new generation of issues has come to the fore. It is entirely natural that a new generation of political leaders will be required to deal with them. And when they do, they will have to pick their battles, as Reagan did.
Politically, dissing Reagan says in effect that all action is hopeless. And it's not. After the Goldwater disaster, the American Conservative Movement was every bit as deeply in the hole as the Immigration Reform Movement is now. It climbed out. The Immigration Reform Movement can and will do the same.
That is the real meaning of Reagan.