A Young Illinois Reader [Email him]
I see that the "nation of immigrants" trope has been upgraded among the diversity racketeers. We are now instructed to view ourselves as not just a Nation of Immigrants, but a Nation of Illegal Immigrants to boot! See USDA diversity training session included 'illegal immigrants' chant, group claims, [Fox News, October 4, 2012] in which the
U.S. government paid a Chicago consultant hundreds of thousands of dollars to put on diversity training workshops that, according to one watchdog, included an exercise in which employees were told to chant "our forefathers were illegal immigrants."
I'm sure plenty of immigration restrictionists resent this sort of characterization, but I think it's more interesting to accept the truth of the assertion, for argument's sake.
How on earth is that an argument for perpetual mass immigration, or for accommodating large-scale illegal immigration? You may as well argue that, having entered a building through a revolving door, you owe it to the door to keep pushing until you're outside again.
I think a large source of irrationality in our public discourse stems from the fact that people lack the imagination to envision counterfactuals, opportunity costs, etc.
Thus Americans recognize that immigration can create a nation, and over the last several centuries did create our nation. But, as is often the case in policy matters, we don't see the other side of the ledger.
We fail to remember that, in a world whose major landmasses have been peopled for millennia, for every nation-building act of mass immigration there exists a nation diluted or dissolved by that very act. At the very least, the incumbent nation's social fabric is altered into something that it wasn't.
This is true for the Old World as much as for the New World. An Anglo-Saxon England exists today (for now) because a Celtic "England" does not. No doubt the dispossessed Celts would have taken back their inviting early-medieval immigration stance if they could have. Likewise, the native peoples of this continent would have kept European colonists in check, had they possessed the organizational and technological means required. Fortunately for us, they didn't, and thus our country was created.
Now that the demographic shoe is on the other foot, the ethnomasochists at the USDA's little workshop have inadvertently given us an important reminder: our position as the incumbent people of North America is akin to that of the Indians centuries ago.
But unlike them, we have the means to resist our dispossession, and we would be fools not to do so.
I suppose, deep down, the left sees poetic justice in the semi-indigenous reconquista. But demographic history is turtles all the way down, and I think we have as much right as any other people to preserve our nation as the political expression of our own historic identity.
I'm sure Middle America would agree, if the Republican Party could bring itself to ask them.
See a previous letter from the same reader.