How the Republicans Invented Their Own Wedge Issue
by Rebecca Williams
Democrats couldn’t have thought of a better issue to divide the Republican Party than the one the Republicans have created for themselves. Finally, the Republican working people are realizing that there are other issues more important than who is sleeping with whom. Do I seem like I’m gloating? Maybe. But after all their scheming, lying, and manipulating, the Republicans have finally succeeded in doing it to themselves, finding the perfect wedge issue. Of course this wasn’t done purposefully. It was done out of pure selfishness. What the working class Republicans are finally learning is that they have been used and that the rich guys really just want to make more money.
The task for Democrats is to find a way to stand up for the rights of both immigrants and working Americans. There are problems to overcome, however. Illegal immigrants get free emergency care in American hospitals while most other Americans do not. Many hospitals in the Southwest are closing because they are forced to treat so many illegal without health insurance. They can no longer afford to operate.
Illegals coming across the border leave over 7 tons of trash on American land a day. Some kill farm animals on the spot and roast them for food. Drug gangs have also imported themselves to the US and carry out mob style chases and killings in Texas and Arizona.
President Bush’s do nothing policies are responsible for much of the problem. In the spring of 2005 groups of Arizona citizens calling themselves the Minutemen had organized themselves to report the entry of illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol. Out of spite it seems, on May 13, 2005 the Bush administration ordered the Border Patrol NOT to arrest illegal immigrants along the Arizona border thus completely opening the border. This policy is responsible for the presence of thousands illegal immigrants in the United States today. See the article in the Washington Times.
This could be an opportunity for Democrats and Progressives if they can find a reasonable voice on the issue. I sometimes wonder if that can happen though. Many Democrats seem to think this issue consists in nothing more than whether or not you like people with brown skin. The truth is we are stuck with the problem. It won’t go away even if the Democrats win back the Congress. Demonizing those who want some controls on the situation just won’t work.
Of course, one of the biggest problems with the porous borders is the possibility that real terrorists will come into the country without being detected. This is an enormous problem which has been made worse by the Bush administration. The Democrats need to move beyond the right-left paradigm and come up with some practical and humane suggestions.
There is a lot of work to do before rank and file Progressives really understand the range of issues involved in illegal-and mass legal-immigration. Still, it appears at least some progress is being made here.
The task for Democrats is to find a way to stand up for the rights of both immigrants and working Americans.