Friday, May 26, 2006

Losing patience with conservatives...

The immigration debate has been quite enlightening for me, in more ways than one. And in some ways, it has been a somewhat saddening enlightenment.

It is often harder to see a problem with those who you feel you have a lot of common ground with. Among the left, we see an eagerness to sell America short, to tax from those who have earned a lot of money - and managed to pass it on to their heirs - and give it to others, and an inability to forcefully deal with serious problems (Iran, Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda, and the Soviet Union all spring to mind). It's bad enough that I have never voted for a Democrat, and do not see myself doing so at any point in time in the near future.

The immigration debate, though, has made the conservative movement's problems impossible for me to ignore. More of a demand to conform ideologically had crept into this movement. Twelve years ago, ideas and attempts to solve the problems facing this country were not just accepted, they were encouraged. Yet on immigration, the door for new ideas is not just slammed shut, it is barred, and anyone trying to present an idea outside a limited field of politically correct options get accused of supporting "the emasculation and gradual overthrow of the America we know" or "subversion of law" - and it's fair game to refer to those who support anything other than mindless enforcement of the letter of the law as "quislings", "traitors", or "agents of Mexico".

I have not taken so much as a dime from the Mexican government. Nor have I allegiance to any country but the United States of America, where I was born. Even the "open borders" claim is a lie. I am for a secure border, but I fail to see how a fence will do any good when people are already digging tunnels - or when they can simply go around it in boats. The only beneficiaries of building a fence will be the companies who win the contracts - and maybe the Congressmen who can boat about bringing jobs to their districts. I guess there is some pork that conservatives don't object to.

What is doubly irritating about these comments is that those who make them often ignore the slime on their side of the issue. The Steve Sailers, the Laurence Austers, the Jared Taylors, and other bigots who are cited are out there. But when we point this out, and call a Sailer, Auster, or Taylor by the proper name, the cry of "misrepresentation" is quick to come.

Ultimately, though, this narrow-minded approach has led to some bigger problems. It has already put the war on terror in some jeopardy - through the trashing of an important ally in the war on terror. And now, because they are not likely to get their way on immigration, many conservatives are planning to sit out - to teach the Republicans a lesson. This is petulance bordering on gross irresponsibility.

So, it seems that I will have little chance of avoiding a decision between this country winning the war on terror or the conservative agenda. Winning the war on terror will win that one every time.


The Hedgehog said...

Thanks, Harold. You're probably not old enough to recall that, as John Podhoretz has said, the very conservative wing of the GOP seems to go through a "self-purification ritual" every 15 years or so.

1976: Ronald Reagan ran against a sitting Republican president (Gerald Ford) for the nomination. Although Reagan campaigned sincerely for Ford, enough of his his most ardent followers stayed home to give us Jimmy Carter in a very close election.

1991: Pat Buchanan challenges Bush the Elder. Perot comes out of the woodwork. We get 8 years of W.J. Clinton and a whole generation of experienced, well-connected Democrat operatives-- as well as Hillary, who would be anobody if her husband had not been elected.

2006: The hard-core conservatives go nuts over Miers, Dubai Ports, and immigration and decide to stay home in large numbers. What will the result be? Speaker Pelosi is bad enough, especially if that sets the stage for another President Clinton.

Sadly, history does repeat itself. I was not thrilled about Ford or about George H. W. Bush's lack of vision, but they were a lot better than what took their place.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

There are a lot of lemmings amongst conservatives. The Dubai Ports hysteria was a shameful example of how millions of "conservatives" were played for fools by Chuckie Schumer. I still consider myself a conservative, but I fail a lot of litmus tests and have quit worrying about being accepted by the more-conservative-than-thou crowd.

My focus is winning the Counter-Jihad. Anybody striving to decapitiate our leadership or paralyze my Commander-in-Chief is pitching for the wrong team.

Border security is not going to be solved by politicians. Both parties have incentives not to keep illegals out.

Fences work, though. Channelizes the approaching force. The type the Israelis have would do just fine. Sure it can be tunneled under, but we can find the tunnels easier than you think. We could do worse than to reverse-engineer the East German Grenze. They didn't have too much trouble with tunnelers.

Glenn said...

"2006: The hard-core conservatives go nuts over Miers, Dubai Ports, and immigration and decide to stay home in large numbers. What will the result be? Speaker Pelosi is bad enough, especially if that sets the stage for another President Clinton."

I thought the Miers nomination was a weak move. I'm glad we ended up with Alito

I had no problem with the Dubai Ports deal. I wish there'd been more dialogue.

I'm not with Bush on illegal immigration. I'm in agreement with the Isaacson amendment. Let's have a sustained period of solid border enforcement and then we can deal with getting those already here on the path to citizenship.

I don't plan to stay home on election day '06.

BTW: Without the late Reagan surge of '76, there would be no Reagan '80.

Robert said...

I agree with you that the door to new ideas on immigration is being slammed shut, but that's being done by your side. The truly new ideas are enforcement and control of the border. Those are things that haven't been done. The whole amnesty (and that is what it is outside any Orwellian world) and guest worker is just more of the same. So be for that if you will, but don't call it a new idea.