A Voice in the Wilderness In Defense of "Mere Conservatism"

26Apr/10Off

Obama to Arizona: “Play Fair”

By: R.J. Moeller

The governor of Arizona, a Republican woman named Janice Brewer, signed a bill into law last week that will allow law enforcement agents in her state to arrest people for breaking the law.Governor_Jan_Brewer

That’s what I call “edgy” policy-making, no?

In the minds of our progressive-liberal friends on the Left, the crime of entering the United States of America illegally pales in comparison to the seemingly unforgivable transgression of pointing out that entering the United States of America illegally is, well – illegal.

Unfortunately for all of us, one of the loudest critics of we illegal immigration “whistle-blowers” happens to be the Commander-in-Chief and 44th president of those same United States of America.

Barack Obama, a man sworn to defend the Constitution, to uphold the integrity of our republic, to defend our borders, shows more public disdain and disapproval when one of the nation’s 50 executive leaders legislatively declares that circumventing the law is no longer a tolerable option, than he does about Iranian and North Korean nuclear “activities.”

The actions by the Arizona legislature threaten “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans,” Obama said.

Really?  How so?  With all due and proper respect for a Community Organizer of President Obama’s stature, what in the world could be more unfair than to allow more than 11 million people to get away with breaking America’s laws?  How fair do you think it is to the millions waiting (and desperate) to get into the U.S. legally?

“Surely we can all agree that when 11 million people in our country are living here illegally, outside the system, that’s unacceptable,” Obama said. “The American people demand and deserve a solution.”

But only if that solution doesn’t involve any of those pesky American people, clinging to their “guns and religion”, deciding for themselves how best to deal with the “unacceptable” problem, right?  Those yahoos can’t be trusted with a spork to eat their mashed potatoes at KFC, let alone with decisions pertaining to the legal, cultural and economic fate of their beloved nation.

What happened to the Man of Hope who, according to he and his wife Michelle, wasn’t going to allow us to “sit on the sidelines” anymore?  How can the politician interested in getting people on the local and community levels involved in the political process now be upset that a state (full of people living in local communities) is handling the immigration matter in-house?

Is President Obama tearing down the actions of concerned citizens with “a lot of talking”?

Here’s the message I’ve been receiving from Washington D.C. for the last four years regarding illegal immigration: The decisions of individual citizens, municipalities, counties, and states can’t be trusted (or possibly be fair), but the same people who brought you FEMA, Fannie and Freddie, the public education system that is ranked 35th in Math and 29th in Science in the world, and the “Cash for Clunkers” program last summer will set crooked paths straight, right every wrong, and wipe every tear from every illegal immigrants eye…eventually.  (Just stop trying to fix things on your own, you tax-paying, law-abiding, meddling twits.)

“Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others,” Obama said.  “That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona.”

Absolutely true, Mr. President: the legislative and executive branches of our federal government have thoroughly failed the American taxpayer by their dereliction of duty to deal with the out-of-control border situation and immigration dilemma.

But my question is this: Why does it always have to be Big Brother that corrects every important problem in every area of the country?  Why should a state like AZ trust you, President Obama, to be any more serious about addressing the unsustainable situation we’re currently facing than previous leaders?

Why is the default position always, no matter what, that the federal government needs to come in and “fix” things?  Especially in light of the fact that it has been Big Brother’s unwavering unwillingness to act that has led to an exodus of upwards of 20 million undocumented, law-breaking people to our shores.

The conservative king himself, Ronald Reagan, mistakenly thought that the illegal immigration problem could be fixed with amnesty at the federal level in 1986 when only about 1 million people were involved.  President Reagan was led to believe that if he gave out a few “Get out of having to return to the country you swam through shark-infested waters to get to America from” Cards back then, it would motivate legislators at the federal and state levels to “get serious” about border enforcement so we would be safer and more secure by now.

Errrrr. Wrong.

When you incentivize illegal behavior, then reward it by refusing to punish the wrong-doers, who in their right mind thinks that the illegal behavior will not continue (and, as we’ve witnessed the past twenty years, exponentially expand)?  If I lived in a hell-hole of a country, with a corrupt government and abysmal economy, and I knew that I could come to the United States, get work, avoid any sort of legal repercussions for my illegality, and have politicians fighting over who could get me on the welfare’s dole quicker (so they could stay in office), I would absolutely make the same choice to do whatever it takes to get here.

But what makes the United States of America a country worth risking your life to come to isn’t just a stronger economy or free health care from your increasingly-bloated Uncle Sam.  Those things are only even possible because of something we used to like to call, “the rule of law.”  Nations don’t become prosperous and then decide to look into “that whole 'protecting ourselves and our property rights' thing.”

We are worth escaping to for the very things that allowing millions of foreigners to enter our borders illegally undermine and deteriorate.

The “we’re all immigrants” mantra that well-meaning people regurgitate in hopes that no one will actually ask them to think about their position on the immigration problem leaves out the fairly important word “legal” between “all” and “immigrants.”

And now, in light of the failures of Reagan’s 1986 Amnesty, and a crystal-clear track-record of the federal government being unable and unwilling to tackle the immigration issue in a way that doesn’t include Amnesty, and with anywhere between 11-20 million illegals already among us, we’re supposed to believe that the answer is to give the federal government another college-professor try?

Your position on the immigration problem is what is really wrong, President Obama, not just the methods you want to employ in solving it.

When congress attempted to force amnesty down the American people’s throats back in 2006, the nation responded in force by flooding Capitol Hill with calls, letters, emails, faxes, and, if Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) ever got them, a few of my favorite carrier pigeons.

America’s message to the philosopher-kings in Washington: Get real, clowns.  We’re not racists, but we’re not suckers either.  You padding your voter-base with 20 million new, appreciative, potential ballot-casters at the expense of the country’s economic, legal and health care system are the kind of “change” societal destruction can conceive in.

If all it takes for me to be granted citizenship (and be eligible for welfare entitlements) is that I promise my eventual vote to a politician, I won’t have to hire Lewis and Clark to explore uncharted territories to find me a willing accomplice in congress.

By wrapping the immigration issue (and themselves) in moral terms, by presenting the issue as a “Lovers of immigrants vs. Haters of immigrants,” the White House and racially-charged groups like La Raza (backed by a progressive-Left, sympathetic media) clearly have their sights set on a new and the-opposite-of-improved version of the 2006 amnesty bill.  To suggest otherwise is intellectually dishonest.Immigration Enforcement

The insinuation of President Obama’s negative reaction to the new law in Arizona is that our law enforcement agents are too racist to handle the responsibility of arresting perpetrators of illegal behavior (in any and all forms).

The only other conclusion, if that one does not strike your fancy, is that the administration and leadership in congress are radical Leftist ideologues who believe so deeply in growing the size and control of the federal government that facts, figures, history and the prevailing sentiments of the American people are nothing more than obstacles in the way of a utopian vision we’ll thank them for when it’s finished.

I love that we live in a nation people want to come to.  The immigrants that I have had the distinct pleasure of working with in various odd jobs growing up have always been the hardest working employees.  Many of them are here to send funds back to relatives who need money in their native lands.  But none of that changes the fact that we need REAL change in our approach to our borders and immigration policy at the federal and state levels.

Send more troops and guards to our borders.  Grant more work visas.  Make English the official language of the country.  Encourage all states to have their law enforcement agents check for the same identification I have to show at the nearly-extinct Blockbuster Video by my house.  Incentivize lawful actions by your citizenry and those hoping to come and work and/or live here.

Fair = judging someone by the content of their character.

Fair = punishing all law-breakers the same.

Fair = upholding the Constitution you ensured voters in January of 2009 you would “protect and defend.”

Arizona acted out of necessity.  Is the law perfect?  By no means.  Few laws are.

But here is what we know: the border is out of control, businesses fear little reprisal for hiring illegals, the federal government has done its best to convince us all to join a local Tea Party, and the nation is in a fiscal mess.  In that environment, for a state like Arizona to make a decision on how best they will address the concerns they have in-state seems entirely reasonable to me.

We here at AVITW will monitor the AZ law, and if there are aspects of it that we don't care for, or if there are abuses perpetrated under the cover of it, we'll be unafraid to highlight them for you, the reader.

Our intent is not to tell you what to think, but simply to remind you to think, and think hard, about what kind of city, state, and country you want to live in (and hope to leave for your children).

Comments (28) Trackbacks (0)
  1. What really gets my goat about this are those comparing this situation to the holocaust. It baffles my mind that people would have the gall to put them in the same category, not to mention the fact they can even find a conceivable similarity between the two. I mean, come on. It is absolutely asinine that a state has to make a law just to enforce a law already in existence.

  2. Great blog cousin Robby! You really have a way of netting out the obvious common sense.

  3. What a well-written article. I know that this law isn’t perfect, and there are always things that can be tweaked, changed, and fixed…but where are Obama’s solutions? His answer is amnesty. That is not an answer.

    The truth is, and I know you’ve mentioned this in previous articles RJ, we need to both protect our borders and also punish businesses that hire illegals. We want hard-working people here, but not if they have to break the law.

  4. Robbie, this post is not intellectually stimulating. Plain and simple. Your ideas speak nothing of compromise, and even your solutions involve “big brother” fixin’ thangs–something that you spoke of with disdain.

    I’m on the fence with this issue. Do you know what this even feels like? I honestly couldn’t tell. Everything you post could’ve been copied from the Drudge, and the echo chamber here never resonates beyond those who think exactly like you all. There’s no persuasive appeal here. There’s not stimulating debate, just talking points with a historical narrative.

    And I type this after a couple of beers and a long day’s work because I do care. And I do wish to engage others to be able to view issues from all angles. But the fact of the matter is that this law allows Big Brother, yet again, to infringe upon your personal freedoms. Much like the Patriot Act, this one will eventually come and bite us all in the A$$. So why defend it? Could it be because YOU’D never be profiled?! Kinda like YOU’D never have your phone tapped because you’re not brown or read the Quran? There’s nothing to defend here. American citizens will be stopped, and just because a cop’s balls felt a tingle, this citizen will have to produce proof of citizenship, be inconvenienced, and suffer profiling. There are tens of thousand illegal Irish immigrants in America. I honestly wonder how Arizona’s tweaked law would be received in New York and across the nation, across party-line. Food for f’n thought. Forget the sensationalism of it all. Just principle. Would this junk be going down if Irish citizens (or anyone looking Irish to a cop) were susceptible to this same treatment. Doubt it.

    Let’s think about this for just a second. You know, empathy isn’t a vice! Forget race, illegalities: Do you want to live in a country where the government has the right to stop you and force you to produce proof of purchase? hah…I mean really. You’d think all these anti-government pimps would be all over this one. Ooops. Well, I guess they deleted the memo because this issue only affects people with a pigmentation “defect.”

    Robbie, I do not with to argue; rather, I want honest inquiry, empathy, and a consistent sense of where our government starts and ends.
    ————————
    Now can we begin?

    Our government has done a craptacular job of dealing with our open borders. This is common knowledge. Every election year candidates promise stringent actions, and every elected administration refuses to enact real measures. What has happened in Arizona is directly related to our Presidents’ (past and present) inaction. I sympathize with Arizona’s plight–as well as many of our border states. The situation is out of control, and this fact is agreed upon by nearly all. However, what the gov. of Arizona proposed is not the type of action we need–even though it was done out of desperation (I feel). Maybe this will light a fire under our federal government. Tell me though, Robbie, how will a border be erected without our Federal Government? And this is the first action that must take place. However, I doubt it. Many career, elected repubs would much rather appease their xenophobic, proudly monolingual base than ever deal with what’s PRACTICAL. Many career, elected dems would much rather pander to the Latino vote than enact any meaningful reform besides 100% appeasement + a golden ticket to our entitlement programs.

    However:

    Deporting tens of millions of people is not practical. Penalizing those workers is not practical. Penalizing employers who exploit this weakness in our national defense IS practical and effective. How about this: The government will penalize each company $150,000 (arbitrary, high dollar amount)/illegal immigrant found after a “cut-off, clean-up” date. Plain and simple! Verifying an employee’s info can’t be too hard. If the potential employee uses fake information, force the company to run more thorough and vigorous background checks. Sending more troops to the border? I know we are Americans here, and we pride ourselves on being aloof. Be we are in multiple international conflicts right now–which have been going on YEARS AND YEARS. How is there supposed to be a militarized zone at our southern border?

    Providing amnesty to tens of millions of people is not practical either. If I were from any other country and trying to become a citizen, I would feel unwanted and betrayed. This is not right. Millions of people cut in line, and this reality must be dealt with. There must be a pathway to citizenship. This path must involve a lot of things–but primary is knowledge of our great country’s history and some reasonable expectation of assimilation (language…whatever!)

    Again…I’m tired and have worked for 10 hours. This is the best I could do off the top of my head. But I want more honest debate here, Robbie. I want less “party-line” type posts. Damn. What happened to critical thought, analysis, and the art of compromise (not ramming a one-sided opinion down your OPPONENT’S throat?) And I’m not even just talking about this post in particular. I frequent to this address because I’m a glutton for punishment and I often wonder what partisan hell feels like. I’m not disappointed as much as I’d like to be in this regard though. You could always tell me to go screw off, though, Robbie. And I wouldn’t really take offense. I’d just chock it up as another civil discourse death. That’s the direction we are headed in anyways…

    I feel for our boarder states, but Arizona’s solution is not the answer. Once the government has more space inside of our civil liberties, they will NEVER give it back. (Case in point: Obama reauthorized Patriot Act provisions). This issue is the reverse of the healthcare debate. For decades the democrats have been saying that this issue is real and out of control. Every republican administration ignores the core of the problem and offer up a piecemeal approach. The dems move forward and are criticized at every inch by the repubs…

    Jan Brewer alongside many of her colleagues have been warning of the increasing problems with our nation’s southern boarder. Something finally happened, and the dems are all up arms about it! Yet….they control the government right now and haven’t done anything meaningful about it. No doubt, they will offer up a piecemeal approach….

    Think about it.

    This is so far beyond right and left its ridiculous to try and reduce our problems to either “for” or “against.”

    So please, let’s stop this foolishness.

    Signing off near midnight. HOLLA!

  5. Bradford-

    Haven’t heard from you in a while. Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate your “constructive” criticisms. I’ll take them under consideration. My name is Robby, btw. Robbie Williams is a bad British singer.

    One thing: I AM a conservative, so the fact that I may sound like Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, or Hugh Hewitt in my commentary is probably because we agree on many of the issues out there.

    I’m not sure how “partisan” my attacking both parties for failing to handle the border problem is, but it sounds like you have your mind made up about me and my site, so I’ll leave you to that judgment call.

    This won’t be the only article I write on the AZ law and the border problem. I do believe state’s ought to have a right to make decisions about such matters. Doesn’t mean I agree with literally every word in the bill.

    One last thing…why don’t you help me out with my echo chamber and post your thoughts more frequently. I mean it. You’re always welcome.

    -RJM

    p.s. I checked out your website again and your top link is to The Huffington Post. Just wanted my readers to get some perspective of where you are coming from. I am proud to link to the likes of Prager, Albert Mohler, Chuck Colson, etc. on my site, and so I think it is safe to assume you are proud of (and want people to read) Huff. If Huffington is your idea of fair and reasonable, then to hope that you will find the type of commentary you prefer on my site is a stretch.

  6. Bradford-

    You are a liberal who doesn’t like that you don’t hear more of your views on a conservative blog…and you’re drunk…thanks for your contribution to the discussion.

    I smell a BUI (blogging under the influence) charge forthcoming.

    Read Jonah Goldberg’s piece if RJ’s didn’t convince you: http://townhall.com/columnists/JonahGoldberg/2010/04/28/arizonas_ugly_but_necessary_immigration_law

  7. Robby, here ya go:

    “And I’m not even just talking about this post in particular. I frequent to this address because I’m a glutton for punishment and I often wonder what partisan hell feels like. ”

    This specific topic isn’t REALLY egregious. But some in the past have been.

    And while I appreciate you doing your research on me, Robby, it was unnecessary. Can’t my post stand on its own merits? I frequent the HuffingtonPost, The Drudge, and your blog + more. Would someone like to psychoanalyze me because of my links to Gospel for Asia or the Voice of the Martyrs? You can find a lot more about me by visiting those sites. My blog doesn’t event touch the political arena much anymore. I hope people who visit it are spiritually uplifted–not politically attuned. But that is the difference between both of ours spaces, and I respect that.
    ——–

    Fightin’ Joe. Where to begin?! From the gate you throw around pejorative terms with little to no meaning. What in my original post gave me away as a “liberal” ? I really want to know. Don’t be divisive simply for the sake of being so. I want you to comment on my comment–while even being “drunk” makes more of a statement of intellectual honesty and genuine attempt for bipartisanship than anything I’ve seen from you in this discussion. Just stating the facts. Fightin’ Joe, I will read your link when you have proven that you’ve read and understood my post. How about this trade off?

    My views vs. some other guy’s views. Us vs. Them. They hate the country, I love the country. They want to destroy us, I want to rebuild us. Left vs. Right. It’s early, and I’m already nauseous.

    Again, HOLLA!

  8. Really though. I just want to know if my ideas appear to be a decent compromise in a stick situation. But I really don’t see how I revealed myself as a liberal in this post. That I don’t understand. I spent hella time on it, and as Fightin’ Joe stated, I was “drunk” even. I’m off to work.

  9. RJM- Good commentary. I get where you are coming from, and I don’t know how one could miss that the point of your piece was that AZ has a right to make its own laws, and that no one else has taken any real steps to addressing the issue. Simple and straight-forward and I think a reasonable take. I do, however want to challenge you on one thing (plus I figured this would make Bradford happy): What if the law IS bad…is the rule of law still so important to you? I hope you will write more on the topic because I think you left some important points of discussion out of this piece.

    Thanks.

  10. ‘Why is the default position always, no matter what, that the federal government needs to come in and “fix” things?’

    The corollary to this statement is, ‘Why is the default position always, no matter what, that the federal government needs to spend more money, rather than less?’

    To these two observations can be attributed many of the ills afflicting this country and its people.

  11. The excellence of your column today was mentioned on another conservative site AT, I think. I thought you made many excellent points!! In my S.E. Arizona sector, authorities just broke up a huge smuggling ring responsible for bringing into the state over 40,000 pounds of marijuana during the last three years. One of the cartel’s main contacts worked as a secretary in the Cochise County Attorney’s office. So far there have been 39 indictments and 34 arrests. The smuggling operation, apparently linked to the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico, used drug backpackers and numerous vans with ramps and secret compartments. A Utah official is now looking at doing the same as Arizona because when illegals leave AZ they often head to illegal-friendly Utah.

    Keep up the good work RJ!!

  12. Bradford-

    Any specific examples of what postings of mine have been “egregious”? Just wanting to get some context for what you deem “egregious”.

    I wasn’t “doing research” on you my man…I know you a little from our conversations and was just checking out your site again and thought it worth mentioning that you link people (at the top of your site) to one of the most ardently liberal-progressive-Left sites on the internet. It is the equivalent, in my mind, of having a link to Michael Savage’s site on the top banner on my site. You might not intend it that way, as it sounds you don’t, but that is what someone on the Center-Right would think.

    As you say, we are aiming at different ends with the purpose of our respective blogs. Mine is a conservative site, written by conservatives, attempting to disseminate conservative thought and positions on the issues. I have begun to regularly post liberal commentary that I think typifies thinking about history, theology, and economics on the Left.

    If from time to time you come across an article or column that you feel expresses your position on a particular issue, and it is a position that you know I would likely disagree with, PLEASE forward it along and I’ll post it.

    Stick around and keep commenting if nothing else.

    God bless.

    -RJM

  13. For various reasons, USA has a low birth rate. We need immigrants for economic growth and to support various socialist entitlements we have, the latest being the federal health care plan.

    Step one, stop illegal crossing of the border.
    Step two, make it difficult for anyone here illegally to gain employment or otherwise receive money.
    Step three, increase number of people allowed in legally. English proficiency and constitutional civics knowledge a must to allow the larger numbers of people to be integrated into American culture minimizing disruption of the culture.

    Steps one and two can be done somewhat concurrently if step one is done first. This establishes credibility. Plenty of more details possible, this is a basic framework.

    What to do with those already here illegally ? With the improved immigration flow, they’ll leave and come back in the front door.

    I’m not so keen on a guest worker program for low skill work. If you want to immigrate and do the work however, great, we get a new citizen. The immigration qualification requirements should help ensure your initial job is just a temporary situation as you will know english and understand how to get ahead in America.

    my 2 cents.

  14. Amazing how the left/”progressive” trolls keep equating this law as a license to pursue “Brown” people here illegally. After reading it carefully I have come to the conclusion that, should a police officer stop someone for, for argument’s sake, driving through a stop sign, and should this person be a tall, blue eyed blonde yet who can’t speak a word of english, you bet that this officer will have to ask them for their papers regarding immigration. Of course, you’d expect a Swedish blonde to have a valid passport yet if the US visa is expired, then he’d have to send this person to ICE. Does this mean that the officer was “profiling” Swedes?

  15. I have great distaste for the criticism of someone using “talking points” that Bradford uses above. This is clearly meant to be provocative. It is a covert attempt to portray someone as unintellectual, a mere sheep, if you will. Look, sometimes truth is self-evident. These supposed “talking points” are oft-repeated because they resonate with people. Let’s not over-think it.

  16. Why can’t we sue the federal government or the president for refusing to carry out the law? Isn’t the president’s blatant disregard for the law grounds for impeachment, also?

  17. Egon:

    So now you have to have an American accent, too? What about the third-generation U.S. Citizen who has lived close to the border her whole life and speaks with a thickish accent? She has to carry her papers around, too, but because I’m white and speak with a Northwestern accent, I don’t?

    I guarantee the police officer living in Arizona isn’t after Swedish blondes, at least to get them in trouble.

    Hannah:

    No one is comparing this to the holocaust. They’re comparing it to Nazi Germany, where people had to carry around their papers if the Nazis or Gestapo suspected they were Jews.

  18. Caleb-

    If I may speak on her behalf, I believe Hannah’s point was not the direct comparison, but the necessary context that must be given for such a comparison. Nazi’s asked for papers and if Jews didn’t have them they were sent to death camps.

    Police officers asking for “papers”, which really means asking for a drivers license or green card (the same thing I get asked for when I, a Swedish-looking fellow, get pulled over for driving under the influence of conservative talk radio), leads to (at worst) deportation back to the country a person illegally entered the United States of America from. So yes, it is similar to Nazi’s in that police officers in Germany at that time asked to see people’s identification…but one was with the purpose of the extinction of a race, and the other is to maintain the national sovereignty and integrity of the nation people are willing to swim through shark-infested waters to try and get to.

    The comparison is unconscionable, if the comparison is not then accompanied by the context I just gave it. Nazi’s were obsessed with the environment, were fervent believers in Darwinian evolution, and did not support Israel.

    Who does that sound like?

    See how easy it is…

  19. Has anyone actually read the bill? I just did and I see nothing about “acceptable forms of identification” for proof of citizenship.

    Regardless, I realize the sort of trapped I walked into. I certainly don’t frequent your blog, nor do I care to, but whenever I’m met with a sort of discourse that tosses around words like “illegals” in order to dehumanize people (it’s illegal to speed, not make a full stop, drive without shoes – I’d bet almost all of us do something illegal almost every day – I suppose I’ll start calling all people in the United States “illegals”), a discourse that appeals to “self-evident truth” (please read something scholarly from the last 40 years), and discourse that insists upon the supremacy of a country that is a desirable destination for the impoverished of other nations in large part because of how much our own economic policies have driven the economies of other countries into the ground (Food, Inc., a documentary about the abuses of our industrial food complex, offers this: “Many of the illegal immigrants coming to America were corn farmers in Mexico. NAFTA led to a flooding of the Mexican market with cheap American corn. It’s put more than 1.5 million Mexican farmers out of work. They couldn’t compete with this cheap American corn.”), I grow quite sad and afraid, especially when the same discourse flies under the guise of “Christian.” Bradford is at least correct when he says that “issues” like these (if you want to call them that), far transcend polarities of “us” and “them” and they far transcend polarities of “conservative” and “liberal.” As long as we keep insisting that they don’t, I promise all of you that your beloved country will continue to fall from its supposed grace.

    That said, if you’re all for “smaller government,” why don’t you start by campaigning for the government to stop subsidizing corn? Why don’t you start campaigning to do away with NAFTA? What about trying to fix the problem in Mexico before you tell all the undocumented immigrants that they have to get out because, unfortunately for them, they weren’t born here like you. Man, God must really hate them to be born in a place like Mexico. Good thing God loves America, right?

  20. I support Arizona’s decision. I believe all the left sponsoring companies and organizations that want to wade into this debate by threatening to boycott
    Arizona should be awakened by the American majority. This tactic is often used
    to portray an issue as totally unacceptable and as though it were the public’s response. It’s a tool used to deceive the masses and attempt to drive public opinion in the direction liberals want it to go.

    Americans should unite against these tactics and let it backfire on those leftist supporters. Boycotts can work both ways. If they want to boycott Arizona and not allow the baseball games to be played there, fine….we should boycott all baseball games of those participating in such boycotts. The almighty dollar feels good in any pocket. I can tell you their boycotting screws would come to a screeching halt once their revenues dried up!

  21. Caleb-

    You are a confused, angry person.

    Enlighten us with what “scholarly” works we should be reading? What are the things that if we had only read we might be enlightened as you are?

    “Toss around terms like illegals to de-humanize”??? Really? That’s the “scholarly” way you’re going to respond to the challenges people have made to your “thinking”? So all of us here who have ever sped pass the speed limit before shouldn’t be able to point out that someone sneaking over our border without identifying themselves or declaring their purpose or going through a back-ground/medical check is, in fact, an illegal alien? That is what the term means, sir. I know I’d have to be much more sophisticated and scholarly to understand the subtleties of your brilliant “argument” against the position I (and it seems RJ) hold.

    You seem to have more disdain for your own countrymen who disagree with you politically than you do for flagrant violators of the core of what it means to be an American citizen. That’s sad.

    And classic Leftist (also known as “muddled” or “confused”) thinking of you to blame the USA for the troubles of 3rd world countries. Nice. Real deep thinking. I’m sure it would never occur to you that the basis of our economy is the rule of law, and enforcement there of. Nope, it’s gotta be our imperialistic bent for world domination via Starbucks and KFC that keeps countries down…and thus their populations are forced to break our laws…which is okay, because we deserve it anyway, right?

    The more people “think” like you, the harder it will be to actually bring about REAL CHANGE.

    Nothing is racist about RJ’s column, or my position on illegal immigration. By the way, what term should we use for people who immigrated here illegally?

  22. Caleb-

    I’ve never heard a single conservative make the claim that God loves America more than other countries, and that if you are born in another country, God must hate you. Never. Ever. No one I know thinks/talks like that. It’s insane of you to insinuate conservatives against illegal immigration have that anywhere in their hearts/heads when they speak out against the violation of our laws.

    Liberals like yourself always take the moral high-ground, make your outrageous claims, and then eventually throw in a “God’s bigger than politics anyway” jab as if you’re above it all. God calls us to be good stewards, to respect and obey laws (so long as they do not conflict with his Word), to not steal or covet what your neighbor has, and that private property is legitimate. He tells us to help those in need, to be sure, but there are also moral requirements for the less fortunate too. This notion of the “noble poor” is so old and tired. We are not better than the people here who sneaked in illegally. They are not excused for their actions. I really cannot for the life of me comprehend why this is so hard for people to grasp.

    You can be poor or disadvantaged and still be a rotten person who breaks laws to justify your actions. You can be a rich person who is the “salt of the earth”, who gives without ceasing, and cares about the integrity of the law.

    The AZ law is not perfect. We get it. The health care bill is what I’m more worried about than anything, but if people are breaking our laws and the federal government is shirking its duties to protect and defend this nation and our citizenship, then the state of AZ is justified in acting.

    To say that the bill is imperfect is like saying that you will probably write back a snarky, condescending response telling us all how we’re “typical right-wingers”….duh?

    If you can’t hear the seriousness with which RJ’s and others who have commented here take this issue, and their desire to see increased LEGAL immigration, then you can read the bill 100 times and still have no real clue what this is all about.

  23. Caleb-

    Others have made some valid counter-points to your claims, so I’ll let you tackle those if you wish. I would just say that your example of corn farmers is nothing more than attempt to throw some numbers around regarding one single demographic in the hopes that the readers of my site will have turned their brains (and ability to reason) off and not see that just because some parts of a market lose in competition with that same part of another market (i.e. corn farmers in America vs. corn farmers in Mexico) does not mean free trade is a bad thing. It means that America is better at producing cheaper corn. Mexico has cheaper labor. Taiwan makes cheaper electronics. I write better blogs (hypothetically) than other conservatives in their 20′s, so maybe that other conservative blogger who is struggling does what Mexican corn farmers must do…either pack up and find a new line of work (also known as “a life decision everyone must make from time to time”), or stay in the corn market game try to compete on your own.

    The corn farmers in America don’t owe anything to anyone outside of working as hard as they can and producing the best product that they can. This is NOT a zero-sum game where if America wins everyone else loses. If Mexican farmers really want to see change in their economy/culture, they should organize themselves behind some political candidates and judges who advocate the rule of law, free markets, property rights, personal responsibility, civic duty, the breaking up of unions, and enforcement of their borders.

    But those things might allow for the creation of an economic environment that might allow some of the poorer farmers to become like those richer farmers in America we all despise. That’s no good.

  24. I still feel that many points in my original post were completely ignored. Also, I’m no where near a “left/progressive troll’ as Egon eloquently referred to someone here. My approach was almost completely down the middle. What I find disappointing is the lack of discussion about the heart of the issue (cheap labor/employers engaged in illegal practices). You first fix a leak by turning off the faucet, no? From my understanding, meaningful reform of any kind must include harsh penalties for companies that knowingly hire/exploit illegal aliens. Labor, drugs, and entitlement programs are at the heart of this migration. Each must be dealt with. It has always been easier to criticize than act. I respect Arizona for acting on something that (as I’ve said) is very explosive. So now many on the opposite spectrum end are scrambling to find a better “solution” to a problem that they had no intention of fixing. Is this not the healthcare debate reversed? Seriously.

    It’s been a few days, and a few things have happened. Since Robby and I posted, the legislation has changed a bit–more provisions have been made to reduce profiling. This is good. This is my main concern. But let’s be clear: I am not a progressive on this issue. I’m not opposed to a national id card
    I’m not opposed to physically closing the borders
    I’m not for 100% amnesty
    I’m also not for 100% deportation

    I’m quickly learning, however, that moderation doesn’t exist in politics anymore. We live in the age of purity tests and pandering to the extreme.

  25. My direct challenge to this column:

    S.B.1070 = Bad Policy & Bad Politics
    http://blkandred.blogspot.com/2010/05/sb1070-bad-policy-bad-politics.html

  26. I guess I’ll respond comment by comment, and I will be forthcoming with the fact that I do not intend to respond again (though my mind could be changed on this depending on the seriousness [and by seriousness, I don't mean agreeing with me; I mean engaging what I have to say in a manner that doesn't resort to calling me a "confused, angry person" or a "classic leftist" or a "liberal"] of the response), so you all may have the last word. I’m not interested in “winning arguments” because I don’t wish to be caught up in the same sort of left vs. right political banter that I see as much more devastating than “people thinking like me.”

    First, Jessica B -

    I find it very interesting that I’m being accused of being a “confused, angry person.” I made only one comment that, in my eyes, could be construed as condescending, and I apologize for not taming my own discourse there. I have not engaged in any sort of name-calling, nor did I ever even make an appeal to any sort of discourse that would label all of you “conservatives” or “right-wingers.” So far, I believe those sorts of tactics have been left in your hands and Frank the Tank’s hands. I’m not sure where you would draw the sorts of conclusions you’re drawing from anything that I said, unless, of course, you entered with some sort of pre-framed notion of what every dissenting response from yours would be (which, to be fair, is probably what the majority of us in our polarized society tend to do).

    I might say you should read anything by Lyotard, Derrida, Stanley Fish, Foucault, Judith Butler, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Jean Luc-Marion, etc. etc. While I certainly didn’t call myself more “enlightened” than anyone here, it seems to me that appeals to “self-evident truth” often carry with them either a lack of understanding of post-structuralism, postmodernism, or whatever other sort of label you’d like to give the state of contemporary scholastic discourse, or a blatant “I refuse to believe anything that someone whose politics differ from my own says.”

    I’m not really sure the point of all your pejorative quotation marks, but that disregarded, I do find it incredibly damaging to call any human being “an illegal.” People can’t rightly be “illegal.” Life is not “illegal.” “Illegal aliens” might be a step in the right direction, because at least “alien” connotates something “human-like,” but given the status of the word “alien” in our context, I think there are still more helpful ways of discussing REAL PEOPLE. “Illegal immigrant” might be a step even further, as it at least acknowledges the fact that, in some respect, immigration is something most of us do at some point, whether legally or illegally, and is itself not an “evil.” Finally, because “illegal” still attributes full responsibility to the immigrant herself, as if no material conditions have forced her into a precarious position outside her own choices, “undocumented immigrant” might be the final step in acknowledging the humanity of a person while recognizing that something in their immigration process is lacking.

    The term means what our culture says it means. The terms “illegals” or “illegal aliens” carry with them an incredible amount of cultural disdain. This is where a movement from “structuralism” to “post-structuralism” takes place. Signifiers no longer refer to some transcendent “signified,” some meaning that is already there and inherent to the words themselves. We created the words, and we determine what they mean and what they “do.” I sincerely am not trying to “show anyone up” or tout my own learning or scholasticism here. I fervently believe, though, that the way we talk about these things has a very drastic effect on the way that we treat those who are, in whatever form, from whomever’s responsibility, marginalized.

    I don’t know what the “core of what it means to be an American citizen” could signify. Please enlighten me on what that is. Is it to be born here? To immigrate here “legally?” I wonder if you understand how difficult legal immigration is to this country, though I’m sure you have some idea. The “put yourself in their shoes” argument is never really sufficient, because we can’t, but I’ll be the first to admit that “if I was in their shoes,” I’d probably immigrate the quickest way possible in order to feed my loved ones. I’m not sure why I should respect “my countrymen” anymore than anyone else in the world. Could you tell me what particular duty I have to “my countrymen” over someone who seems to be in a much more dire situation? Is this again because I was born here? Is it because I’m allowed some sort of “freedom” in this society that I might not otherwise have, due to some sort of militarized mechanism? Is it because humans set up “borders” in order to solve land disputes, and those artificial borders necessarily create our allegiances based upon… I’m drawing a blank here.

    It’s interesting that you say the basis of our economy is “rule of law.” I think maybe the basis of our economy is “rule of making as much money as we can without getting caught by the law.” This seems much more to be the practice of modern corporations than adhering to some fictional structure we have created in order to police the moral conscience of greed. How do things like Enron happen if our economy is based upon the “rule of law?” What about the subprime mortgage crisis? Even the recently publicized Apple case? These don’t seem to operate upon any sort of “rule of law,” and yet, they have been some of the most successful corporations in this country’s history.

    It’d be very, very interesting if you’d come up with some argument other than “you’re a leftist.” I’m sure we might all be better off for it.

    I’m not sure how long these comments can be, so I’ll continue responding to Frank on a new post.

  27. Frank –

    I never claimed any “conservative” said that God loved America more than any other country. In fact, I never used the word “conservative” at all. I suspect that the nationalism of any “Christian” patriot of the United States, however, could in fact lead to such an assumption. If God blesses countries with good leaders, efficient economies, “freedom” and other sorts of good, old-fashioned “American values,” what does that say of the residents of countries who are born into oppression under tyrannous governments (in fact, I believe to some extent that this is a natural and necessary aspect of any government, or at least that some sort of real subjection is [though please don't call me an anarchist because I'm not - nor am I a "liberal"]) or into economically unstable conditions? Does this mean that God hasn’t “blessed them” by allowing them to be born into “better conditions?” I certainly didn’t choose to be born in Wyoming. My parents didn’t choose to be born in Mississippi and Kansas, either, nor did their parents choose to be born all over the United States. Why do I get to enjoy the “benefits” of United States citizenship while the “unfortunate Mexican immigrant” should not? If it is indeed because God “blessed me,” God must love me more than that poor, unfortunate immigrant. I suspect this entire line of thinking might actually be an inevitable unconscious conclusion of someone who professes that “God blesses America and its citizens.” This certainly isn’t a “leftist” position, either; I know plenty of “leftists” who would say the same (like Obama).

    I might question your insistence that at least the Christian God demands full obedience to systems of government. It might be true that God commands us to obey and respect laws unless they conflict with the Word, yet, I think most of them probably conflict with the Word. If you can give it a fair chance, you might check out John Howard Yoder’s “The Politics of Jesus.” It’s certainly not “leftist;” in fact, I rather suspect it doesn’t fit into any political categories that we might commonly refer to. We might only be able to call it “The Politics of Jesus.” I certainly don’t think this book will “change your mind,” and I don’t suggest it to do so; it may just open up a new sort of discourse for which none of has been particularly well-prepared.

    I don’t know about the rich person part, because I suspect that any person “who gives without ceasing” probably cannot be conceived of as “rich,” because at some point, goods are finite and that person will have nothing left to give. I’m not sure what else Jesus could have meant by, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” I suspect that ceaseless giving might have something to do with it – the sort of ceaseless giving that truly is CEASELESS, that gives until there is nothing left to give.

    I’m curious as to what “defending this nation and our citizenship” means to you. Isn’t the Christian’s allegiance predominantly and even only to Christ?

    I didn’t say the bill was imperfect at all. I asked where it talked about “forms of I.D.” or protected against “racial profiling” as I’ve heard it said over and over on the news that it protects against.

    I’m fine with a desire to increase legal immigration. That’s absolutely fine. That’s not what I’m concerned with here. What I’m concerned with is the sort of unquestioning nationalism that leads to things like calling people “illegals” without truly attempting to discern what might be wrong with the entire system in the first place.

    Once again, I’m not a “leftist,” nor have I appealed to anything “leftist” or “liberal” yet. I suspect that a “leftist” probably must have far more faith in a nation state than I do, far more allegiance to government. I’m concerned.

    I also find it incredibly irritating that the same discourse that claims that “liberals” or “leftists” hate America is the very same discourse that condemns “leftists” for wanting the federal government, more succinctly known as “America,” to be too big. I’m not sure it’s quite reasonable to have it both ways.

  28. Finally, RJM -

    I’m not sure what you mean by turning their “brains” off. I don’t think that’s really possible. If you mean that I’ve literally turned off my brain, I don’t quite see what that means. I think it’s been evidenced that I’m as much a slave to reasonableness, logic and rationality as anyone else here. I do expect more engaging logic from a person who obviously values his intellect than to accuse me or people who think similarly to me of “turning their brains off.”

    As far as the corn point goes, I hope you’ll see that your interpretation is not at all what was taking place. I am merely hoping that people begin looking to the sources of problems rather than looking to solutions that don’t really engage any issue other than the ones that benefit “American citizens.” If you really see it as a matter of “America [being] better at producing cheaper corn,” there are a lot of preliminary things to discuss that the scope of this discussion might not be entirely adequate to address. Not to beat a dead horse, but I will say that Joel Salatin makes a good point in Food, Inc. when he questions the desire of many Americans to have the cheapest possible food, the very source of life’s sustenance, when they’ll spend thousands more dollars on a Mercedes or a car of equal quality than they could pay for another car (and this quality is based on sign-exchange value alone; Mercedes tend to have many more mechanical problems than many cheaper makes of vehicles). I suspect that the question is not “who can produce the cheaper corn” (and there are plenty of reasons why Americans produce cheaper corn – you might read something like the Omnivore’s Dilemma if you ever have time – but American governmental subsidies are THE ONLY reason that America produces higher quantities of cheap corn than Mexico – it really is a matter of our government having more capital to throw into the corn market – something that certainly does not rely on the responsibility or individual ability of a single farmer), but rather, “why is that corn so cheap?”; “why do we value CHEAP food in the first place?”; “what are the effects of economic globalization?”; “how might we engage the reality of undocumented immigration at its source?”; and “what are the negative effects of ‘free-market’ capitalism on other economies?” Only when we start to ask different questions than the simple and obvious “how can we stop immigrants from coming into America without documents” can we ever truly engage those problems we face. By the way, I can’t access the article, but Wikipedia cites a couple of “conservatives” who deny NAFTA’s negative effect on Mexico but who agree that the discontinuance of American governmental corn subsidization would positively impact Mexican farmers.

    Furthermore, the last thing that you said makes so many presumptions about “free-market capitalism” being the only way that I can’t even begin to address it here. You might, if you have time, start by reading William Cavanaugh’s “Being Consumed.”

    Finally, it’s not that easy to do those things you propose. It seems entirely naive to believe that Mexican farmers can just move from corn farming to some other profitable industry in the blink of an eye. Not even American farmers who have been pushed out by bigger farms can do that.

    Again, I’m done unless I find something just really really engaging. Please question something once in a while.

Trackbacks are disabled.

RJ's Social Network

Read RJ’s Columns/Blogs

What is “Mere Conservatism”?

The basic ideas, ideals, and values that generally define and characterize the central tenets of what today might be termed "modern conservative thought."

We believe that a proper understanding of history, economics, and theology leads to certain conclusions. Many of these are the same conclusions our Founding Fathers arrived at in constructing a "more perfect union."

All ideas and opinions are welcome; not all are correct.

Mere Conservatism Links:
 Econ Part I  |  Econ Part II
Intro  |  Theology  |  History

Video of RJ

RJ Speaking at Acton 2010

Rudy the Dog barks at "change"

Books You Need to Read

Wall Street Journal

Blogroll

Columnists You Need to Read

Music/Entertainment

News/Politics

Thinktanks

Archives

Categories

Historical Blogs

April 2010
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Meta

wordpress blog stats