Americans -- at least really stupid Americans like George Bush -- believe the natural state of the world is to have individual self-determination, human rights, the rule of law and a robust democratic economy. On this view, most of the existing world and almost all of world history is a freakish aberration.
In fact, the natural state of the world is Darfur. The freakish aberration is America and the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world.
The British Empire once spread the culture of prosperity around the globe -- Judeo-Christian values, tolerance, equality, private property and the rule of law. All recipients of the British Empire's largesse benefited, but the empire's most successful colony was the United States.
At the precise moment in history when the U.S. has abandoned any attempt to transmit Anglo-Saxon virtues to its own citizens, much less to immigrants, George Bush wants to grant citizenship to hordes of immigrants who are here precisely because they are fleeing cultures that are utterly dysfunctional and ruinous for the humans who live in them.
Yes, this country has absorbed huge migrations of illiterate peasants in the past -- notably Italian immigrants at the turn of the last century. But also notably, half of them went back. We got the good ones. America was not yet a welfare state guaranteeing room and board to the luckless, the lazy and the incompetent from cradle to grave.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, immigrant and first Jewish member of the Supreme Court, said that Americanization required that the immigrant adopt "the clothes, the manners and the customs generally prevailing here" and that he adopt "the English language as the common medium of speech."
But, Brandeis said, this is only part of it. "(W)e properly demand of the immigrant even more than this -- he must be brought into complete harmony with our ideals and aspirations and cooperate with us for their attainment. Only when this has been done will he possess the national consciousness of an American."
Or as George Bush would call it, "empty rhetoric." And as Linda Chavez would call it, "racist."
I wish our new immigrants had come to America back when the foundations of civic society and patriotism were still inculcated in all immigrants (and when half of them went home). But traitors who are citizens have destroyed all acculturating institutions. Traitors who are citizens have also destroyed all incentive for the poor to work or even keep their knees together before marriage.