Political commentators -- both right and left -- who think the outrage over the immigration crisis is a conservative fringe phenomenon are sorely out of touch. That may have been true some time ago, but the sleeping giant of American goodwill and apathy has finally been jolted out of her sleep.
It's hard to deny that the catalyzing events were the audacious protests of illegals throughout the country, waving Mexican flags, disrespecting the American flag and demanding, sometimes in Spanish, their "civil rights." Perhaps Sen. Ted Kennedy's pathetic pandering to this burgeoning new constituency contributed to the national wake-up call as well.
I recognize that certain eastern-corridor economic conservatives may have lofty motives in their undying advocacy for open borders. They continue to romanticize immigration as some innocuous boon to our economy with comparatively minor downsides. But they grossly underestimate the magnitude of the angst of mainstream conservatives over this issue and misjudge their motives. They betray their elitism by implying that those roiled about the issue are "anti-immigrant" or "impervious" to facts that only those in their perches of erudition can clearly see.
The overwhelming majority of people exercised about immigration are not remotely racist, prejudiced, bigoted or nativist. They are, however, unapologetic patriots, believers in the American ideal, the American identity and the American culture. They are not slaves to an exclusively capitalistic perspective, realizing that economic considerations -- pro and con -- are only one part of the equation.
It goes without saying that immigration is a multi-faceted problem because it touches on so many issues, including the rule of law, national security, national sovereignty, our national identity, the welfare state, demography, the economy, and politics.
I find it particularly offensive to watch talk shows that approach the immigration debate from an exclusively political perspective. Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear the talking heads, instead of discussing the potential impact on the two political parties, actually considering what the ramifications for our nation might be if significant action isn't taken?
Unfortunately, the frequency of elections in our system has the effect of causing politicians to put out short-term fires rather than devising long-term fixes for problems. They are under enormous pressure to just do something to address the problem before November to avoid being blamed for inaction.
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