Diana West

But so what if we all have more stuff? That's just not enough for the long haul, especially when the long haul is the next 20 years during which the Senate immigration "reform" bill would permit about 200 million new legal immigrants to take up residency in the US of A -- this according to two different studies conducted by the Heritage Foundation and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as the Washington Times reported. What kind of nation survives a seismic demographic tsunami like that?

No nation. Just people, people, people. Masses and masses of alien individuals would permanently overwhelm any lingering concept of American nationhood -- a concept already undermined by the so-called culture wars of the 1980s. In that more or less academic struggle of yore, national identity lost, and identity politics won. Now we see ourselves increasingly as a land of identity groups and, therefore, extremely divisible as a nation-state.

If President Bush and too many legislators are any measure, the American perspective has become blurry and ill-defined, focused on short-sighted policies conceived in emotion and dedicated to the proposition that all men, women and children from South of the border are created to do "jobs Americans won't do." Which doesn't exactly sound equal. And certainly doesn't sound well thought out.
Goodbye, republic; hello oligarchy?

To survive, to prosper, and to project power, great nations must be guided by reason and principle -- not childish feelings. But with national interest no longer at heart, our leaders have only heartstrings. Iowa Republican Steve King, a forthright opponent of the Senate bill, described a kind of sob-sister visit presidential adviser Karl Rove recently paid to hang-tough, no-amnesty House Republicans: "Rove told lawmakers Bush is sincere about enforcement," the Associated Press reported Mr. King as saying. "But, (Mr. King) added, 'The president doesn't want to enforce immigration law because he's afraid he'll inconvenience someone who wants to come into this country for a better life.'"

Oh, brother.

How about inconveniencing 10 million, 20 million, 200 million "someones" who want a better life? I have this terrible feeling I finally understand what a "compassionate conservative" is: an emotional train wreck. It's time to get a grip and build a fence -- a pledge, possibly, to become indivisible again.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).