As the humanitarian crisis at our southern border seems to worsen by the day, politicians, pundits and keyboard commandos are consumed with debate on how we got here and who is to blame. Our national dialogue is so fractured and our freedom of speech so imperiled, however, that a few brave souls are unable to even raise legitimate questions without facing an avalanche of invective and cultural cancellation.
The fiery debate right now is over “replacement theory” as it relates to our national immigration policy. It is the idea that proponents of mass immigration, primarily Democrat politicians and those on the left in general, are motivated by a desire to “replace” current voters with new arrivals who will dilute the vote and propel their side to a permanent electoral majority and all the power that comes with it.
In more enlightened times, this would spur a lively but civil debate on a program like the late, great William F. Buckley’s “Firing Line.” Today, Fox News is under pressure from the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League to fire Tucker Carlson for daring to broach the subject on his highly-rated prime-time show.
Carlson made a convincing case for his position in Clarence Darrow-like fashion. Rather than refute his argument, his opponents on the left resorted to their tiresome-but-bullying default position: declare the entire topic to be motivated by white supremacy and therefore off limits for debate, and to seek the personal destruction of the person and his employer who dared mention it.
Perhaps Carlson’s critics were wise to shut down debate, as his argument was solid and they would have little to offer beyond ad hominem attacks. As he pointed out, the recent history of California illustrates how voter replacement via mass immigration is a real and effective tactic to gain political power. As the number of foreign nationals settling in California steadily increased over decades beginning in the 1980s, the state transitioned from politically red to purple, and eventually to deepest blue. Today California is a one-party state under almost complete Democrat control. Other states like Arizona, Colorado and Georgia are in earlier stages of the same process.
To be sure, California’s evolution—some would call it de-evolution—into an immigrant-laden Democrat stronghold from which taxpayers are fleeing was not a result of happenstance, but strategy. Indeed, high-level Democrat politicians have been plotting for years while openly predicting that Texas will soon meet a similar fate due to changing demographics. What is the biggest driver of those changing demographics? Mass immigration, of course. This is also the motivation for the left’s support of counting illegal aliens in the census, as higher population in a state equals more political representation in Washington.
Racial demagoguery aside, the reality is that the debate over how much immigration our nation can absorb is largely about political power and protecting the rights of all American citizens, not melanin levels. While a growing number of assimilated Latino citizens are voting Republican, grandees on the left have cynically calculated that an influx of largely poor, undereducated people from totalitarian nations will reliably vote for Democrats and their promises of cradle-to-grave entitlements.
Make no mistake, if Democrats thought there was even a chance these newcomers might vote against them once naturalized, we would be bombarded with media messages about how an open border to our south and those seeking entry are an existential threat to our nation.
While those who even bring up replacement theory are often accused of white supremacy, it is those on the left who have reduced the issue to the most vulgar, race-based rhetoric. A 2018 New York Times essay on the topic was actually titled “We Can Replace Them,” where anyone attempting to preserve things like honest elections and sensible immigration levels must be promoting white nationalism.
It is rich irony that the left tries to make this a racial issue, as African-Americans suffer the most as a result of excessive immigration. Research data has shown that higher immigration results in a decline in wages and employment, as well as an increase in incarceration rates, among African-Americans with a high school education or less. Politicians who claim to be advocates for minority communities while supporting the anti-borders agenda are selling modern-day snake oil.
If political candidates want to win office, they should focus on keeping their campaign promises and delivering for their constituents. Trying to re-engineer the demographics of our country through immigration just to secure political power is an insult to both our citizens and the integrity of our elections.
Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.