Excellent news: Most Americans approve of Arizona's new immigration law. And by wide margins. According to Pew, the overall number is 59 percent. The New York Times poll came in at 60 percent. According to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, that overall number is higher still: 64 percent. These solid majorities show stirrings of a surprisingly resilient national survival instinct.
I say "surprisingly" because that instinct -- in some cases perhaps no more than a reflexive urge to hold the line -- has been subjected to decades of steady, acidic corrosion in the "politically correct" re-education camps we know as our nation's school systems. There, we all learn (or are all taught, anyway) that borders are "divisive" and immigration laws are "discriminatory." In other words, it's either "We are the world" or you are a racist. The moral blackmail that begins in kindergarten doesn't stop.
But if we think past it for a minute -- a quiet, reflective minute, away from our minders -- the logical notion that borders necessarily divide (nations), and immigration laws necessarily discriminate (between citizen and non-citizen) is still likely to coalesce. And that's excellent news. Who knows? With Arizona as our shining state in a desert, the electorate might even come to realize that without borders and without immigration laws, there is no nation and there is no citizenship, and that we had better beef up both -- and fast.
No wonder our transnational elites and rowdy, open-border agitators are so unnerved by what's going on in Arizona. And they make a lot of noise telling us so. In fact, when I sat down to write the week's column, I falsely assumed Arizona was getting hammered from all sides. After all, headlines scream, municipalities in Northern California (the usual - Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco), Boston, Seattle and Austin have voted to boycott Arizona businesses. Los Angeles, too (which prompted an Arizona energy official to offer, tartly, to help turn off the lights in L.A., which buys 25 percent of its power from the state). Rumors of sports boycotts float. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner even complained about Arizona on the subject of human rights to totalitarian China, for Pete's sake.Still, Arizona is really only getting it from one side. (As noted in the Pew poll, even a strong majority of Democrats favor essential provisions of the Arizona law, with almost half supporting the law itself.) The anti-Arizona side, however, is the one with mainstream media access and Washington political clout. It's the same side that almost reached critical mass under George W. Bush, with his "comprehensive immigration reform" -- shamnesty - plan, and it hasn't leveled off under Barack Obama, now gunning for similar legislation.
"In the 21st century, we are defined not by our borders, but by our bonds," said the President of North America, I mean, the United States, in an appearance with Mexican president Felipe Calderon this week. We want "a border that will unite us instead of dividing us," Calderon said in turn. This was somewhat less imperialistic than Calderon's 2007 line, "Where there is a Mexican there is Mexico," but the gist is clear. Neither president wants a border, both want amnesty for millions of mainly Mexican illegal aliens, and Arizona makes them mad.
It all fits, really. The state that wants to protect American identity to ensure that all of its citizens, regardless of race or origin, have one. Call it the Spirit of Arizona. And let's hope it's catching.