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Census Citizen Question is Fair, But It Riles Democrats

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Kevin Hagen

After a long day at the resistance, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comes home to find me sitting completely alone and uninvited at her kitchen table.

In this completely made-up scenario, I am simply in her home illegally. She knows this as she comes in. On my blue blazer I've pinned a name tag that says, "Hello my name is John. Hate Has No Home Here."


It doesn't have to be AOC's home. You might fashion your own nightmare dream sequence and put yourself in Bernie Sanders' home, or Joe Biden's or Kamala Harris'. Or the home of any of the other Democratic presidential candidates who raised their hands promising taxpayer-subsidized health care to those who crossed the border illegally, and also raised their hands supporting the decriminalization of illegal crossing, thus endorsing de facto open borders.

So, no criminal penalty for crossing. And if you make it here, you get free stuff at taxpayer expense. Sounds like a great deal to me.

Does it apply to the kitchen table?

"Who ARE you," asks AOC. "WHY are you HERE? Do you belong in my house?"

These are simple, reasonable questions any homeowner might ask of a stranger at her or his kitchen table.

So why can't Americans ask it of people in our country? Why can't we ask people in this country -- on the 2020 census -- if they are citizens of the United States?

But if you dare ask it, or support the idea that it's a reasonable question, you'll be denounced by the Democratic left as a racist, a tool of Trump, and you'll be exiled for your sins.

Is it racist and evil for a nation to ask if its residents are citizens of that nation?

No. Every citizen should have the right to know how many citizens are here. We are not the subjects of the government. We are citizens. And for now, at least, citizenship still counts. You must declare your citizenship if you wish to get a U.S. passport. So why shouldn't the 2020 census be able to ask if you are a citizen?


Polls aren't everything, but a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released the other day shows that 67 percent of people agreed that the question, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?" should be allowed on the 2020 census. Eight-eight percent of Republicans, 52 percent of Democrats and even 63 percent of independents said it was a legitimate question.

If those who agreed to the question are wise, they'll keep their mouths shut, lest they be denounced for Thought Crime.

As with almost everything in America, politics is involved. The provocateur in chief, President Donald Trump, is behind the question. He ran successfully on a platform of promising to stop illegal immigration, which Republicans and Democrats have allowed and encouraged for decades.

Republican politicians danced for chamber of commerce types who wanted cheap labor. Democrats once opposed illegal immigration, but now they realize their future lies not just with African Americans, but with immigrants coming north across the southern border.

Trump pushed to have a question of citizenship on the census. The Supreme Court in a narrow 5-4 decision, blocked it, at least temporarily, and tossed the issue back to the lower courts.

Democrats argue that such a question would frighten noncitizens and depress the census count, especially in blue states like Illinois, which has lost thousands of residents. And states that lose population risk losing seats in Congress.


Attorney General William Barr said the other day that he sees a legal path to the question of citizenship on the 2020 census. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat locked in her own intraparty political civil war with AOC's Democratic socialists, said asking about citizenship on the census is all about white racism.

"This is about keeping -- you know his hat -- make America white again," Pelosi sniffed at an event in San Francisco, referring to the red Make America Great Again hats popular with some Trump supporters.

"They want to make sure that people, certain people, are counted," Pelosi said. "It's really disgraceful. And it's not what our founders had in mind. What they want to do is put a chilling effect so certain populations will not answer the form."

It is an issue that Pelosi's Democrats may win in the courts but lose at the ballot box.

Citizenship has nothing to do with race. We are all races here.

And citizens should have the right to dare ask who is in their country. What is disgraceful is that Pelosi would play the race card to protect her power.

What is equally disgraceful is that she's not roundly condemned for such talk by a media so enamored of the Democratic "resistance" against Trump that they willfully ignore danger signs in the culture. And this is a clear danger sign. But what else is new?


There is a chilling effect, but it comes from the Democratic left in shaming Americans from asking a legitimate question they would ask of any stranger in their home.

It is deplorable, and it is precisely this kind of thing that will drive independents toward Trump in 2020.

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