November 19, 2018
If the goal of immigration reform is to preserve American culture and prosperity, then the question would-be reformers would do well to ask is what strategies will have a chance at success.
Heated rhetoric about hordes of gangbangers and birth tourists overrunning our border will work, maybe, with about 40 percent of American voters. Cryptic escalatory references to how “the Second Amendment will save us” are futile jabberings. If it had to, the American government would deploy swarms of slap drones and other high-tech counter-insurgency gadgetry that would neutralize America’s rebel “militias” in hours. These are impossible options.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. American culture and prosperity can be preserved.
Immigration policy can move to a merit-based system, where admittance is based on applicants having valuable job skills, English language proficiency, good health, and cultural compatibility. There is a way to build a consensus among American voters that demands these reforms. The question is where to look.
As Henry Olsen explained in these pages recently, the Trump coalition has a tenuous hold on power—at best. “Whether it is regaining a portion of . . . RINOs or a winning a much larger share of Hispanic or African-American votes,” Olsen wrote, the president and the MAGA movement “need more supporters to succeed.”
How? Here it is necessary to consider the art of the possible. Are RINOs or liberals ever going to support immigration policies that preserve American culture and prosperity? Probably not. Those voters—mostly members of the upper middle class—love to virtue signal their aversion to any border policy that might invite even hints of “racism,” at the same time as they love the cheap labor that immigrants provide to clean their floors and cut their grass. They will be the last to be convinced.
What about “people of color,” those voters who constitute the other half of the Democratic bloc? Why should Trump Republicans settle for 10 percent, or even 40 percent, of their votes? What would it take for these voters, most of whom are either immigrants or have immigrant parents, to embrace American culture as passionately as the Irish and German immigrants of a century ago, and want to defend it?
The answer is simple: Attack and permanently discredit the forces in America that are doing everything they can to prevent assimilation. There are three critical fronts in this war.
University Campuses and K-12 Public Education
The degree to which the extreme Left now dominates university campuses in America defies brief description. America’s universities are training ethnic and racial minorities to despise traditional American culture and to believe they will experience lifelong discrimination in a hostile culture steeped in “white privilege.” But the programs that enable these seditious actions can be challenged in court, because they are discriminatory, they violate academic freedom, they undermine the economic value of an expensive college degree, and, in public universities, they waste taxpayers money.
Examples include the Orwellian diversity statements that applicants now have to submit to be considered for faculty positions. The discriminatory affirmative action plans. The segregation of “safe spaces.” The expensive, divisive, and economically useless ethnic and gender studies. The incredibly expensive “inclusion” and “diversity” bureaucracy. The abuse of Title IX by opportunistic bureaucrats and trial lawyers. Not only can court rulings destroy many of these programs, but people of color could be persuaded to reject such nonsense. Because the degrees they’re earning through them are worthless.
Rescuing America’s public elementary and secondary schools is equally important. There is no reason young people today cannot embrace America’s proud heritage regardless of their national origin.
But instead of receiving a balanced education that highlights America’s unique contributions to universal equality of opportunity, there is an inexorable shift towards textbooks that disparage the nation and its origins. Among the central figures in this growing movement to turn America’s youth against their own country is the late Howard Zinn. His hopelessly biased bestselling history text is designed to fill impressionable, rebellious youth with cynical resentment against everything that’s made America great: capitalism, private property, Christianity, democracy, meritocracy, the Protestant work ethic, and Western Civilization itself.
Fighting the leftist influence in K-12 schools starts with providing alternatives. Charter schools. Vouchers. Continuing to attack the Leftist agenda of the powerful teachers unions. These fights can play out in the courts, but they can also be fought at the grassroots. Because Leftist controlled public K-12 schools are failing to educate students. And the students who are the most negatively affected by Leftist mismanagement are those who live in low income, immigrant communities.
Exposing the Environmentalist Attack on the West
Nobody denies the urgency of many environmental challenges. Asian trawlers strip mining the oceans for protein. African poachers slaughtering critically endangered species. Chinese power plants belching so much soot they spread toxic clouds across half a continent. Rapid, unsustainable population growth across most of the planet’s equatorial regions.
The trajectory of all attempts to mitigate these genuine challenges is fatally slowed in deference to a corporate, fascistic imperative: Fighting “climate change.”
One may stop just short of declaring the entire climate change movement to be nothing more than a despicable hoax, inspired by globalist dreams of absolute profit and power. Humans can alter climate, probably more through land use than through CO2 emissions, but these impacts need to be honestly studied in order to consider practical options.
Instead, the climate alarmists demand that humans phase out all use of fossil fuel within a few decades. This is patently, ridiculously impossible. Moreover, even if it were possible, according to their own “scientific” projections, it’s already too late. So what’s really going on?
What the climate alarmists are creating, some of them consciously, others as unwitting accomplices, is artificial scarcity of virtually all critical resources; land, homes, electricity, gas and oil, water, transportation. This enriches wealthy elites who own the means of production. They eliminate competition, drive up prices, and collect higher returns. Throughout the Western World they have boxed in cities, supposedly to preserve “open space,” they’ve shut down power plants, they’ve prevented construction of dams and desalination plants, they’ve prevented projects to widen and upgrade roads. The solutions they’ve offered punish low-income communities most of all. High-density, high-rise apartments with sky-high rents. Expensive electricity and expensive gasoline. Water that’s rationed yet still costs more every year. Roads crammed beyond capacity, causing the most harm to those commuters who must live far from their jobs in order to afford their rent.
Why isn’t this an attack on immigrants? Why isn’t this an attack on people of color? Why should they continue to vote for people who used to allow land development to lower the price of land and housing, but now require everyone to cram into the existing footprints of legacy cities?
Why should they vote for people who reject the cost-effective solution of installing scrubbers on smokestacks to enable clean use of fossil fuel, and instead sell subsidized solar rooftop systems to the wealthy, which forces everyone else pay higher utility rates to fund the grid upgrades necessary to accommodate distributed power?
Why should they vote for people who, instead of just building a few dams and permitting desalination plants to supply water to coastal cities, impose water rationing and charge higher rates? Why should they vote for people who could widen the freeways, but instead pour hundreds of billions into mass transit solutions that are impractical and always end up underutilized?
It isn’t difficult to make this case. It takes courage more than money. Courage to be called a “denier.” But if enough people insist on a rational response to climate change alarm, “denier” will lose its power to silence. And the people who are the most negatively affected by leftist climate alarm policies are those who live in low income, immigrant communities.
Meeting Big Money with Big Money
Saving America’s culture and prosperity is tough, because most wealthy people don’t consider preserving America’s culture and prosperity as a high priority.
Their moral argument goes like this: We will shift people and capital to wherever we find the greatest return on investment, because if all of us maximize our returns, collectively we will foster more rapid global economic growth. That’s a comforting argument, especially when you’re disenfranchising an entire nation.
Alas, the argument has a fatal flaw.
American culture—and Western culture generally—is the engine that gave birth to individual rights, capitalist entrepreneurship, democratic republics, the rule of law, a sizable middle class, and the prosperity, adaptability, and stability that enabled their wealth. Not only do the ordinary people who are the inheritors and carriers of this culture deserve better but if their culture is destroyed, the security that wealthy people enjoy will also be destroyed. Hardcore leftists know this. The wealthy RINOs, including leftist and libertarian oligarchs, often do not. They are naïve.
In the November 2018 election, leftist oligarchs and NeverTrump billionaires vastly outspent the Republicans. Pierre Omidyar, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Tom Steyer, and George Soros, to name a few, spent hundreds of millions to elect Democrats and push left-wing policies. Usually reliable right-leaning oligarchs, such as the Koch Brothers, not only failed to match the torrent of funding from the left, but they were selective in their support, abandoning Republicans who were too “Trumpian.”
Not only were Republicans outspent in 2018 but the Democrats were smarter with their money. Billionaire Tom Steyer, who poured $123 million overall into 2018 midterms, funneled $3.8 million for targeted youth voter registration, voter contact, and get-out-the-vote efforts just in California, and just in toss-up congressional districts.
Democratic operatives collected individual voter data from online and offline sources, testing thousands of online ads, which allowed them to pinpoint which individual voters in pure Republican households were most receptive to crossing party lines. They recruited an army of amateur opposition researchers to “read every line of every document” of targeted Republicans’ lives, voting records, and disclosure reports.
Anti-MAGA billionaires did everything right. Their upgraded tactics, and their unprecedented funding, are here to stay. Who will counter their efforts?
There are 565 billionaires in the United States. Most of them are globalists; some are left-wing; some are libertarian. But not all of them. It would only take a determined effort by two or three of them, using their money as strategically as the Democrats and RINOs just did, to change the game. It’s time for some of them to step up. Because as it is, in the United States there are well established, well organized networks of think tanks and super PACs on the Left and the Right. But neither of these networks embrace a vision of American greatness that puts Americans first.
Understanding Who’s On Your Side
The battle to reform immigration laws and assimilate newcomers is not racial; it is cultural. The enemies of assimilation, for the most part, are globalist oligarchs and their mostly white liberal pawns.
There exists a vision of compassionate nationalism, however, that makes an uncompromising commitment to the interests of the American people, but does so in recognition that only a strong America—a very strong America—can help midwife the eventual emergence of a global civilization that embraces Western values.
The great independent voting bloc are those millions of Americans—nearly 25 percent of the population—who either have recently arrived in America, or are first-generation Americans. Many of them are intermarrying with whites, especially Asians and Latinos. These voters are up for grabs for a host of reasons.
To generalize, Asians resent being held back by affirmative action. Latinos resent being displaced by more recent immigrants. It’s the same story with blacks. And all people of color are increasingly receptive to the argument that Democrats have done nothing to help their communities. Welfare has failed. Unions have ruined public education. College courses in ethnic and gender studies are a joke. And as anyone with a smile and an open heart immediately learns, America is not a racist nation. We are the friendliest people on earth.
Americans are right to fear unchecked immigration. But their enemy is not the immigrants themselves. It is the liberal totalism that robs everyone of opportunities who is not already wealthy. It is leftist hatred that trains immigrants to dislike America and Americans. As the truth about the leftist elites is exposed, as they are accurately revealed as plutocratic, manipulative profiteers who are indifferent to the plight of ordinary Americans, people of color will join the MAGA movement. And with their participation, many white RINOs and moderate liberals will at last feel comfortable also joining.
Resistance to #TheResistance is not futile. With a positive, welcoming attitude, combined with a well-funded, winning national strategy, America’s new immigrants will be assimilated. And that will be a wonderful thing.
Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images
Re-posted with permission.
This essay first appeared on the digital edition of the Claremont Review of Books.
Tom Kite is PGA Tour player whose low Major total belies his resume as a player….He only led the Tour in earnings twice, but he was the second Tour player to crack $1 million in a season (1989, a year after Curtis Strange did it), he finished in the Top 20 in money 17 times, and he was the first player to accumulate $6 million, $7 million, $8 million, and $9 million in career earnings.1 Tom, although an excellent player was not Greg Norman, Ben Crenshaw, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus; names one might expect to head that list. How? He did it by having a considerably higher finishing average than other players and naturally earned more prize money as a result.
In 1960, the New York Yankees lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3 games to 4. Amongst the Yankees’ roster were future Hall of Fame Players Berra, Maris and Mantle. Still the Yankees lost despite having scored a total of 55 runs to the Pirates’ 27 runs.
These stories seem relevant to today’s political campaign rhetoric. We are told our system is corrupt. It may be; but wouldn’t it be a good thing to look at where and how? In light of the twisted language of our politically correct consciousness, which makes honest substantive discussions on issues difficult at best, it would likely be prudent to ensure my words here are clear.
Ever since our nation’s founding, we, the average citizen, have had a say in our national elections and discourse. But, aside from our votes, it has never been direct. Our votes, other than on state and local initiatives, nearly always involve our selection of someone to represent us. We delegate our political desires to someone who, hopefully, will reflect our views when they cast their votes on specific legislation.
We are not, as a political structure, a pure democracy. Never have been, although it could be argued that we have moved more in that direction. Our founders did not trust a pure democracy: structurally, we are a representative republic.
“what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”
– Federalist No. 51, James Madison
As Franklin, replying to a woman who asked as he left the Constitutional Convention, “Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?,” stated, “A republic . . . if you can keep it.”
Note Madison states the obvious: government is necessary due to the flaws of humanity generally. Not that people are evil per se (though some most certainly are – Hitler & Stalin come to mind), but that self interest is a universal human characteristic. Yet, government, established to prevent individual self interest from becoming anarchy or rule of the jungle, is an organization run by people. So how do you prevent the very self interest government is set up to protect against from becoming a tool of those who work in government?
A republic. A pure democracy is essentially mob rule: 50%, plus one negates the 50% less 1 in all matters. That is law of the jungle, lynch mob governance. A republic on the other hand is a layered form of democracy that attempts to mitigate the aggregation of political power. This form is still imperfect because people are still people.
I’ve recounted all of this because we’re being told nearly every day how corrupt the delegate system is. When, in truth, if any one cared to go beyond the railings and look into the process, it is actually a full demonstration of the principles of our founders’ efforts to keep us from being our own worst enemy. How?
First, the delegate selection is NOT controlled, at least in one political party’s structure1, by one centralized entity or small group of elites. Each state has it own rules, means and methods. This means that no one person or small group can control the outcome. A successful candidate must be able to navigate many different process rules, from state to state. It is much the same as a business in one state seeking to expand its offices to another state – they have to look at how the laws, taxes, etc., impact how they conduct business in order to successfully operate there.
This multi-faceted, variable process is accidentally brilliant. Accidentally because the states themselves and the state party structures were set up independently, over a period of decades, and through their own localized self interest developed whatever delegate process they thought would serve their own constituents best. Each of these statewide party representatives are individuals who got involved in the process because they wanted to influence the outcome however they could.
Perfect? Not at all. But it does keep political power less concentrated and more diverse. And that benefits us all.
Confusing? Yes. Corrupt? Not likely; it is just too diversified, too disconnected for full centralized control. Those who argue for pure democracy would do well to recognize the dangers of mob rule. Is that what you really want? How long would our society survive if that were how we decided things?
Don’t like the outcomes? Get involved. But regurgitating easy and disingenuous slogans which tend only to stoke emotional fervor is destructive. It is the very thing that lead to the rise of some of history’s most wretched atrocities. One only need look to 1789 France to appreciate the horror of the mob. Our elected officials, particularly in the last three election cycles, have not been as representative as many had hoped they would be as to the direction of the country, the size, scale and scope of government’s influence in our daily lives. But to allow that disappointment and frustration to literally blow up the layered system meant to protect us from ourselves is precisely what some advocate for – an utter collapse of the system allowing for who knows what.
It should be noted that what makes government necessary is at the same time the very thing that requires government be restrained and limited in size, scale and scope. Otherwise, we cease being even the imperfect representative republic. The Constitution acknowledges the imperfections of humanity and attempts to allow each of us to enjoy individual liberty to pursue life as we envision it. It seeks to protect our God-given, unalienable rights by preventing each of us from using political power to our own advantage over one another. And while, we’ve done considerable damage to that bulwark, it is not yet fully lost.
But, if the tone and language, accompanied by blind, emotional outrage and verbal assaults are any indication, we could inadvertently usher in that which disassembles the very thing that ensures each and everyone of us are able to continue being a free people, to enjoy life as we would pursue it.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
– Benjamin Franklin
- PGA Tour Career Money Leaders History
- The Democratic Party delegate process has what are known as “super delegates”. These delegates are solely controlled and assigned by the DNC directly to the candidate the Party decides, not the voters. CNN interview DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz explaining this: https://youtu.be/w5llLIKM9Yc
April 20, 2016
Back in 2011, I shared a video that mocked libertarians by claiming that Somalia was their ideal no-government paradise.
I pointed out, of course, that the argument was silly. Sort of like claiming that North Korea is the left’s version of policy paradise.
But the video was very clever, and I’m more than willing to disseminate anti-libertarian humor if it’s clever and well done.
Some folks on the left, however, confuse satire with serious argument.
Consider the recent New York Times column by Nicholas Kristof. He wants his readers to think that advocates of small government somehow should be saddled with the blame for the dysfunctional nightmare of South Sudan. Seriously.
After hearing Republican presidential candidates denounce big government and burdensome regulation, I’d like to invite them to spend the night here in the midst of the civil war in South Sudan. You hear gunfire, competing with yowls of hyenas, and you don’t curse taxes. Rather, you yearn for a government that might install telephones, hire a 911 operator and dispatch the police. …Ted Cruz…is clamoring for: weaker government, less regulation… In some sense, you find the ultimate extension of all that right here.
Just in case you think I’m taking him out of context to make his argument look foolish, here are more excerpts.
No regulation! No long lines at the D.M.V., because there is no D.M.V. in the conflict areas. In practice, no taxes or gun restrictions. No Obamacare. No minimum wage. No welfare state to breed dependency. …In a place that might seem an anti-government fantasy taken to an extreme, people desperately yearn for all the burdens of government…that Americans gripe about. …One lesson of South Sudan is that government and regulations are like oxygen: You don’t appreciate them until they’re not there.
Notice how he wants to make it seem like the choice is South Sudan on one hand versus “all the burdens of government” on the other.
To be fair, Kristof does attempt a serious argument later in his column.
Two political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, argue that America’s achievements rest on a foundation of government services… “We are told that the United States got rich in spite of government, when the truth is closer to the opposite,” they write. Every country that journeyed from mass illiteracy and poverty to modernity and wealth did so, they note, because of government instruments that are now often scorned. …What we Americans excel at are our institutions. We have schools, laws, courts, police, regulators, bureaucracies, safety nets — arms of a government that is often frustrating but always indispensable. These institutions are the pillars of our standard of living. …Government, laws and taxes are a burden, indeed, but they are also the basis for civilization.
I haven’t read the work of Hacker and Pierson, but there’s been extensive research about the factors that produce economic growth. So if Hacker and Pierson are merely claiming that certain things traditionally provided by governments – such as rule of law, protection of property rights, enforcement of contracts, courts and police, and national defense – are associated with economic growth, then we’re on the same page.
But that’s an argument for a small state. Indeed, I’ve pointed that the United States (and other nations in the western world) became rich in the 1800s when there was a limited government providing these core “public goods.”
And at the time, there was virtually no redistribution. Not only in the United States, but in other developed nations as well.
Indeed, that’s the argument behind the Rahn Curve. A small amount of (properly focused) government is associated with growth. But once the public sector gets too large, then government spending saps a nation’s economy.
To conclude, perhaps there is common ground. If Kristof is willing to admit that a bloated welfare states is misguided, then I’ll be willing to say that no government can lead to South Sudan.
P.P.S. Leftists like to share the quote from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes about “taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.” This statement is even etched in stone at the headquarters of the internal revenue service.
What folks conveniently forget, though, is that Holmes reportedly made that statement in 1904, nine years before there was an income tax, and then again in 1927, when federal taxes amounted to only $4 billion and the federal government consumed only about 5 percent of economic output.
As I wrote in 2013, “I’ll gladly pay for that amount of civilization.”
P.P.P.S. In his column, Kristof uses Trump as a foil even more than Cruz. Since I’m unconvinced that Trump believes in smaller government, I didn’t include those excerpts (while Cruz, even while he has some views I don’t like, seems to be a sincere and principled advocate of economic liberty).
What’s especially discouraging is that Congress was on track to reduce the IRS’s bloated budget.
#LimitedGov #NoMoreBigGov #LibertyisSecurity #BigLifeSmallGov #BigGovSmallLife
March 6, 2016 by Dan Mitchell
Of the 4,000-plus columns I’ve produced since starting International Liberty in 2009, two of the most popular posts involve semi-amusing stories that highlight the failure of socialism, redistributionism, and collectivism.
“The Tax System Explained in Beer” is the third-most-viewed post of all time, and “Does Socialism Work? A Classroom Experiment” is the fourth-most-viewed post. At the risk of oversimplifying, I think these columns are popular because they succinctly capture why it’s very shortsighted and misguided to have an economic system that punishes success and rewards sloth.
For those who want details, I have dozens of columns about real-world socialist failure, looking at both the totalitarian version in places like Cuba, China, Venezuela, and North Korea, as well as the majoritarian version in nations such as France, Italy, and Greece.
And for those that want to get technical, I even have several columns explaining that the pure version of socialism involves government ownership of the means of production (government factories, state farms, etc), whereas the “democratic socialism” in Europe is actually best viewed as extreme versions of redistributionism (while the pervasive interventionism favored by the left actually is a form of fascism).
Yet notwithstanding the horrible track record of every version of socialism, we actually have a presidential candidate in America who actually calls himself a socialist. Though, as pointed out by my colleague Marian Tupy in The Atlantic, he’s more of a redistributionist than a socialist.
Socialism was an economic system where the means of production (e.g., factories), capital (i.e., banks), and agricultural land (i.e., farms) were owned by the state. …Sanders is not a typical socialist. Sure, he believes in a highly regulated and heavily taxed private enterprise, but he does not seem to want the state to own banks and make cars. …Senator Sanders is not a proponent of socialism, and that is a good thing, for true socialism, whenever and wherever it has been tried, ended in disaster.
Here’s an article about real socialism by Mark Perry that’s more than 20 years old, but its analysis is just as accurate today as it was in 1995.
Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery. …Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. …it is a system that ignores incentives. …A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail.
Ben Domenech, writing for Commentary, analyzes the current version of socialism, which – particularly in the (feeble) minds of young people – is simply more middle-class entitlements financed by high tax rates on evil rich people.
Sanders holds massive events populated by kids who think what he is preaching is very cool. …When did it become acceptable for Americans to back an avowed socialist? …For Americans today, the visible and unmistakable connection between socialism and totalitarianism has faded dramatically. …For America’s young, socialism’s definition isn’t to be found in the desperate, sad reality of peoples held captive by regimes that proudly declare themselves socialist. It’s more of a vague ideal… This makes it easier for someone like Sanders to say that socialism just means middle-class entitlements… It is…Barack Obama…that we have to thank for socialism’s rise in 2016. Republicans…have been describing President Obama’s domestic program as socialist… The takeaway for today’s younger voters seems to be: If everything Obama is trying to do is socialism, …then perhaps we need to go full socialist to actually get things done.
The final part of the excerpt is very insightful.
Heck, they don’t even understand the modern-day failure of socialism in Venezuela or North Korea.
To them, socialism is simply bigger government.
Which is very offensive to people who actually have suffered under socialism. Garry Kasparov, the chess champion turned Russian dissident, doesn’t mince words in his response to the Sanders crowd.
Let’s close with something amusing. Or at least ironic.
It’s the socialism version of this communism image.
And it’s something young people should think about because socialism fails every place it is tried. As Mark Perry explained, it’s grossly inconsistent with human nature.
That’s true whether we’re looking at the totalitarian version of the majoritarian version.
The latter version is preferable, of course, though the end result is still economic misery.
P.S. Here’s a very clever video that asks college kids whether they would like a socialist grading system. Unsurprisingly, they say no. Though the video was put together before Bernie Sanders attracted a cult-like following, so perhaps today’s students would answer differently.
P.P.S. Speaking of videos, I’m guessing this bit of satire won’t be very popular with Bernie’s supporters.
P.P.P.P.S. You can also use two cows to teach about socialism, as well as other theories.