Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The “I” Word

One of the many faults of the mainstream press is their refusal to portray certain positions with the faintest shred of fairness or accuracy. In colloquial and cliched terms, the media is biased. This bias manifests itself in their exclusion from consideration any facts or viewpoints which do not conform to The Narrative.

This tendency is seldom more clear than on the subject of immigration. When discussing the issue, we are reminded of our “broken system”, “jobs Americans won't do”, “guest workers program”, as well as the general joys of vibrant diversity. The Narrative also precludes mentioning the dreaded “I” word when do to so might lead to hateful Crime Think.

I shall give two examples, both involving the state of California. I am too young to remember this, but there was, a time, evidently, when that state was a beacon of hope, and not the expensive, mismanaged mess it has become.  Anyway, the stories: the first discussed the crumbling infrastructure; the second, the ongoing drought. In neither story could I find a mention of the role played by millions of immigrants, many of them illegal. It would be foolhardy to blame a few million Mexicans for either problem, but the increase in population undoubtedly played a part and merits mentioning in the story.

Merely bringing this up is enough to be sentenced to wear a sanbenito, so strong is the choke hold that the media possesses. But the man who mentions such a connection is not revealing anything about his position on immigration; he is only noting the obvious. More people put more stress on roads as well as the water supply.

The Narrative exists to frame the bounds of acceptable discourse. By rendering any diversion from the talking points about magical immigrants heretical, the media renders a dignified discussion about the issue all but impossible. Which is, of course, the point.

Let us pretend that we wish to have such a discussion. The following points must be conceded. First, that a nation as wealthy as ours, and with generous welfare policies such as ours, must have an immigration policy. To allow everyone into the country would be suicidal. It would reduce this once proud nation to a bankrupt, third world basket case. Only a few fool economists actually recommend this outrageous position. Which is to say that either the keepers of The Narrative are horrible racist xenophobes, or else we have a position from which to start.

Second, a nation ought to prioritize the well-being of its citizens as against those of the world. The US military exists to protect us, not the people of any other country, unless it is in the interests of American citizens. So it should be with each and every program and preoccupation of the State. To this end, it is preposterous to suggest that at a time when the labor participation rate is the lowest it has been in decades, more cheap foreign labor should be imported. The government does not exist so that Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, and other billionaires can purchase another yacht. Until average Americans are again becoming better off, to even talk about more immigration is not just insulting, it is treasonous.

Third, before we add another guest worker program, we need to understand those we have. It would be helpful if the media noted that guest worker programs already exist. John Derbyshire once tried to determine how many we had; he concluded that we had 12, or 20, depending on which count one used. As he further noted, why should we expect the next program to work if the others have failed?

We await sensible discourse on the subject of immigration. Perhaps next republic.

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