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This is a Wednesday Update Archive piece.
Subject: Illegal immigration,
And our various other social, cultural, and political problems
(Wed., April 26, 2006)
(approx. 1492 words, 3 pp.)
1 America? 2 Americas? Or now 3 Americas?
What is it going to take to deal with the immigration issue, or any other issue?
We used to have one America, and the majority of people were said to be "middle class," whether upper or lower or somewhere in between, and of course in America we have some rich people and some poor people, in fact, some quite rich and some quite poor, but these were traditionally seen as "the exceptions." We even had a politician in the last election talking about "2 Americas," but where did he want to draw the line? In truth, if most people are middle class, there is no clear line between "rich" and "poor," because most people are neither, in order to create the concept of "2 Americas"? With such thinking there are more like 3 Americas or even 4 or 5, and, that is, if it is all defined "economically"! In truth, not always the best way to think about things?
Let's stick with "one America," please...
In any case, it has always struck this writer that policy should be geared to the vast majority of people, as "normal" in their needs and contributions to society in work and taxes, and otherwise. And the truly wealthy and the truly poor are exceptional and should probably be seen as such, economically and sociologically? In short, we probably need to think in terms of one America and exceptional cases as "exceptional," again, economically or sociologically?
But where do illegal immigrants in their countless millions go in such a schema? Slavery was very good, in fact "wonderful," for the economy and for free trade, and no doubt Wall Street loved it? That is, slavery was just fine for the society economically, but it did not work so well in the long run sociologically speaking, causing a minor fracture to the Republic? If we do not do something now with the flow of illegal immigrants, how in the world will this work out "sociologically" in 10 or 20 years? If 25 or 30% of the population is un-absorbed Hispanic, this may not work well in the long run, sociologically? And in 30 or 40 years if 50% of the population is, essentially, un-absorbed Hispanic, well, what then?
Can this possibly work well in the long run?
Clearly the corporate libertarian right as well as the far left think this is all just fine for now, and no doubt, it has many positive aspects at this time. But maybe the question we should ask is not just "Can this possibly work well in the long run, sociologically speaking?" but "When is this going to be too much of a good thing?" Is that not a fair question for our now said to be "2 or 3 Americas" by our current politicians? What I wonder is what is truly best for America, the nation? But I guess at this point you have to say, "which America"?
I, personally, do not think 3 Americas is really a good idea, but I do not think even 2 Americas is, let alone 3, so what do I know? The practical policy question is, however, what percentage of the population do we want to be illegal immigrants? It is said on TV (anyway) to be 10 to 15% of the population at this time; do we want it to be 20 or 25%? Certainly a fair question at this hour? Or maybe 33%, and we slap up a fence in say 10 or 15 years? No more fooling around!!! Or maybe we wait 20 or 25 years and go for an even 50%? Or, maybe people will stop coming in their millions? I have no idea personally, but we may need to have a national debate in a democracy, anyway, on what percentage of the population as illegal immigrants is truly best for America, as one nation?
Do national sovereignty and citizenship matter?
Do you not think there might just possibly be some demagogue politicians to use and exploit these people in the next 5 or 10 years if, say, 1 voter in 3 or 4 is some poor Mexican "American" citizen, no less? This may not be a good idea? (Brilliant corporate America, notwithstanding?) The libertarian, radical "free trade" people do not believe in the concept of "national interest," of course, in this area or any other area, in theory or practice? Foolishness? In my opinion, yes. But the news accounts are all superficial to me. Clearly there are a lot of males here, and they send money back to their families in Mexico, Central America, etc. Are they going to stay here "alone"? This hardly seems likely?
I, personally, have very mixed emotions on this immigration thing, but unless it goes away of its own accord, we may need to have a national policy, no? My view is generally "the more the merrier," especially for people who clearly come here to participate in the American dream for a better life, etc. But at some point we need a policy, and we do not want it to become such a percentage of the population that it potentially changes the political structure of our entire Republic, and our sense of national unity and cohesion? It is said that some public schools are even being taught in Spanish these days? (If you can believe that.) In truth, I am not even sure if one is an American citizen if one is born here while one's mother was committing a criminal act, etc. This was hardly Constitutional intent? This is potentially a very serious issue in my opinion with many, many things to sort out to make policy, and it seems in this area as so many others, this current crop of politicians is just not up to the job?
Again, C. S. Lewis was right on "the long way" around for the good society?
In my view, as in so many others areas of our culture and society, God has apparently removed his blessing and wisdom from us to deal with serious matters of national interest. Is it because of the curse of abortion, and the millions upon millions no longer with us? Perhaps, but we need to return to God, and that is a God of conservative moral theism, and we will, I think, see God's provision restored in many areas, and we will have or be given the hearts and minds to make things work well again, with liberty and justice for all... And we will even be able to figure out what to do with this rising tide of millions upon millions of non-citizens. (Maybe?) But I must say, we do not seem to have a clue at this time, nor even a plan for making a plan? And as Teddy Roosevelt used to say, we do not want to go the "hyphenated American" route? Or, do we? If the liberal elite and the mainstream media cannot even deal with sucking the brains out of half-born children (a real tough one!), how in the world can they deal with something complicated?
Maybe in the coming weeks we will do a series of Wednesday Updates on various issues in our society at this time. The truth is we are not doing worth a damn not just in politics and journalism, but in entertainment, education, law, culture, religion, and so forth, and everybody knows it? C. S. Lewis was right, I think: until we each and every one commit with our whole being to pursuing the traditional moral life, we have virtually no chance of seeing serious progress and reform in order improve things and turn the society around? That is the only way it is going to happen, and though there are various forms of traditional moral theism, conservative Evangelical Christianity is about the only socially significant form of conservative moral theism around these days, with its unique individual personal "salvation," as well.
Bottom-line for one America generally? "Awake thou that sleepest"
In order to have a society that is semi-pleasant to live in, and in order to have the will and wisdom to "do the right thing," whether individually or collectively, we need a society of traditional rational moral theists, and in order to have a society of traditional rational moral theists, we almost certainly are going to have to have a widespread, old-fashioned Holy Ghost revival, and in order to have a widespread, old-fashioned Holy Ghost revival, we are going to have to have a Great Spiritual Awakening to the truth and reality of the Biblical "Word" of God and the Gospel. So rather obviously the first domino is? A Great Spiritual Awakening to the truth and reality of the Biblical "Word" of God and the Gospel? Or maybe it is something else? Like the Flintstones? Hard to say these days? Really hard to say?