Immigration as a political issue has exploded like a gushing fuel tanker lit up by a flaming road flare. The conflagration, which began when Donald Trump entered the presidential race on June 16, has badly burned the U.S. establishment whose members are still trying to extinguish it.
Intimidation tactics and boycotts not only went nowhere in forcing Trump to back down from his views, they ricocheted right back against his assailants. Macy’s lost more customers than it gained and Fox News’ August 6 debate ambush of Trump ended up giving the network a black eye and Trump even more popular support.
Adios, America Best Price: $1.16 Buy New $7.50 (as of 04:00 EDT - Details) While Adios America, released two weeks before Trump entered the presidential race, is centered around the same political issue that propelled Trump to the top of the polls, Ann Coulter is a decidedly different animal than the (until recently) pragmatic and bi-partisan Trump.
In addition to Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and Fox News, Coulter is another prominent leg of the Conservatism Incorporated media complex built in the 1990s that rose to national prominence opposing the Clinton administration. Unlike Trump, she has a long track record as a doctrinaire cheerleader for the GOP establishment (e.g., If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans).
Ann pulls no punches in her indictment of America’s immigration policy:
- About 52% of legal-immigrant households with children receive state assistance. Almost 60% of legal and illegal immigrants receive state assistance versus 39% of U.S.-born households (15).
- “Aren’t immigrants who immediately go on government assistance, by definition, immigrants we don’t want?” (15).
- Before 1965, American immigrants were more diverse, not less. Seven countries/regions (Germany, Canada, U.K., Italy, Poland, Mexico, U.S.S.R) supplied at least 5% of the annual immigrant total. By 2000, Mexico was number one at about 33%, China a distant number two (less than or equal to 5%), while Germany, Canada, Britain, Italy, and Poland were reduced to providing less than 2% each (70).
- Immigrants less likely to be poorer than Caucasian U.S.-born households come from Poland, Canada, Germany, U.K., India, and the Philippines. But fewer immigrants are accepted from these nations than, for example, Honduras and Mexico which produce immigrants more prone to poverty (15-16).
- The U.S. has absorbed more than a quarter of Mexico’s population (69).
- Before 1965, roughly a third of immigrants returned to their source countries. Now relatively few do (56).
- While the standard number of illegal immigrants has been estimated at 11 million based on census data, the work of Justich and Ng (2005) and Barlett and Steele (2006) put the estimate closer to 30 million (72-74).
- As further example of the unreliability of census data, in 1990 they indicated that about 9,200 Brazilians lived in New York City while Brazil’s own foreign office estimated 230,000 (73).
Who and what are to blame? At least for the problems stemming from legal immigration, Democrat Ted Kennedy and his Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1965. Democrats had trouble getting Americans to vote for them, so they adopted a new strategy of bringing in hordes of Third-World poor to ensure Democratic electoral success. Of course this partisan story of Ann’s leaves out a lot. If Democrats Had Any B... Best Price: $0.40 Buy New $6.00 (as of 03:50 EDT - Details)
In the Senate, 75% of Republicans supported the 1965 immigration bill while in the House, 85% of Republicans supported it. If the Republicans thought they had made a serious mistake so overwhelmingly supporting INA 1965, why didn’t they repeal it when they controlled the House, Senate, and White House from 2003-2007?
Which special interests lobbied Congress to pass INA 1965? Unfortunately, such genuine insight is not what Ann is in business to deliver to readers.
The U.S.-Mexico border and surrounding areas have become violent and dangerous in places, including some national parks, because of the presence of armed drug runners, human smugglers, and makeshift marijuana farms.
In the area including Coronado National Forest and the Sonoran Desert National Monument, 75 to 97% of time spent by authorities responding to incidents involves migrants (199). For the 60 fires on tribal or federal land in Arizona between 2006 and 2010 (where a cause could be found), migrants were responsible for half (196).
Most of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was closed for at least a decade because it was too dangerous for visitors. Other parks post signs ranging from the chilling (“Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed”) to the vague (“BLM Encourages Visitors To Use Public Lands North of the Interstate”).
While you would never know it from Ann’s account, the border areas were not always this way. After Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign took off in 1982, the U.S. DEA, CIA, and military, working with Colombia and other states, intensified the drug war against producers in northern South America.
The end result was shifting the Western Hemisphere’s U.S. drug-supply locus much more into northern Mexico. Bye bye Pablo Escobar of Medellin (killed December 1993 by the combined efforts of the U.S. and Colombia) and hello El Chapo of Sinaloa. Steven Soderbergh’s film Traffic dealt with the aftermath of this process and it was released fifteen years ago. By some reports, the Sinaloa and Juarez turf battle alone killed up to 12,000 people. By 2013, the death toll rose to over 120,000 with 27,000 missing.
In tandem with the drug war for a time was the Bush-Greenspan U.S. housing bubble (2002-2007), which provided myriad job opportunities for Mexican nationals in U.S. construction, safely far away from the drug violence that overtook their homeland.
There is a similar process occurring today as waves of migrants flee the aftermath of the U.S. and NATO-led regime changes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria (ongoing) and make their way to Germany and Austria.
Thus the warfare and welfare states, to some extent, are working in symbiosis where the drug war-warfare state creates a new domestic welfare-state clientele by destroying social orders around the world.
Not only do Ann and the conservatives ignore these factors, they want far more drug war and regime changes, Iran and Russia being the next big prizes. They love the wars, empire, militarism, and jingo-ism (“USA!!” “USA!!” “USA!!”) but don’t like the multiculturalism.
This is absurd. Empires are international, multicultural, and intra-migratory. Migrants and refugees come here because the U.S. footprint is worldwide. A nationalist empire is an oxymoron.
Thus beyond its first few chapters what remaining credibility there is in Adios gradually disappears when it becomes more and more apparent that it is not much more than a confused 278-page GOP infomercial. It seems that editors at Regnery struggled to bring balance to the manuscript, but in the end all their losing effort did was create an erratic split personality in the book’s persona.
Mass immigration is “The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole” yet the rest of the book’s dust jacket curiously adds “greedy Republican businessmen and campaign consultants.” Early on, “Ann” mentions that “Both political parties connive to grant illegal aliens citizenship” (1). Later on she avers that “Republicans…need campaign cash, and their big donors want cheap workers now” (23).
Between such perfunctory islands of objectivity are oceans of partisan rant including such eye rollers as:
- (On INA 1965 that she doesn’t tell readers was overwhelmingly supported by the GOP): “Democrats figured out they’d never win with Americans, so they implemented an evil, genius plan to change this country by restocking it with voters more favorably disposed to left-wing policies…” (19).
- “Today, immigration is again being used as a war technique by America’s enemies: Democrats” (21-22).
- “Leftists have no trouble adopting the persona of an oppressed Third World person. The only identity they have difficulty assuming is: ‘American’” (22).
Ann mentions the Chamber of Commerce but says nothing about conservatives’ favorite big-government agency, the Pentagon, which has been working to fast-track Dreamers for citizenship as a quid pro quo for serving as cannon fodder in its endless wars.
The proposed remedies of the fence/wall and E-Verify are non-sequitur. There was no fence or E-Verify before there was a migration problem, so how could they be the necessary solutions?
But let’s build a 2,000-mile fence/wall on the Mexican border that ignores thousands of miles of coastline (especially the sanctuary states on the Pacific Coast), make E-Verify (blind to off-the-books labor) mandatory, and begin a moratorium (Chapter 15: “Shut It Down”) with no details on how to implement it.
(What should signify the futility of the fence more than anything is that Charles Krauthammer, Mr. Drug War and Regime Change, favors it. His and Ann’s analogies to Israel are ludicrous. Israel is so much smaller and, besides having a much easier job of enforcement, its establishment is actually interested in it. The same can hardly be said of the U.S. establishment and the welfare-warfare interests that bankroll it.)
Since Ann has no real plan, who is her white knight to rescue us? This is where Adios undergoes a meltdown more spectacular than any of Ann’s previous ones. After Trump entered the 2016 race, Ann made positive noises about him but also made clear that her preferred ticket was Mitt Romney and Scott Walker.
This brings us to her Voter Guide to the 2016 presidential candidates in the final chapter of Adios. Ann’s crazed hatred of Rand Paul (because he is the son of Ron) drives her into hilarious inconsistencies.
She misidentifies Rand as a supporter of amnesty (270) and libertarian (274) and of course never mentions that he co-sponsored a bill to end birthright citizenship way back in 2011. Ann insists that Rand’s vote against the Schumer-Rubio amnesty meant nothing because his constituents wanted it. (What? Senators aren’t supposed to listen to their constituents?)
While Ted Cruz voted against Schumer-Rubio as well, Cruz wanted to add amendments doubling “legal immigration from 675,000 to 1.3 million a year and quintuple the number of ‘high tech’ H-1B visas, from 65,000 to 325,000 per year” (275).
Yet strangely Ann is only willing to forgive Cruz and Scott Walker: “So perhaps, like Governor Scott Walker, Cruz has flip-flopped to America’s side on immigration…conservatives better get ready to do some flip-flopping of their own on flip-flopping candidates” (275).
Hold on. Where did Scott Walker come from? This out-of-the-blue and only mention of Walker in the book stands out because it makes no sense.
Besides Paul and Cruz, Ann’s “voter guide” profiles Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney in part to defend Romney’s 2014 flip-flop on amnesty and deny that Romney is part of the GOP establishment (!!): “Fake conservatives and tea partiers followed the crowd and slammed Romney as an ‘establishment’ Republican” (276).
While Marco Rubio is understandably omitted (she bashes him throughout the book), Walker’s absence is inexplicable because he is part of her dream ticket and she declared in May that all non-Walker candidates were “idiots.”
All right, so what uncongenial facts is Ann hiding about Walker? MFP reveals them:
- 2002 – supported amnesty
- 2006 – supported McCain-Kennedy amnesty
- 2013— supported amnesty
- 2015 – re-assured activist Stephen Moore that he hadn’t really changed his immigration stances
In sum, Ann’s Koch-brothers owned heartthrob has a record of advocacy as bad if not worse than Rubio or Bush, not including his recent flip-flop on birthright citizenship.
So let’s recap: Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, and Scott Walker have all flip-flopped on immigration, yet Rand Paul is a despicable traitor, Ted Cruz is grudgingly forgiven, and Mitt Romney and Scott Walker are just wonderful. Amazing, but typical Ann. Her whim is The Decider of Good and Evil.
Sure, Ann is on the Trump bandwagon for now (a great vehicle for more PR and book sales), but it is hard to see how Trump will ever be the Republican nominee. On the other hand, if the 2016 ticket ends up being Bush-Walker, don’t be surprised to see Ann as one of its most enthusiastic cheerleaders.
While Adios contains some disturbing (if they are accurate) stats on immigration, as an Ann Coulter production, it cannot help but inevitably devolve into The World According to Ann. Don’t waste time trying to reason with it.
* * *
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Adios is The Great Utopian Delusion: The Global Rise of Government and the Destruction of Liberty, from Clarence B. Carson, Ph.D.; Paul A. Cleveland, Ph.D.; and L. Dwayne Barney, Ph.D. These scholars (except Carson, who is now deceased) not only have no partisan agenda to push but deliver a broad model explicating why the governing elites of the world seem to have gone insane, and not just on the issue of government-subsidized mass immigration.
Americans wave the flag, puff their chests out, shriek “USA!! USA!! USA!!” at sporting events, and proclaim that they are free. Yet they work almost four months of the year just to pay their taxes.
Large numbers of Americans still support a National Security Agency (NSA) recording all their texts, e-mails, and phone calls, and a Gallup poll found that 54% rate as good to excellent a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that exposes them to millimeter-wavelength radiation and tactile searches of their private bodily areas.
Americans supported nation-building crusades in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya which would supposedly be “self-financing with oil money,” “cakewalks,” or welcome parties for their U.S.A. liberators.
What are the results of these grand plans? The NSA cannot cite a single terrorist caught using its huge data vacuum. The TSA has failed 95% of security tests to find guns or bombs carried aboard commercial aircraft. Instead of modern, stable pro-Western democracies where the lights stay on, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya are whack-a-mole fields of Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other cells, many better armed and financed than ever before. Everywhere the state is a massive failure at every one of its undertakings, yet politicians, regulators, political pundits, university experts, and news media cast every failure as the result of not enough state spending, regulation, and control.
The layperson often mistakenly identifies the culprits as “liberalism,” “progressivism,” “socialism,” “Marxism,” or “conservatism/neo-conservatism.” But those are all either movements or emphases instead of the underlying idea driving them all.
The idea is utopianism, using the force of the state to direct society toward a “greater good” for all of its members. For Marx and other theorists the destination was not the totalitarian dictatorship (even though that’s where the utopian mission frequently gets stuck) but the final atomistic social collective where all human individuality evaporates.
The utopian end is pursued through statism, revolutionary or evolutionary. The revolutionary route, such as the Bolshevik one in Russia in 1917, is out of favor. It employs blood-splattering violence, frequent mass murder and imprisonment, assassination of dissidents, and blatant suppression of media, speech, and thought. This overt ugliness creates an indelible stain and challenge to its long-term legitimacy.
Much better is evolutionary statism, which gradually but relentlessly “interpenetrate[s] every relationship with the power of the state” (12). Its slow spread offers a much more plausible appearance of legitimacy and thus apparent consent from the masses.
The sudden and violent elimination of private ownership and property rights are no longer necessary. Much better is to keep them in name and regulate them away into practical irrelevance.
Now, do the two different paths toward utopia create vastly disparate results? The authors do not think so.
Let’s take the Soviet Union first. Its seat of power was in the Supreme Soviet but the real governing body was not even the politburo but its head, the General Secretary.
Members of the Supreme Soviet were elected, but were chosen by the communist party and ran in “elections” unopposed. There was a Soviet constitution, but it was ignored. The Orthodox Christian Church was retained to spy on citizens.
The Soviets held annual military parades with high-stepping soldiers and trucks carrying row after row of missiles. High party members, the nomenklatura, had all sorts of privileges that ordinary citizens did not. The media, in return for access to and sharing in the privileges of the elite, printed and supported the party line. These were the fruits of revolutionary socialism.
What about the U.S. and Europe today, which went down the evolutionary road? Both are increasingly ruled by their executive branches. Elections are held between parties controlled by the same special interests. Constitutions are ignored. Contemporary Christian church services are now mostly loud teen rock concerts interrupted by feel-good sermons.
Sporting events are saturation draped with flags, uniformed military personnel, security personnel with automatic weapons, and roaring planes and paratroopers. The elites have their special privileges. The media, in return for access to and being part of the elite entourage, print and support the party line. These are the fruits of evolutionary corporatism.
In the U.S., contrary to what Ann Coulter would have us believe, the two parties are seamless. Republican wars for democracy that obliterate Afghanistan and Iraq effortlessly morph into the Democratic destructions of Libya and Syria. Democratic Medicare is expanded with a $500 billion Republican Medicare Part D. Then there’s “Obamacare,” a conservative Republican invention implemented by Democrats.
Where the analogies seem to break down is the program of elite-directed, government-subsidized mass immigration into the U.S. and Europe today. Soviet planners, who once dreamed of growing cotton in the Ural Mountains, would have likely been utterly baffled by the idea of importing large numbers of poor from all over the world to enroll more than half of them on government assistance.
But the practice well fits Carson, Cleveland, and Barney’s utopian paradigm. People are atomistic. There are no real differences whatsoever between men and women. All differences are social constructs. Only a closed-minded bigot would even so much as suggest that any judgements about anything can or should ever be made at any time.
Doing the same thing again and again but expecting different results, are the elite utopians insane? There is no question that they are very good at insulating themselves from the negative consequences of their social-engineering experiments.
Their kids will never go to school with Prozac-medicated Johnny, who brings a Glock pistol to class to gun down his classmates. Their kids will never go to Ramadi or Kabul to be blown up by roadside bombs. As long as the elites don’t face the costs, the utopian experiments will continue.