Thursday, May 31, 2007

Compassionate Conservatism

The inimitable FrankJ has come up with an international jujitsu of truly historical scope. Rather than waste manpower, resources, time, and most importantly, political wind power on trying secure the border with Mexico, Frank has found a way to turn the flood of illegal immigration into a cleansing undertow, pulling gently back to their homeland those who are not fully serious in the desire to be Americans.

Like many conservatives, Frank understands the value of immigration to America's soul, as well as the value of obedience to the rule of law, our foremost value. But his compassion shines through:

On the other hand, most illegal immigrants just came here for a better life. They had the horrible misfortune of being born in the dirt-poor and corrupt Mexico and wanted to come to America -- like any rational person. If someone truly wants to become an American, I would like to give him or her the opportunity. When immigration works best is when people have to work hard to be Americans and thus appreciate American values even more than those of us who were given our place here simply through birth.
Those words are stirring because they evoke the image of America as the Promised Land for generations of huddled masses. We are a nation of volunteers, people who have opted in to a set of ideals. In exchange for a better, more prosperous life than can be had in their native lands, we accept the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and demand no less from our peers. Those who will not stand with us must fall before us.

Some were not volunteers, but rather are the descendants of draftees, those captured by traders in human flesh on another continent and brought here for the use of their labor, for jobs Americans would not do. It took a war bloody beyond grief to purge that evil from among us. By that blood, the former slaves can have little doubt about their country's seriousness in respecting them as fully American. It will probably take a similarly bloody effort to settle the question of illegal immigration.
If the Mexicans we have here will go and slaughter their former country men, raze the villages of their former countries, I would punch anyone in the face who would doubt their loyalty to America.
Frank, you had me at "raze". But your hyperbole is duly noted: as if you would ever "punch anyone in face".

I don't know that Frank's unlikely scenario is the solution to the problem at hand. There is sharp disagreement on the problem posed by illegal immigration, both what the problem is and its solutions are. The issue has the feel of something that can explode into violence, whether the solution is to toughen our immigration enforcement or to do away with the laws entirely. We will have to wait to find out if the violence will be as mild as Frank suggests, or as bloody as the war fought to free those who were earlier brought here to do the jobs Americans would not.

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KnightErrant said...

Thanks for this posting. Frank's writing gave me profound insight into the mind of conservatives, and what they consider funny.

Loren Heal said...

Which brings up an interesting question: what do liberals think is funny?

KnightErrant said...

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I love to laugh at inanity. Those times when people, in all seriousness, say or do things profoundly silly. Alberto Gonzales, for example, can be immensely funny when he tries to explain himself.

Although, I admit, when that silliness leads to the deaths of thousands in a far off land, I cease to see the humor.George Bush would be a laugh riot were it not for all the corpses.

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