I. The Democrats’ “Euro Envy”
Let’s state our thesis up front: The Democrats are in so much trouble on the immigration/border security/counter-terrorism issue that only a truly bone-headed move by the Republicans could save the Democrats from electoral debacle in 2016 and beyond. Which, of course, is always possible, even if, thankfully, it is increasingly unlikely.
Perhaps the biggest problem that the Democrats have is Euro Envy. That is, leftist Americans are deeply influenced by the leftist politics of Europe and therefore determined to emulate all its features—whether ordinary Americans like them or not.
Yes, European social democracy, if not communism, has long been the lodestar of American liberalism. For more than a century, American “progressives” have admired the European welfare state in its plenitude: high taxes, national health insurance, and big foreign aid budgets—and, more recently, libs have revered it all the more for its devotion to combating “climate change.”
But leftists don’t just want progressive policies; they want progressive institutions to permanentize those policies. Hence the building up, and lauding up, of the European Union (EU). The EU is a multinational, multicultural edifice that represents the fond dream of globalists on the left—and, in a curious bit of congruence, the fond dream of corporatists on the right as well. The EU today is a kind of regional United Nations, seeking to subordinate the “evils” of nationalism and sovereignty under the heel of a new transnational bureaucracy.
So perhaps the greatest mission for the EU—and a cause that unites progressives on both sides of the Atlantic—is open borders. Yes, the crown jewel of the EU is the Schengen Agreement, which established the principle that an EU resident could go anywhere in the EU without so much as stopping at a border gate or checkpoint. And to the delight of empire-building EU-ers, the Schengen Area has grown huge—although many now say that it’s too big to police and protect.
We might recall that when Schengen was first agreed to, back in 1985, the EU—then called, much more modestly, the European Economic Community—consisted of just ten member states. And we might also recall, in those Cold War days, that the Schengen countries were insulated, if that’s the right word, by the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain. That is, if no East German could travel to West Germany without risking a bullet in the back, then nobody from the Middle East was going to get through to any Western nation, either. And of course, back then, Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq were stable, if nothing else, under the iron fist of Saddam Hussein and other highly effective dictators.
But as we have seen, the Schengen Area has gone gargantuan; it sprawls all the way from Portugal to Finland to Greece. And fatefully, Greece shares a long land- and sea-frontier with Muslim Turkey and, beyond it, the entire Muslim Ummah. All 1.5 billion of them.
So while nationalists and other real-world types could see, in this geographic engorgement, the beginning of a problem for Schengen, the globalists could not. Their vision of a borderless world—that being the title of a lyrical libertarian book from the naive nineties, namely, Ken Ohmae’s The Borderless World—has taken on its own momentum. Onward, said the progressives, to a post-nationalist, politically correct, green-certified “United States of Europe.” You know, as in the John Lennon song, Imagine—“Imagine there’s no countries.”
Yet that giddy open-borders momentum has collided with the grim need for homeland security in the age of the Kalashnikov and the suicide belt. We might recall that the first big move that France’s leader, Françoise Hollande, made after the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris was to close the French border—a bit of “retro” nationalism that seemed necessary at the time, even to a Eurocratic socialist such as Hollande.
But before we go further, we might ask: What’s the ultimate source of this open-borders hurly-burly? Where is it coming from?
II. The German Question
By all accounts, the driving force in Europe’s open-borders quest—a more specific and more focused crusade than just gloppy Lennon-ism—is Germany.
The Germans, we might note, are not only determined, with Teutonic relentlessness, to abolish national frontiers in Europe, but they also want to welcome “migrants” with near-unlimited welfare benefits.
A look back at German history tells us that the Germans weren’t always so friendly. And in fact, the undeniable barbarity of that German history helps explain why, today, the Germans are bending over backward to be kindly.
Yes, the Germans, so resolute in their desire not to repeat the mistakes of the past, have, in fact, over-corrected. They should have listened to the wisdom of the pundit George F. Will, who once said, “The four most important words in the English language are, ‘Up to a point.’” Evidently, no one ever translated that into German.
But this we can say: In the last century, the Germans developed a uniquely diseased and malignant form of nationalism. So yes, the Germans must be watched. However, just because they got carried away, that doesn’t mean that the basic ideas of nationalism—defined as the instinctive impulse toward hearth and home, toward kith and kin, turned into a functioning political system—are in any way bad. And if the Germans can’t see the difference between our kind of nationalism, which has nurtured and protected, and their kind of nationalism, which has mass-murdered—well, that’s just a reminder that the Germans still have a lot to learn.
So sure, it’s a cliche that the Germans are still working through their guilt-feelings over World War Two. And without a doubt, the Germans have plenty of guilt from that war to work through. Still, it’s worth pointing that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was born in 1954, a full nine years after the death of Hitler. So while of course it’s right and fitting that the the Germans should compensate handsomely the victims of the Holocaust—and Lidice, and Oradour-sur-Glane, and countless other atrocities—it’s also incumbent on Berlin to act rationally, in our own time, to protect its own national security and identity.
This need for practical prudence today is especially important in the realm of immigration, because, as we have learned, there’s a “spillover factor.” That is, an immigrant living in Germany is within striking distance of every other country in the West. We might recall, for example, that the ringleader of the 9-11 attackers, the Egyptian-born Mohamed Atta, made Hamburg, Germany, his base of operations.
But alas, even after 9-11, even after Paris, the Germans still think they must open their border and open their wallets—most recently, to a million or more Syrians. And how many more? Five million? Ten million? But so what, the Germans might say; even if they’re not all Syrians, but rather just Muslims and others from around the world who see a path to a soft life on welfare? Well, here’s the Deutscher answer: That’s a small price to pay so that we Germans can once again feel virtuous.
Thus the Germans, in their renunciation of all the time-tested lessons of sovereignty and survival, are putting the rest of Europe at risk. And so we come to a painful irony: Once again, knee-jerking German dogmatism—now weirdly inverted into a kind of passive-aggressive leftism—is endangering the rest of Europe.
So Americans, then, might ask: Why is the U.S. imitating Germany? Why do American leftists, sitting atop the commanding heights of the Obama administration, take their cues from Berlin? After all, we were the good guys in World War Two; the Germans have nothing to teach us about national behavior.
III. Germany’s Best Pupil, Barack Obama
No doubt President Obama, fan of European social democracy that he is, wishes that he could take in more than 10,000 Syrians. And he no doubt has guilt of his own: Let’s recall he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 without having done anything to earn it. So now, with the Syrians, here’s a chance for him to pay back the Norwegians and the international peace movement. So yeah, why not go all out on Syrian intake? After all, there’s no risk to him personally: None of the Syrians will be moving into the White House.
Of course, there is a hangup: The American people oppose the Syrian influx by margins of 2:1 or more. Yet as with so many issues these days, we can observe a sharp polarization on the Syrian issue—and that means there’s a strong, or at least loud, constituency on the other side.
Republicans are overwhelmingly hostile to the Syrian influx, and, crucially, independents feel the same way. But Democrats are just as monolithic in their support of Obama’s position.
In other words, we can be sure that inside the Obama White House, there’s unanimity that The Chief is on the side of the angels. Indeed, in its invincible self-righteousness, the Obama administration threatens legal action against states that don’t knuckle under to his Syrian Surge.
Moreover, Obama himself has chosen to double down rhetorically; on Thanksgiving, he compared the Syrians to the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower. And it’s more than possible that Obama, who once told The New York Times that the Muslim call to prayer was “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth,” might really believe that the Syrians are like the Pilgrims—only better.
Of course, the rest of us, uninterested in expanding the influence of Islamic culture into the U.S., are left to stew over the appropriate response.
So we might start by asking our 44th President: “On the morning of November 13, just hours before the Paris attacks, you assured the American people that ISIS had been ‘contained.’ So our question, Mr. President, is: Why should we believe a single thing you say about homeland security or counter-terrorism?” And as a follow-up to whatever he replies, we might then ask, “Sir, do you really think we’re that stupid?”
Of course, he does—either that, or he just doesn’t care what we think.
And thus the great paradox of the Obama presidency: A man who came into office with a message of, “You can trust me, and trust the government, to do the right thing,” has, in fact, presided over the collapse of public faith in government. And that mistrust of the state will likely get worse: Who doubts, for instance—even if both houses of Congress vote to forbid the entry of Syrians, and even if they manage to override a presidential veto—that we will still wind up with thousands of new Syrians in our country? Yes, between sheer incompetence and shuddering malevolence, the feds will have us cornered.
IV. The Democrats, Then and Now
However, unless Obama finds a way to change the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, his reign of error is coming to an end soon.
Indeed, the American people have put together, in their minds, an extensive bill of particulars against Obama: The latest CBS News survey found that 66 percent of Americans said the president has no clear road map for combating ISIS, and just 36 percent approved of his overall handling of terrorism, an historic low.
And while the re-elected Obama is safe from the voters’ wrath, other Democrats are not. Yes, the 2016 hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley are cheerfully dancing, now, to the Obama tune, but they will find out, soon enough, that the bell tolls for them.
But first, a digression on the Democratic tradition.
Once upon a time, Democrats were mostly hawkish on immigration, for a good and simple reason—it was bad for the incomes of their working constituents. In the days before E-Z welfare obviated the need to get a job, new arrivals were hungrier for work; they would work cheaper, they would be scabs in strikes, and so on. So no wonder Democratic pols, on behalf of their loyal voters, didn’t want them.
We might note that this hostility to immigration was felt especially intensely among “people of color,” including their leaders.
For example, Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers in 1962, was a staunch opponent of immigration, which he knew would overwhelm his fledgling union. He is reported to have once said, “If my own mother were coming across the border to break a strike, I’d arrest her.”
More than once, Breitbart News has quoted the Hispanic journalist Ruben Navarrette, Jr., who reports, “The historical record shows that Chavez was a fierce opponent of illegal immigration.” Navarette adds, “It’s unlikely that he’d have looked favorably on a plan to legalize millions of illegal immigrants.” Continuing his assessment of the labor legend who died in 1993, Navarette concluded, “Were he alive today, it’s a safe bet that Chavez would be an opponent of any legislation that gave illegal immigrants even a chance at legal status.”
And among African-Americans, we must reckon with Barbara Jordan, who represented Houston in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979. Just as as Chavez could see trouble for Hispanics, Jordan could see that the wage-incomes of American blacks would be diminished by an endless inundation from other countries—no matter what their race or color.
Indeed, Jordan’s voice on this matter was so strong that she was named to lead a federal task force, soon known as the Jordan Commission. In 1997, the commission issued a report calling for multiple immigration reforms, including limits on newcomers, as well as a fool-proof national ID card to prevent employment fraud. But alas, by then, Jordan’s own voice had fallen silent; she died in 1996. And so the recommendations went nowhere.
Yet since the passing of Chavez and Jordan in the ’90s, the Democrats have changed their views dramatically. The old idea of limiting immigration as a way of propping up job-incomes yielded to a newer idea: Un-limiting immigration as a way of beefing up the voter-rolls.
The hinge was 1995. In that year, President Bill Clinton, eyeing his re-election campaign in 1996, saw a chance to improve his chances; the answer, Clintonites concluded, was more new voters from abroad. And so, as part of its “reinventing government” initiative, the Clinton administration accelerated the naturalization of more than a million new citizens. They called it “Citizenship USA,” and they didn’t care in the least if Republicans cried Foul! Indeed, during the ’96 campaign, Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole accused the Clinton administration of registering an additional 1.1 million Democrats; as the Dole campaign noted in a radio spot, “Aliens with criminal records–rapists, murderers, armed felons–have been granted U.S. citizenship so they can vote.”
But of course, in those days—before Fox News really got going, before the rise of alternative Internet-based media—Dole’s was a lonely voice crying in the hostile MSM wilderness.
Interestingly, the following year, Bill Clinton glibly signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996; today, it’s impossible to imagine a Democrat signing a piece of legislation with such a politically incorrect name.
Indeed, we might note that less than two decades later, Hillary Clinton finds that she must apologize for even uttering the phrase “illegal immigrant.” A few hours after her “gaffe,” she wrote on Facebook, “That was a poor choice of words,” adding that the, uh, undocumented “have names, and hopes and dreams that deserve to be respected.” Not a promising augury, we might say, for intense immigration-law enforcement in a Clinton 45 administration.
Yes, everything is different, now, for elite Democrats.
As we have seen, they are inspired by the EU. And as we have also seen, they no longer worry about worker’s wages—and that only makes sense, because the two big magnetic poles of the new Democratic coalition, Al Sharpton and George Soros, are both oblivious to wages. Why? Because Sharpton’s core constituents aren’t in the workforce; they make their living through welfare, not work. And as for Soros and his fellow billionaires, they couldn’t be bothered to think about anything as microscopic as a mere wage. Meanwhile, Democratic politicos believe that if they just get the immigrant ranks big enough, they can get the Democratic vote big enough.
In addition, top Democrats are constantly being egged on in their liberalism by the trendoids of the MSM. NBC’s Seth Meyers, for example, laughed in Sarah Palin’s face when she expressed concerns about Syrian refugees. And that mocking moment led to a media cascade of condescension and ridicule: Yahoo News headlined, “Seth Meyers explains Syrian refugee vetting process to Sarah Palin,” and Salon chortled, “Wow, Seth Meyers just stripped down Donald Trump’s lies and Islamophobia so clearly even your racist uncle will get it now.”
Meanwhile, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, not be outdone, referred to Donald Trump’s anti-immigration supporters as “knuckle-draggers,” adding that Trump himself was the natural leader of “lizard-brain America.” Got that? That’s you Chait is talking about.
In this sort of supercharged media environment, it’s easy to see how Democratic pols, who might normally be more careful, have lost their heads. Instead of showing the usual mumble-mouthed caution, top Dems are joining in the bashing of Middle America—aka, the very swing voters they will need if they are to win the White House and Congress next year.
Let’s start with Hillary Clinton, who, long ago, at the low ebb of the Clinton presidency, in 1994, encouraged her husband to bring in Dick Morris, the ultimate amoral political mercenary. Yet whereas once she was pragmatically flexible, today she is doctrinally rigid. She now says she wholeheartedly agrees with Obama on letting in more Syrians—the polls be damned.
Yet Hillary is, of course, forever wily. So she is attempting to make her pro-Syrian stance into a profile in courage. And yet in the midst of her pandering to the MSM and others on the trendy left, she seems to have lost her logical train of thought. Under the headline, “Clinton denounces ‘inflammatory talk’ about Syrian refugees,” The Washington Examiner quoted her telling an audience in Colorado, “I think it’s worth remembering that the hijackers who struck the World Trade Center came here legally.” We might observe that perhaps that’s not the strongest argument for new kinds of legal immigration!
So yes, it’s a new Hillary. The “triangulating” Hillary of yore has had to yield to an updated version, the passionate progressive. And why is that? The answer, of course, is that she is “Feeling the Bern.” That is, the pressure from the hard-left insurgency of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who would love to ambush her from the left, as Obama did eight years ago.
And without a doubt, Sanders is a hard leftist. One easy clue to his true self is the misdirection practiced on his behalf by his sympathizers at The New York Times; a recent headlined assured us that Sanders’ true trait is “pragmatism.” Got that, comrade?
But a look at Sanders’ new immigration plan, released less than two weeks after the Paris attacks, tells us he is everything a Euro-style open borders-type multiculturalist could want. Let’s start with The Washington Post headline on November 25: “Sanders promises broader protections against deportation for undocumented immigrants.” In it, Sanders outlined a plan for the immediate amnesty of nine million (at least) illegals.
Needless to say, a look at the details of the Sanders Plan reveals nothing meaningful on border security, such as a fence or a barrier, except for a snide jab at “boondoggle walls.”
Then Team Sanders pats itself on the back for providing for “expedited citizenship” and “federal financial aid.” Indeed, Sanders wants illegal immigrants to get subsidies to join the Obamacare health exchanges. And oh yes, they would also get full access to U.S. courts, which means, in practice, that they would get taxpayer-subsidized Legal Aid as they sued local, state, and federal governments for more benefits. Yes, in a Sanders Administration, the peoples of the world will get to ask American judges for a bigger piece of the economic pie, relief from the strictures of law enforcement, and any other goody a Naderite litigator might think of. Surely Sanders thinks it would be racist to have it any other way!
Needless to say, the opinionists at The New York Times love it: “Bernie Sanders Gets Immigration Policy Right”—that’s the headline of its November 26 editorial. Sanders “turns away from…insanity,” the Times piece assures its readers, leading America “well beyond the usual nativist bigotry.” (Once again, as with “lizard-brain America,” we might pause over the invective that the MSM routinely hurls in our direction.)
Continuing, the Times trills this ode to systemic law-breaking: “Mr. Sanders rightly defends ‘sanctuary city’ policies that protect public safety by building trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement.”
Okay, that’s the Times, enjoying its lefty reverie. But meanwhile, we, the “lizard-brained,” might wish to protest that the whole idea of a “sanctuary city” is to supersede federal law. Indeed, in sanctuary cities, we see the complete negation of any national law.
For good measure, in a separate document, the Sanders campaign attacked the third Democrat in the presidential race, Martin O’Malley. Sanders, you see, is eager to position himself to the left of the left-wing O’Malley; quoth the Sandersites:
Unlike the O’Malley platform, the Sanders platform speaks to providing deferred action to undocumented immigrants engaged in labor disputes, eliminating the “significant misdemeanor” bar in enforcement, and providing discretion for immigrants with non-immigration convictions, such as identity theft, driving without a license felonies, and survival crimes.
In other words, translating the legalese, the Sanders forces caught O’Malley leaving in a few residual penalties for illegal immigrants’ criminal behavior—beyond, of course, coming here illegally—and so now they are pouncing on the “right wing” Marylander.
No doubt, the underdog O’Malley campaign will soon enough be scrambling to catch up—to get to the left, somehow, of both Sanders and Hillary.
V. The Submerging Democratic Majority
So yes, the Democrats are having their fun. But as Peter Falk, playing Lt. Columbo on the old TV series would say, “There’s just one more thing.”
And what would that one thing be? Only this: Open-borders-ism is toxic politics with the electorate as a whole. As in, support for open borders is a political death warrant.
Once again, the early indicators are coming from Europe, where the open-borders experiment has had such a thorough testing.
Of course, to the incumbent class of Eurocrats, nothing much has changed, even after the Paris attacks and the Syrian throng. Swaddled in security, drenched in ideology, succored in self-rectitude, the Brussels crowd feels free to continue expounding its globaloney.
But ordinary Europeans—that is, the folks who could lose their jobs, their incomes, or even their lives—are starting to rebel; even the MSM has had to take grudging notice. This headline slipped into The New York Times: “Regulating Flow of Refugees Gains Urgency in Greece and Rest of Europe.” And this headline, too, made it into The Washington Post: “Europe plans to speed up deportation of tens of thousands of Pakistanis.”
And in Europe itself, the issue is put even more starkly, viz. this headline in the Daily Mail (UK): “EU must stem migrant flow or risk the same fate as Roman Empire, warns Dutch PM.”
Breitbart readers are, of course, familiar with the leading European nationalist parties, UKIP of the UK and the National Front of France. At the rate that European politics are changing, it’s a certainty that one or both parties will take power—unless one or more of the major parties pre-empt their anti-open-borders message. And as a further sign of the changing times, we can note that in England, a former Conservative Member of Parliament, now a professor at Winchester University, has established a Centre for English Identity and Politics. (Parenthetically, various U.S. campuses have established White Student Unions.) Thus we see: politics, as a subset of human nature, is its own kind of Newtonian physics—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Yet even as Europe turns, here in America, an ocean away, the left remains free to get leftier. As we have seen, in the bureaucratic-academic hothouse, there’s not a more pungently seductive orchid than the one beckoning ideologues to a come-one-come-all globalism. And so if following that exotic scent means cutting oneself off from thinking about the larger world, so be it: As Politico reported recently, the 2016 Democrats don’t really want to talk about foreign policy anymore, because to do so would mean grappling with tough-minded matters of national security and national survival.
And so The New York Times, shorn of practical or logical arguments for its pro-open-borders position, is reduced to attempted tearjerking, to wit, this recent headline: “‘I’m Frightened’: After Attacks in Paris, New York Muslims Cope With a Backlash.” In other words, in the Times view, only a hard-hearted wretch could oppose the coming of more meek Muslims. To which we might add only this: Of the 320 or so million Americans, some 319 million do not read the Times.
Still, we can observe the same don’t-confuse-me-with-facts-I’d-rather-have-emotionalism phenomenon across the aisle—that is, among libertarian ideologues. For example, the Cato Institute’s A. Trevor Thrall wrote on November 23, “Paris Changed Nothing. We Still Have Every Reason to Welcome Syrian Refugees.” And lest he be misunderstood, Thrall followed up two days later with this advice to Obama: “Dear Mr. President: It’s Time to Ignore the Polls on Syrian Refugees.”
Indeed, mirroring the leftist multiculturalists, the libertarian multiculturalists are passionate in their disdain for traditional patriotism. So nobody should doubt that an open-borders Democrat would defeat a closed-border Republican inside the rarified precincts of Cato, a billionaire-funded, glass-and-steel highrise on Massachusetts Avenue, up in Northwest Washington, DC.
Of course, a Republican presidential candidate winning 70 or 75 million votes nationwide next year might not care if he loses 100 or so Ayn Rand readers.
Yes, Republicans are most likely headed toward a big victory in 2016—along the lines, perhaps, of Ronald Reagan’s win in 1980. In fact, it might be worth noting that, already, the Democrats are at their lowest ebb, in Congress and in the states, since the 1920s.
Thus the wheel turns—especially when it has been given a good, hard shove by recent events.
Not so long ago, back in 2002, a book appeared with the ambitious title, The Emerging Democratic Majority. In it, co-authors John Judis and Ruy Teixeira argued that a youngish black-brown-red-yellow “coalition of the ascendant” was going to take over Democratic politics and the country. And sure enough, after the 2006 and 2008 elections swept Republicans from their majorities in Congress, as well as their perch in the White House, it seemed that Judis and Teixeira’s prophesy was coming true.
And yet, as we know, it didn’t. And why not? Most obviously, for all the talk about “diversity,” the reality is that the U.S. is still more than three-fourths white. Yes, the “coalition of the ascendant” is ascending, numerically, but it is starting from a small base. Meanwhile, if the white majority is mobilized, it is, well, a majority.
Hence we had the 2010 and 2014 midterms, which were, of course, huge victories for Republicans. And today, the 2016 polls show most GOP presidential candidates defeating any Democrat. Indeed, even the pundit class, which has long predicted an inevitable Hillary victory, is now conceding that the GOP has the edge for the White House. Indeed, in Virgil’s view, the ’16 elections are likely to be the most favorable to Republicans since 1920, when the national GOP ticket won by 26 percentage points.
So with apologies to Judis and Teixeira, someone could write a new book–titled The Submerging Democratic Majority.
As we can see, the Democrats, seeking to get patted on the head by the Eurocracy, and pandering to win a few more Hispanic votes for a party dominated by Wall Street and Silicon Valley—leaving the rest of the country adrift—have been willing to dismantle the patriotic nation state, disassemble public support for the old New Deal-type welfare state, and dissociate themselves from the majority, thereby putting themselves in a politically perilous state. And to think! People used to say that the Republicans were the stupid party!
VI. Could the Republicans Yet Rescue the Democrats?
So yes, the Democrats are in a heap of trouble. Here at home, more Americans seem to be agreeing with Ann Coulter when she argues that current U.S. policy is “importing terrorism”—even if they have never heard of Ann Coulter.
So this spells big trouble for the Democrats. Except for one Columbo-ish thing: The GOP could yet save them.
And how could that happen? How could Republicans snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?
And the answer, of course, is that Republicans, currently surfing high and handsome on a nationalist-patriotic wave, could yet wipe themselves out on the rocks of Cato-type libertarianism, which becomes, after a while, almost indistinguishable from Euro-style leftism. Yes, the Republican ship might still be lured in, and wrecked, by the siren song of globalism. After all, that’s where the money is—Wall Street, the Koch Brothers, and so on.
As Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon recently told The Daily Beast in a profile of Breitbart’s Matt Boyle, the story of American politics over the last few decades has been the emergence of two “Davos Parties”: That is, both Democrats and Republicans have been happy lapdogs for the jet-set of globetrotting, globalizing, mostly green, mostly gay-friendly, all-outsourcing, all-tax-dodging, all-open-bordering, stratum of billionaires. So if both parties take the same position on the issue of no-limits immigration, then, by definition, the open-borders forces can’t lose.
Yet eventually, the cold arithmetic of political opportunism will tell at least one of the two parties to break ranks—to go where the votes are. And today, that’s the Republicans. That is, Republicans are rejecting the once-reigning open-borders Davos orthodoxy.
Of course, this GOP shift will cause some internal pain. As Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, and a stalwart immigration hawk, explained recently about Republican thinking as it has seesawed between the elites and the masses: “At some point they’re going to have to choose between the voters and the billionaires.” And recent history shows that the billionaires have usually gotten the long straw; the plutocrats, along with their platoons of propagandists, have won the hearts and minds of many top Republicans in recent years, including George W. Bush, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Lindsey Graham, and, until very recently at least, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio.
Of course, not every conservative trusts the sincerity of Rubio’s conversion. Indeed, some see his recent attempts to tar Ted Cruz with his own brush as yet more desperate cunning. As recalled by Daniel Horowitz, writing for Conservative Review under the headline, “Cruz Fought Amnesty, Rubio Fought Conservatives”:
When it mattered, Cruz wasn’t just a vote for sovereignty and security, he was a voice for it. Rubio wasn’t just a vote for Obama’s prize agenda, he was a voice for it. For those of us who fought with everything we had to defeat the Gang of 8 despite Rubio’s best effort to score the ultimate game-winning touchdown for Obama, we can’t just let this go.
And yes, even those of us who are not fans of Donald Trump, that rude and unpresidential man, must give full credit to Trumpism, the daring and iconoclastic ideology. In the past year, Trumpism seems to have broken the plutocratic spell that has ensorceled Republicans over the last three decades; today, leading Republicans such as Cruz—joined by many others, but not including Jeb “Act of Love” Bush—are coming to newfound populist-nationalist positions. And so today, GOPers such as Sen. Jeff Sessions, who were once notable for their lonely courage—are no longer lonely.
Of course, as Barry Goldwater, the long-lived and long-perspectived senator and presidential candidate, liked to say, “There are no final victories.”
Yes, Republicans, “lizard-brained” as we might be, are headed toward a smashing victory next year. But then will come the usual sordid politicking; then, and only then, we will find out if the citizenry capable of voting against globalization is also the citizenry capable of paying attention to legislative and regulatory details. For sure, we onlookers will be reminded that the donor class has pile-driven its influence deep into the foundations of both parties. And that influence will be hard to uproot; it will certainly take more than one good presidential election.
But we can close on a happy note: Next year bids to be an auspicious beginning.