CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said over the weekend that Democrats are out of touch with the country on immigration and the party is losing working-class voters because it does not realize that the nation’s E Pluribus Unum motto means “out of many, one” and not, as Al Gore once thought, “out of one, many.”
On his Fareed Zakaria GPS show, Zakaria said today’s Democrats are smearing anyone opposed to illegal immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants much like the party shunned pro-life voices in the 1990s, most famously by not allowing pro-life Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey to speak at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York.
He notes that author Mark Lilla writes, in a forthcoming book, “that sent a strong signal to working class Catholic and evangelical voters that if they did not fall in line on this one issue, they were no longer welcome in the party.”
“I wonder if today the Democrats are making the same mistake on immigration,” he said before ensuring he still gets adored by elites by emphasizing that the immigration “bill that the Republicans rolled out this week is bad public policy and mean-spirited symbolism.”
Zakaria criticized “the more recent liberal project” (salad bowl as opposed to melting pot) for being “centered on identity, affirming not unity, but difference, nurturing and celebrating not national identities, but subnational ones — women, Hispanics, Native Americans, African-Americans, Asian Americans.”
“Lilla notes a recurring image of identity liberalism is that of a prism refracting a single beam of light into its constituent colors, producing a rainbow,” Zakaria said. “This says it all.”
Pointing out that the “single biggest divergence on policy” between voters who voted to reelect President Barack Obama in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 and those who voted for Obama in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016 was immigration, Zakaria said “immigration is the perfect issue on which Democrats could demonstrate that they care about national unity and identity and that they understand the voters for whom this is a core concern.”
“In other words, there are many Americans who are otherwise sympathetic to Democratic ideas, but on a few key issues, principally immigration, think the party is out of touch,” Zakaria said. “And they are right.”
Unlike his CNN colleague Jim “Mr. Showboat” Acosta, Zakaria had the facts and asked his viewers to consider them: “Legal immigration in America has expanded dramatically over the last four decades. In 1970, 4.7 percent of the American population was foreign-born. Today, it’s 13.4%. That’s a large shift in a small period of time. And it’s natural that it has caused some anxiety. And the anxiety is about more than just jobs.”
He then pointed out that the late Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington wrote in his 2004 book, Who Are We?, “that America had more than just a founding ideology. It had a culture, one that had shaped it powerfully.” In that book, Huntington wrote, as Zakaria noted: “Would the America be the America it is today if in the 17th and 18th centuries it had been settled not by British protestants, but by French, Spanish or Portuguese catholics? The answer is no, it would be Quebec, Mexico or Brazil.”
“Democrats must find a middle path on immigration,” Zakaria continued. “They can battle Donald Trump’s drastic solutions, but still speak in the language of national unity and identity. The country’s motto after all is, out of many, one, not the other way around.”
This is the second cogent point Zakaria has made about working-class voters in two weeks, which may be a personal record for him. Perhaps he learned some lessons while filming his documentary about why Trump shocked elites like him and won the 2016 election that Zakaria’s CNN colleagues (attn: Brianna Keilar) thought he had no business winning. He recently pointed out that many of Trump’s voters supported Trump because they hated the “elites” and overeducated professionals that too often look down on them.
“The election of Donald Trump is really a kind of a class rebellion against people like us, educated professionals who live in cities who have cosmopolitan views about a lot of things,” Zakaria said last week. “I think there’s a whole part of America that’s sick and tired of being told what to do by this overeducated professional elite that Hillary Clinton in many ways perfectly represented, and that’s why they’re sticking with him.”
As Breitbart News has explained, in the 2016 election, Trump galvanized “voters who wanted to send a loud and clear message about the importance of melting-pot Americanism (instead of salad-bowl separatism).” By going to the polls for Trump, many of his supporters, as Breitbart News noted, “were loudly–or silently–voting for E Pluribus Unum (‘Out of many, one’) instead of Al Gore’s Ex Uno Plures (‘Out of one, many’).”