So I was reading this morning about how “Violence on the border endangers Americans,” and it got me to thinking about what Nishi and happy have been obliquely arguing of late — namely, that should conservatives / classical liberals become vocal over forthcoming high-profile immigration “reform” proposals, their subsequent depiction by both the media and lawmakers (of both parties, potentially) as ravaging nativists and xenophobes will go a long way toward reinforcing already stock stereotypes being used to characterize those who demand adherence to our immigration laws as “fringe” “extremists,” rednecked yahoos and neo-Nazi types who hate them some brown people, and in their wildings act in direct opposition to the spirit of this country’s immigrant-welcoming roots.
To Nishi, the Obama Administration’s move to bring immigration reform to the forefront in order to flush out the protesters and label them racist, is a brilliant bit of strategy: if the endgame is power, it pays to find, isolate, and then destroy your enemies — even if that means tethering them to hatreds they don’t possess while simultaneously depicting yourselves as morally superior through (contrived) juxtaposition.
To happy, the very thought of how the Administration and media will be able to market such contrived “hatreds” fills him with dread; and so he’d just as soon conservatives avoid being drawn into a debate over immigration reform at all. Which leaves them cornered: either they remain relatively staid in their protests and avoid the kind of propaganda campaign that the progressives have in store for them (and in so doing, they essentially green light comprehensive immigration reform, which will be given GOP cover by a number of feckless Republican lawmakers); or else they protest vocally, which, while that may delay or defeat certain measures of comprehensive “reform,” will almost certainly result in a campaign that paints the protesters as cousinfucking hatey haters who hate and hate and hate — and such a campaign could tarnish conservatism’s brand, resulting in a loss of independents and moderates (and a certain brand of libertarian), and more electoral defeat.
Either way, checkmate.
— That is, unless the power of those attempts to blacken conservatism / classical liberalism is itself diminishing; and I find it hard to believe that, with Tea Party demographics being what they are, a whole host of people haven’t begun to look at the cynical attempts to cast ordinary citizens as fringe “racists” as the dishonest political ploy that it is.
So the question becomes, what is the most effective strategy going forward with respect to the Administration’s gambit to foreground immigration reform? Do conservatives speak up — to begin with, by loudly and unequivocally rejecting the premise that resistance to “reform” is merely coded racism and xenophobia; or do they try to assure moderates and independents that they, too, wish to adhere to immigrant spirit that has built this country — and so make a great show of reaching across the aisle and compromising on any number of issues that, in the long run, will almost certainly prove problematic, either economically or politically; but in the short run might at least get them back to power, where they can get to work on walking back, eg., Obamacare?
To get you thinking on this, here’s a bit from Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny that I found interesting:
In the 1960’s, Cesar Chavez, one of the founders of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union, vehemently opposed illegal immigration, arguing it undermined his efforts to unionize farm workers and improve working conditions and wages for American citizen workers. The UFW even reported illegal immigrants to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. In 1969, Chavez led a march, accompanied by Ralph Abernathy, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Senator Walter Mondale, along the border with Mexico, protesting the farmers’ use of illegal immigrants.
But most unions soon changed course and today they lobby to confer amnesty and ultimately citizenship on illegal aliens. These include: American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Farm Labor Organizing Committee; Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union; Laborers’ International Union of North America; Service Employees International Union; Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees; United Farm Workers; and United Food and Commercial Workers.
The unions view the large influx of both legal and illegal immigrants as a new source of political clout that favors their allies in the Democratic Party and potentially adds membership to their own dwindling numbers. They came to the same realization as historian Samuel Lubell, who noted that the voting-age children of the first great migration constituted “The big-city masses [who] furnished the votes which re-elected [Franklin] Roosevelt again and again — and, in the process, ended the traditional Republican majority in this country.” And there can be no doubt, as a practical matter, that the Statist’s benefits-for-votes promises is an attractive albeit destructive enticement. […]
The Statist tolerates the illegal alien’s violations of working, wage, and environmental standards, because the alien’s babies born in America are, under the current interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, treated as United States citizens. And under the Hart-Caller Act, upon turning twenty-one years of age, the child can sponsor additional family members for citizenship. From the Statist’s perspective, the pool of future administrative state constituents and sympathetic voters is potentially bottomless.
So. What to do?