Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hey, Look Over There!

Joe Klein doesn't always get everything right, but he hits one out of the park in this week's Time. Klein writes of how immigration has become the most contentious issue of the 2008 presidential race. Some of the presidential candidates--Huckabee and Clinton--are surprised at the ferocity with which they are assailed by members of the public about "open borders as the issue that will destroy this country." Others, notably Mitt Romney, are demagoguing immigration for all it's worth.

Klein rightly points out that immigrants are not a real problem, but that the fury against them seems to be a symptom of the faltering economy (at least, it's faltering if you happen not to be rich). People like Romney and Tom Tancredo are fanning the flames of immigrant hatred, apparently forgetting the lessons of the last century, and the one before that. It's easy to blame immigrants for the loss of jobs, and loss of security, and everything else that's wrong with this country. Immigration serves to distract the public eye from a war that continues to destroy the economy, and from the administration and their masters in the giant corporations that use the war to drain the country of every last dollar that they can. "Hey, look over there!" they cry. "That Mexican hotel maid is stealing your wallet!" Meanwhile, they're literally loading pallet-loads of cash into airplanes and flying it off into oblivion.


Keifus said...

My tenth grade self is thinking a lot of political debate issues are a distraction from whatever nastier ventures the powers that be may be waging (like, say, super-corporatism and war, one of which is worse than the other). The Republicans crow about abortion but do nothing to end it, say, and the Democrats are all pro-gay, but not really in a way that means repealing defense of marriage or similar legislation. The shift to immigration over abortion may have something to do with which candidates the right is fielding. So find a racist distraction instead of a sexist distraction.

Which isn't to say the debate issues aren't important, mind you. But I think they're allowed to be contentious because the candidates mean less of what they say than ever.

Archaeopteryx said...

K--I think you're right. There'd be a little bit of a problem with trying to whip up an anti-gay frenzy with Guiliani, McCain, and Romney as your most prominent candidates.

TheVillageIdiot said...

Arch, I told a fellow that I had a solution to the "illegal Immigration" problem. He had just spoken out (at a Lion's Club meeting of all places) about using federal troops, with shoot to kill orders, to guard the border here in California. He wanted to keep the country for the "Citizens" (go figure)
I told him that a simple federal law could eliminate Illegal Immigration forever. He was skeptical as my past views have been suspect to him and his "Minutemen" friends.
I said The law will state that if an immigrant, any immigrant, is able to set foot on U.S. soil, That person would automatically become a U.S. citizen.
"That's how it worked originally", I said
"What an outrageous proposal" he said.
"No more outrageous than yours" I answered
It seems it's OK for them to offer unacceptable solutions, but not us.