A Question of Character (National)

by Jay Nordlinger

I commend to you our editorial today on the immigration “Gang of Eight” bill. (No, I didn’t write it, so I’m not being a self-promoting jerk.) (I mean, in this particular instance.) One thing that is in question is the character of our country — a question independent of race, ethnicity, and the other things people like to talk about. This is more a mental and spiritual question. A cultural one.

As the late Samuel Huntington asked, in his book, “Who are we?”

Last week, at the Oslo Freedom Forum, I was talking with a colleague of mine — a colleague who works mainly in London. He was recalling what the Labourites tried to do short years ago, and in fact did do. They recruited and ushered in waves of immigrants in order to change the character of the country. Or, as one of their men, Andrew Neather, put it, “to change the face of Britain forever.” He further said that Labour’s policy was intended “to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.”

If people want to be American — and many millions do — great. If they want to be something else, there are 191 other nations, I believe, on the U.N. roll call. (When Montenegro came in, didn’t that make 192? Have there been others since?)

So, am I saying, “Love it or leave it,” Archie Bunker-style? Certainly not. I spend half my time slamming America, and Americans. “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism,” you know. Wasn’t that on a billion car bumpers from January 2001 to January 2009? I’m simply saying that if you don’t wish to be part of the American project — launched by our forefathers in pre-Revolutionary days — maybe another country could have the honor of your presence in it.

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