Mark Krikorian writes that my article “Our Borders, Ourselves” “attempt[s] to undermine opposition” to one of our ruling class’s “most important tools,” namely “mass migration.” He charges that I want to “allow our nation to be crucified on the cross of unlimited immigration” and accuses me of “contempt for the actual people living in the actual United States of America who, whatever our manifold sins, would like to preserve whatever’s left of our country.”
Please note: My article says nothing about what tools the U.S. government ought to have with regard to immigration, much less how it ought to use them, and precisely zero about how much or how little immigration we should have.
My article’s point — which seems to be the source of Krikorian’s animus — is that “so-called border security is attractive because it lets Americans imagine that someone other than ourselves is responsible for several of the country’s biggest problems, and that the U.S. government can deal with them in a value-free, politically neutral manner.” America’s growing appetite for and accommodation of mind-bending drugs is the clearest example. Sixteen percent of our adult population admits having used cocaine, and 42 percent marijuana. The pretense that Mexican drug cartels are somehow responsible for this is escapism. Our welfare system relieves addicts of the need to earn a living. Parents don’t cut off their precious ones’ funds when they learn they’ve been snorting, much less call the cops. We elected a president who has used cocaine. No, the drug cartels, and the mayhem they visit on Mexico, exist exclusively because we Americans pay for them. No fence or border security could stop the flow of drugs, because American consumers’ pockets are deep enough to fund any and all corruption necessary for the traffic to continue.
My article points out that America has a growing labor problem. Whereas within living memory Americans did their own society’s rough, dirty work, the social changes that began in the 1960s created an underclass that is basically unemployable — and, more important, made physical labor seem dishonorable to the middle class. I pointed out that even John C. Calhoun, slavery’s most eloquent defender, was proud to do the plowing on his plantation. Today, swarms of youths in malls and campuses are no more physically or psychologically able to help with the harvest than they are of helping to care for their grandmothers. And so, yes, what would we do without Mexicans?
According to Krikorian, my pointing out that America’s problems are made in America, not Mexico, my urging our fellow citizens to look here at home for relief from those problems, constitutes an insult to today’s Americans. What would Krikorian have had me write? Don’t worry about your neighbor’s, your children’s, or your own drug use? You will have done enough by sending more troops to the Mexican border with orders to shoot first and ask questions later, never mind that the young men who scale border fences are doing so for the chance to earn $8 an hour, while the drugs roll through border checkpoints greased by five- and six-figure bribes?
What fools were our statesmen, from John Quincy Adams to William Seward to Dwight Eisenhower, who thought that our unguarded borders were the foundation of American security. We’re so much wiser.
Baloney. The current conventional wisdom, formed in substantial part by commentators such as Mark Krikorian, has made our southern border a problem such as it never was. Because of it, as my article points out, Mexico’s 2012 presidential election will usher in yet more troubles for us.