I thought Ramesh’s response to that clip of the Wall Street Journal editorial conference was basically sound. I’m just amazed that Ramesh stayed so calm all through it. Me, I was… well, no, not foaming at the mouth, but gaping in wonder at such a concentration of smug rich-guy arrogance on display all in one place.
What color is the sky in these guys’ world? I’ve modified a trillion or so pixels scoffing at the Left’s blithe indifference to actual human nature, but Gigot & Co. take the biscuit. It’s pretty routine now to mock the WSJ editorial crowd for believing that there is no such thing as a nation, only an economy. Well, there it is. You saw it. That is what they actually, literally believe. We kick around phrases like “arrogant elites” pretty carelessly, but here they are, out in the open, brazen and unashamed.
The show-stopper was Daniel Henninger saying that the immigration bill’s opponents’ objection to illegal immigration “is fundamentally cultural and they can’t say that.”
Well, to deal with the “can’t say it” clause first, plenty of us say it all the time. Sam Huntington wrote an entire book saying it!
I’ll offer the following translation of Henninger’s remark. “These foam-flecked National Review types aren’t really talking about economics at all, even though they must surely know, as all enlightened people know, that nothing else is the least bit important. They are really, though they try to hide it, talking about, Euiw!,
*culture*—which is pretty much equivalent to talking about—Oh my God!—race. No wonder they try to hide their true intentions!”
I doubt any of the following would make sense to any of the Journal editorial crowd, but I’ll say it anyway.
A nation has a distinctive culture. The U.S.A., which is much further than the world average from any other consequential country, and has endured several character-forming great national crises, has a culture more distinctive than most. Small boys in 1950s England could pick out an American at 200 yards. Our football (which we love) is nothing like the rest of the world’s soccer (which we find extremely boring, and which the rest of the world can keep, far as we’re concerned).
Most of the people of a nation are strongly attached to that nation and its culture. (This is called “patriotism.” Try the word out a few times. Stress on the firts syllable. It’s not that hard to spell.) They like their culture. They don’t want to see their culture transformed by uncontrolled mass immigration from places with utterly different cultures.
You may think it would be good for them to have their nation so transformed, but they don’t believe you. They like their culture. They’re attached to it. They don’t want to see it transformed in ways they do not approve, and have never voted for. This is called “conservatism.” (Another vocabulary item you might want to jot down.)
You can rail at this obtuse primitivism until you’re blue in the face. You can put forward any number of arguments from economics to prove that Americans, and their children and grandchildren, will be richer
and more fulfilled in an America with twice as many people and half as much cultural distinctiveness. They won’t believe you. You can sneer and scoff at them as “nativists” and “immigrant-bashers.” They will
sneer right back at you, calling you out-of-touch elitists, never raising your eyes from scrutiny of the economic indicators to look over the walls of your gated communities at actual America, where MS-13 rules the streets at night, entire zones of emploment opportunity for unskilled citizens have been wiped out, and people seethe at “Prensa dos para espanol.” They are right, and you are wrong.