Mathematically-inclined readers who are following the immigration thread
might like to try constructing an immigration-opinion space. Start with two
axes at right angles. Label the x-axis “legal immigration,” the y-axis
The zero point on the x-axis, where the y-axis crosses it, would be the
opinion that there should be no legal immigration at all. Points further
and further “east” of this would represent the opinion that legal
immigration numbers should be higher and higher. (I suppose points to the
west would represent the opinion that legal immigrants should be sent
home–an opinion not widely held, though it was suggested in respect of
Saudis etc after 9/11.)
Similarly, the zero point on the y-axis would represent the opinion that
from now on, absolutely no further illegal immigration should be permitted.
To the north of that are the opinions that we should be laxer and laxer
about illegal immigration; to the south, opinions that we should be more and
more diligent in deporting illegals.
Now any person’s opinion on these issues would be a dot on the plane.
Michelle Malkin, for instance, would be way down in the southeast quadrant
somewhere. Likewise Peter Brimelow, though I think he would be closer to
the y-axis, if not actually on it. Stephen Moore, on the other hand, would
be way out of sight in the northeast. If you plotted the opinions of a
large number of people, you would have a sort of smeared ellipse stretching
from the south to the northeast… with, of course, a few more
widely-scattered dots for outliers like Ann Coulter.
Putting the thing into math like this has a wonderfully soothing and calming
effect on the mind. “Euclid alone has gazed on beauty bare…”