The Corner

The Geometry of Immigration Opinion

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

“illegal immigration.”

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…”

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