John, when a single election in this country actually does turn on the question of immigration restriction, then I will accept the contention that “popular opinion” has turned decisively in your direction. As it is, two candidacies in November 2005 — Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Kilgore and California congressional candidate Gilchrist — sought to use the issue as a wedge against others and failed. (Please, I beg of all those who want to explain to me that because Gilchrist received 25 percent of the vote in November, he actually somehow won a race he lost not to bother e-mailing me such nonsense.)
We must all beware believing that the things we care about — and that we receive scads of e-mail about — are the issues that matter to tens of millions of people. I know immigration restrictionists are absolutely certain that they’ve got the public on their side, but there is precious little evidence to suggest they’re right.