by Pedro Gonzalez
With each step the “caravan of contradictions” takes toward our border, another progressive illusion slips away. Victor Davis Hanson considers this mob, and by extension the events surrounding it, a “paradox, a contradiction, and an irony.” He’s right.
The “reasoning” of progressives that leads them to endorse opening our borders to a group of intransigent lawbreakers so that they may escape lawlessness, is logically unacceptable.
Progressives recoil in horror at President Trump’s declaration that we must defend ourselves against an invasion of thousands of foreigners who denounce our laws and hold our sovereignty in contempt. And by progressives, I mean to include those “conservatives” of National Review who cry, “it’s hard to think of a response less measured and more effective at undermining moderate support for immigration restrictions than the reaction of the president and key allies.”
Consider, 65 percent of voters favor – compared to 35 percent who oppose – increasing merit over connection to relatives for immigration preference, eliminating the visa lottery, and increased funding for border security. That includes 68 percent of Latino voters, 64 percent of black voters, 64 percent of Democratic voters, 67 percent of Independent voters, 63 percent of “liberal” voters, and 68 percent of Clinton voters – while seven in 10 voters favor the president’s immigration reform and border security proposal.
Trump’s rhetoric has been consistently hard-hitting, and yet support for his immigration and border security policies continue to garner widespread approval. In fact, the majority of the country – including 51 percent of Latinos – stand by President Trump’s decision to deploy troops to the southern border. Another paradox, then. Either the “moderates” have yet to take offense, or National Review is one of many “conservative” salons closer to center-left than to center-right.
But is this “caravan” really a harmless bunch of sojourners?
American news media says so. The press denounces Trump a vile racist for announcing that any belligerent foreigner hurling rocks at our border guards will be considered armed with a deadly weapon. Trump’s ad tying the incoming mob to an illegal alien, who, after being deported once before, re-entered the United States illegally and murdered two police officers, also has been tarred as racist. The killer’s sole regret was that he “only killed two of those motherf*****s (police officers).” It’s also worth noting that the killer illegally entered the country under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – but is there a meaningful difference between the two on this point?
It turns out that despite the “caravan of peace” narrative, Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez was ambushed by illegal aliens and beaten to death with a rock. How, then, is Trump a racist for protecting our mostly Latino protectors on the border? Progressives often seem to concern themselves with the defense of criminals more than with the lives of law abiding citizens. Slate, like National Review, insists that the real problem isn’t foreigners, it’s our president and his untoward rhetoric.
But Americans should ask themselves, why are they being told by progressives that the mob poses little to no threat after they’ve opened fire on Mexican police officers? If “migrants” mean no harm, why has Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior warned that some are preparing improvised incendiary devices with which to attack law enforcement? Why have so many Latin American police officers been injured, and why are there admitted felons deported from the United States among them? No, they aren’t harmless.
Here is another question the liberal press and our conservative commentariat would rather ignore. Why is it “racist” to point out that immigrants from the Third World often carry disease? CNN claims that tuberculosis “is a problem around the world,” and notes that according to the Centers for Disease Control, the “United States saw 9,105 cases in 2017.” This is half-true, and wholly deceptive.
In 2016, Marin County, California’s Communicable Disease and Prevention Control found that 81 percent of the state’s 2,073 tuberculosis cases occurred in persons who were born outside the country. That foreigners, especially illegal aliens, can import disease was “settled science” not so long ago.
During the Reagan Administration, J. Michael McGinnis, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, warned of diseases being imported from Mexico. “Along the border,” said McGinnis, “we have a prevalence of diseases that we shouldn’t be seeing much of in modern Western society. We have higher rates of such things as malaria, tuberculosis, measles, rubella, rabies, and pertussis (whooping cough).”
In 1984, Dr. Shirley Fannin, associate director of communicable disease programs for Los Angeles County, attributed the reversal of the decline of tuberculosis to immigrants who “bypass routine pre-immigration health checks and literally bring the diseases with them,” from the high endemic TB areas of Mexico, Central America, and Southeast Asia in particular. During the 1990s, La Quinta High School in California “gained a troubling distinction” for tuberculosis outbreaks, a problem authorities attributed to immigrants. Why, then, do the progressives lie to us? Do they not care about the wellness of legal immigrants who desired to leave Third World disease behind them?
Progressives appear to believe in all sincerity that the magic soil of the United States will transform foreigners overnight into good “Americans,” if only American citizens weren’t such bigots. The habits that have transformed Latin America into the murder capital of the world, progressives insist, will be checked at the border, and could be altogether eliminated if we didn’t have borders, or Donald Trump.
This is all as insane as it is paradoxical.
But Trump, too, is a paradox. As an agent of chaos, Trump has torn the veil that progressives worked so hard to suture over the eyes of Americans, allowing them to see now with a piercing clarity what they always knew to be true. Without borders, which the president recently called “sacred,” nations are imperiled. Behind his proclaiming our borders sacred comes 2,000 years of Western heritage.
The Etruscans handed down a tradition to the Romans that constituted the physical process of founding a city-state. It was a religious ritual, wherein priests would first observe the flight paths of birds to determine whether the gods smiled on the new city-state. If so, the sacred boundaries of the city-state were marked out, and this was called the pomerium. A pair of oxen would then be yoked to plough a furrow along the line that would become the city walls. To the Romans who to carried on this tradition, Rome existed legally only within the boundaries of the pomerium—within its borders.
Why the Romans? Because Thomas Jefferson affirmed that “all authority” with respect to our our existence as a civilization is traced back to Aristotle and Cicero, the most brilliant minds of ancient Greek and Roman city-states that provided a guiding light for our own civilization. But we should remember Lycurgus, too, who when asked how Sparta could be kept safe without defensive walls, said that a “city is well fortified which has a wall of men instead of brick.”
Trump has reaffirmed this critical and primordial truth against the lies of progressives steeped in postmodern thinking. Without borders – without at least a “wall of men” – it is not simply nations, but communities and families which cannot flourish.
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Pedro Gonzalez is assistant editor of American Greatness and a Mount Vernon Fellow of the Center for American Greatness.