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Make the Melting Pot Great Again

Trump puts his finger on a key problem.

By Petrarch  |  July 21, 2019

We've finished another whirlwind week of the sort that's become endemic to the Trump era: an utterly unexpected, unpredictable slugfest in which the entire mass of everybody pig-piles onto President Trump.  In the now all-too-familiar pattern, when the dust clears, he's covered in it, but he's the only one left standing.

Few other elected Republicans would have dared to publicly call out Ilhan Omar, supposed representative from Minnesota, for her persistent anti-AmericanismNo other national Republican would have the awe-inspiring cojones of steel that it took to actually flat-out tell her to go home - in this case, to the well-known s***hole failed state of Somalia - if she hates America so much!

In the media, of course, the world immediately ended.  In the real world, it seems that, once again, The Donald has openly said what a great many people were thinking but did not dare to voice.  Even he was (apparently) a bit flustered by the enthusiastic chants of "Send her back!" at his next rally.  Maybe he managed to move the Overton Window by more than anticipated?

He's become accustomed to his base taking him figuratively while the MSM and everyone else takes him literally.  It was a bit much to have his base go all literal on him all of a sudden, but it's a decent indication where their hearts really are.  They seek to revive the "America: Love it or leave it" bumper stickers of days gone by - which, naturally, liberals falsely claim was originally a KKK slogan.

The Left and media are using this as evidence of the fundamentally racist America they've always believed existed - a surefire way to persuade normal Americans to vote for them, no?  More experienced elders are instead getting worried and making fruitless pleas for everyone to tone things down before another reporter is sent to the hospital.

That's not going to work - it's far too late to return to the Washington consensus - but it's worth contemplating why we've reached a point where a stadium-full of Americans are willing and eager to shout for an elected Congressperson to be expelled, not merely from office, but from the United States altogether.  Or, looked at another way, a place where it is understandable and even reasonable for such a demand to be made.

Bumper Sticker Wisdom

Here's Peggy Noonan, Reagan speechwriter of a bygone era, apparently clutching her pearls but actually making some excellent points:

The idea has taken hold that the charge of racism doesn’t derive from thoughts and actions, from what people say and do, but from who they are. If you are white that accident of birth left you racist, and there’s nothing you can do about it...

Americans watching know their country is riven by drugs, inequality, lack of social cohesion. They see the migrants and grimly think: Oh good, more unhappy people to join our unhappy people—maybe we can all be unhappy and take drugs together. That will improve things!

But this week on “CBS This Morning,” Norah O’Donnell toured the largest detention facility on the border and talked to a young mother from Venezuela with a 2-year-old son. She told her story. For months at home she’d heard nothing but gunfire. She fled alone with her son, just the two of them on the long trek north. She wept as she talked.

She was a person of modesty and dignity.

She said she had warm food here. They provided Pampers for the baby. Ms. O’Donnell said: But you are sleeping on the floor. Yes, said the mother, “on a mat.”

She showed no resentment, expressed no demand. She was just grateful.

She had tact.

Get her in here, please. We need her kind.

We don't actually need any more tired, uneducated, and poor people than we already have.  Concerning this foreigner's attitude, though, Mrs. Noonan has a very relevant point.

If you give a dollar to a bum, you're one dollar poorer, and odds are that dollar is completely wasted.  But there's a big difference between a polite bum who requests help and gives thanks with a "God bless you" when he receives it, and an aggressive panhandler that chases you down the street demanding a handout and calling you names - even if both of them squander your dollar on the same rotgut.  Which sort is more likely to be tolerated by the general public?

A hundred years ago, America expected and demanded that immigrants love this country first, last, and always.  If they wanted to eat their weird food at home, even talk their foreign language in privacy, that was marginally OK.  If they wanted to celebrate their former ethnicity one day per year at the St. Paddy's parade, that, too, was OK.  Otherwise, though, they'd better learn English ASAP, fly the American flag on all possible occasions, and at least not sneer at hot dogs and hamburgers if not wolf them down enthusiastically.  It took awhile, but today nobody questions whether that round of immigrants is 100% American.

The Left will say that's only because immigrants from back then, mostly Irish and Italian, were white and benefited from white privilege.  But that's not how they were viewed at the time!  Indeed, the largest lynching incident in American history killed not one single black person but 11 Italian men.  And we've all heard the (apparently mostly false) legends of "No Irish Need Apply" signs, which while not common, certainly did reflect widely-held attitudes.

All too many immigrants of today are entirely different.  What sort of refugee waves the flag of the country they're fleeing?  How dare people proudly proclaim their contempt for our laws by chanting "Undocumented and unfraid"?  And what sort of political party happily appoints people to office who not only aren't citizens, but don't even have the right or privilege to tread our soil?

This is profoundly unhealthy in more ways than can fit in one article.  You can't have a major political party that, in effect, doesn't believe in the existence or legitimacy of its own country.  You can't have a nation that is nothing more than dotted lines on a map with no concern for who happens to live there or what culture they prefer.  If anyone can come here without restrictions, and can believe in literally anything regardless of the laws and culture previously present, then there is no such thing as the United States - certainly not united, and not even a state by the definition of international law.

Through his unique genius, President Trump has dragged the rotting corpse that once was the American Democratic Party out into the open.  Would FDR or JFK for one moment have tolerated mobs of thousands pushing their way across our borders and demanding that we provide for their needs?  Would either of them have tolerated Congresspeople who helped them to do so?  Of course not - but today's Democratic party is not your grandfather's party, and today's immigrant is not your grandfather's immigrant.

Accidental Wisdom

To gain the widest possible perspective, we regularly read the furthest-lefty rags we can tolerate.  Most of what we find is fact-free garbage, of course, but there's the occasional gem.  Here's one from a recent fundraising plea:

People Used to Come and Donate, Now They Just Come

The key to our funding formula has always been reasonable response. That's gone. When we used to say, we are running behind, things picked up. Now they don't. We used to finish in far less time. Now we don't finish.

It was never like this.

The proprietor of this donor-supported newsletter seem to feel that in years past, people were more willing to contribute funds and other support.  Now, people just want to take (read the articles) and never give - as, indeed, does your humble correspondent.  If that continues indefinitely, we are reminded, the newsletter will cease, and nobody will be able to benefit from it anymore.

Well, in the case of this particular publication, that might not be entirely bad.  But the same holds true for our country!  Immigrants to our country built the railroads, fought the Civil War, won the West, established farms, designed our cities, and so on.  They contributed.  Sure, some of them were criminals or sponges - that's the nature of humanity - but on the whole we were visibly better off for their presence.

That's not true anymore - and as long as it isn't true, the anger and resentment will only build.  The end result can only be an end to immigration entirely, or the collapse of what once was the United States into something unrecognizable.

Even today, we have immigrants that strongly contribute to these United States.  Consider Melania Trump, who came here with nothing more than her genes and a good education.  Contrary to leftist myth, she didn't just marry well - she created a successful modeling and fashion-design career before ever meeting her husband.  At the very least, she supported herself, and as lefty wags put it, she's doing a job Americans won't do in being Mrs. Donald Trump.

For sure, our country is stronger for having Melania in it, and weaker for the presence of Ilhan Omar.  Once upon a time, our customs officials would have had the authority and judgment to allow in well-mannered immigrants like Melania or the one in Mrs. Noonan's article while rejecting destructive and wicked frauds like Omar.  Today, that would be condemned as intolerable bigotry and bias.

But if we aren't allowed to be selective in whom we allow in, or to require any expectations of conformance from them, the only possible answer can be to allow in nobody at all or watch our nation die.  Is that really the end goal here?

We know what works: it worked here for centuries.  The only reason it doesn't anymore is because we've stopped doing it.  What made America great was the melting pot; it's no coincidence that our greatness started slipping when the melting pot went out of style.