I well understand that the title of my article today, Amnesty Versus Bigotry, might be read to imply that I think those who oppose amnesty are bigots. I want to make it clear: that is absolutely not the case. I understand that the arguments against almost any path toward legalization of the current population of illegal immigrants are based on real, important matters including the rule of law, economic impact, and moral hazard for the future.
I am not denigrating those who steadfastly support anything that has even the slightest whiff of "amnesty" about it.
I believe that legislation that allows some sort of eventual path toward legal status, and eventually (but hopefully not too soon) citizenship for most current illegals is inevitable. It can either happen with Republican participation (and therefore get a tolerable, if not optimal, outcome) or without it, in which case we get the immigration equivalent of Obamacare.
My point is not that Republicans/conservatives are bigots. It is that the party's positions on immigration and gay marriage make it all too easy to portray the GOP that way. And while I don't consider myself conservative, and I recently dropped my Republican Party registration and became unaffiliated, the GOP is the nation's only real hope at this point. Unfortunately, the GOP knows neither how to market their brand nor really what their brand is.
This morning, I received a long comment to my article. The gentleman, whom I will not name, was not happy with me. I would like to share it, along with my response, with you:
Mr. Kaminsky:I have been informed and enjoyed your previous columns. Your latest shows me you care not one bit about this country.As a German immigrant, who became a citizen on my 18th birthday and spent 3 years in the military - including combat duty in Vietnam -, I found your column very deceitful and traitorous.America has a unique culture and identity and you propose to destroy that culture and identity with people who have no respect for our laws and our traditions.We are already bankrupt as a nation and you want to legalize another unskilled 40-60 million people who will receive welfare. (The 10-15 million illegals and the other 30-40 million relatives who will be allowed into this country for purposes of 'family reunification'.)Worst of all, you propse turning this nation into a place of men instead of laws and a 'thurd world' country.It is not bigotry to believe in the rule of law.It is not bigotry to believe that we have a right to our own culture and traditions.It is not bigotry to believe that I should not have to pay welfare to criminal foreigners.It is not bigotry to believe that we should keep America as a large majority white European, Judeo-Christian country.It is not bigotry to believe we should follow the Constitution.It is not bigotry to believe that Americans, not illegal criminal invaders, have the authority and right to determine who enters this country. (You seem to have a problem with that.Finally, I have come to the conclusion it would be far better to split the country. No doubt you will join the Liberal Fascist anti-America side.America has three enemies:1) Islam2) Liberalism3) The business elites who have no allegiance to any country. You are in that group.(Name signed here.)
And here's my response:
You very much misunderstand me.
I do not want millions more on welfare. In fact, I would rather see most of the illegals leave than stay under any circumstance. But we have to live in reality; they're not leaving.
I do not propose to destroy the culture. I believe that a good understanding of American history, the Constitution, and some real level of proficiency in English should be required of any citizen. I believe that the balkanization of the country, esp. with people not speaking English, is a big problem.
I would not increase the use of family visas unless the family can prove that they won't need welfare, and unless states can refuse them welfare.
I want to enforce the borders as well as other immigration-related laws, but still we have the policy problem of the people who are here already and the political problem of the damage this issue is doing to the only major political party that does love and respect what this nation stands for.
In your "It is not bigotry..." list, I am for every proposition you suggest except that I don't see how it's possible to ensure forever that we are a majority of a particular color or even religious background, though the former is clearly more at risk than the latter.
As for me personally, I'm hardly "business elite." I work for myself, don't make a lot of money, etc. My parents were both officers in the US Navy, I lived on and around military bases, and I am extremely patriotic and think that the Constitution and Declaration are the most important political documents in the history of mankind and should be respected and honored.
My primary point in the article was a political one: A combination of issues is being spun by opponents of the Republican Party to make the GOP look like bigots. It's working. It's killing the GOP. Now you have to decide whether you want to be absolutely pure to everything you consider a principle and proceed to lose every election and have a government which destroys every principle you believe in, or whether you are willing to give up a little around the edges (but only a little, hopefully) and have a chance at winning elections and returning this country toward respect for our Founding documents and principles.
In my experience, some things that people think about as political "principles" are better thought of as goals, in the sense that some things are worth refusing to compromise on, but other things can be compromised on without selling your soul. I do not claim to be the arbiter of where the line is drawn other than for myself. I simply suggest you ask yourself where those lines are for you, and the varying implications in both policy and politics based on where they are drawn.
Thank you for your patriotism and your service to our great nation.