One of the remarkable aspects of the increasing interaction between mainstream conservatives and the extremist right on the immigration issue is the way the way they wind up feeding each other: the far right gives them talking points, the mainstream regurgitates them for mass consumption, which gives the far right the justification and affirmation it craves -- and fuels them to even greater rhetorical heights ... which then are eventually picked up and transmitted into the mainstream.
And what they primarily trade in is fear -- pure, unadulterated fear. That's why they're so big on conspiracy theories like Reconquista!
The core message is "Fear of a Brown Planet": "Look out, white people! The brown people are coming to take away your way of life! Aiiieee!!! Run for the hills!"
If you turn to the current front page at American Patrol (only click if you really have to) -- the white-supremacist border-control outfit run by Glenn Spencer of Reconquista! fame -- you'll see the following headline:
- Senate Voted to End U. S. as a Nation
Surrender to Latin Invasion Now Clear
Follwed by links to a video from Lou Dobbs' CNN program of yesterday, plus a snippet from the transcript:
- Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN - June 1
Dobbs: The issue, as you said, that the nation would cease to exist, what do you mean by that?
West: Well, the kind of provisions that are in the Senate... and it will be mainly Hispanic. It will be mainly Mexican. -- And so, what the question becomes is, do we want to become a northern section of Latin America? Do we cease to become literally an English- speaking people, become bilingual, and / or Spanish- speaking? And with these questions, you really begin to get at the heart of the matter, a demographic, a newer demographic.
West is a columnist for the Washington Times whose recent piece on immigration was the center of discussion.
You have to see the whole interview for yourself to believe it, as Dobbs simply lets West broadcast her nativist nonsense unchallenged. West is promoting the crazed notion, as she put it in the column, that in its compromise immigration legislation -- which she dubs "the Dissolve America Now bill" -- the Senate voted to completely open its borders, that is, "to relocate the Statue of Liberty to the U.S.-Mexico border." In reality, the American Patrol headline isn't far removed from what West actually wrote.
Here's the transcript:
- DOBBS: "Washington Times" columnist Diana West has written a provocative, disturbing look at the future of this nation and what would happen were President Bush to successfully push his amnesty program through. West writes that if amnesty were to become law, the United States would cease to be a nation altogether. She says it would become a honey trap, drawing millions of more illegal aliens into the country. Diana West joins us tonight from Washington, D.C. Diana, good to have you here.
DIANA WEST, WASHINGTON TIMES: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: I want to begin with something that you wrote, "a nation has borders and defends them." If we could put that up, "a nation has broken borders and defends them. 'We' do not. Otherwise, building a fence against an unprecedented invasion by Mexico wouldn't be considered a harsh and radical position in the mainstream otherwise."
Well, when the Senate passed that amendment on the immigration bill, sponsored by Christopher Dodd, put into the manager's amendments by Senator Arlen Specter. What was your reaction?
DOBBS: It's just amazing.
WEST: Amazement, yes. Yes. It's a situation where the United States Senate, in insisting on this ridiculous two-track bill, to have supposed security along with this incredible amnesty program, is signaling to the world that we really don't believe in the concept of borders, and that's actually what I really draw from this bill, which is extremely disturbing, because if we signal that to the world, they will come, and we really will be the world.
DOBBS: That is, the world, we're certainly going to be Mexico at this rate. Because...
WEST: That's the first part of the world.
DOBBS: ... the Mexican population, a country of about 100 million people, with an estimated 20 million of their citizens already living in this country -- many of them legally of course -- but 3 million illegal aliens crossing our borders, most of whom are Mexican citizens. The idea that this administration will not enforce the border, for national security reasons, leaving immigration aside, is to most of us, to most Americans, absolutely unbelievable.
DOBBS: The issue, as you said, that the nation would cease to exist, what do you mean by that?
WEST: Well, the kind of provisions that are in the Senate bill, for both legal immigration that we can try to project, and then illegal immigration that we can only imagine, has the effect of a demographic tsunami, and it will be mainly Hispanic. It will be mainly Mexican.
And so, what the question becomes is, do we want to become a northern section of Latin America? Do we cease to become literally an English-speaking people, become bilingual, and/or Spanish-speaking? And with these questions, you really begin to get at the heart of the matter, a demographic, a newer demographic.
DOBBS: The idea of a new demographic is to me, frankly, my reaction is, in terms of Hispanic, sort of what's the difference? Because we as a nation -- this is a melting pot. The issue of multiculturalism, however, and the issue of multi-language. That becomes a very serious issue, doesn't it?
WEST: Well, it does. I mean, I would say that we were a melting pot. I think that 30, 40 years of multiculturalism, however, have trashed that notion. We have been taught that that actually is not our design, and so we the people have become we the peoples. And when you import such a large demographic speaking one language, you have really altered the mix.
DOBBS: Diana West, I thank you for being here. We're out of time. I hope you'll come back soon. We're going to continue this discussion, obviously, on this broadcast in the weeks and months ahead. So please come back.
Part of what nativist hacks like West and Michelle Malkin do in their arguments is rely on a kind of Manichean rhetorical trick: assume, in the argument, that the only possible alternative to their proposal is one that is completely undesirable. Thus, they quickly label their opponents the "open borders crowd."
The fact is, however, that most of the people who are opposed to an immigration debate based on scapegoating, racism, or demonization of Latinos, or for punitive measures against those immigrants already here also happen to favor reasonable immigration reform -- nor do they argue for open borders, either. Read more here.
The Senate's immigration measure is, by any measure, ultimately only a band-aid for a systemic problem related to America's role in the global economy. But equating it with "the surrender of America" really suggests there's something in the Kool-aid they've been drinking.
But then, we kind of knew that already. We just didn't know how many mainstream media people were drinking it too.