Monday, August 21, 2006

Patrick Buchanan: A National Treasure

“As Rome passed away, so, the West is passing away, from the same causes and in much the same way. What the Danube and Rhine were to Rome, the Rio Grande and Mediterranean are to America and Europe, the frontiers of a civilization no longer defended.” -- Patrick J. Buchanan, from his new book, not available yet in Spanish.

Buchanan incorrectly chooses the Roman Empire as a historic analog to his vision of the West and the US. The Romans built roads extending outward -- not walls looking inward. Buchanan's vision of the US is post-Roman Empire -- feudalism -- the US as a castle with moat and walls.

Mr. Buchanan rails about "illegal" immigration because it is a simplistic "gotchya" type of claim. If, for example, the US banned all immigration then ... surprise ... all immigrants would be "illegal" immigrants. If, on the other hand, the US relaxed immigration rules then the number of illegal immigrants would magically drop. As if by magic!

Mr. Buchanan argues by tautology. If the speed limit is dropped to 10 mph then most car drivers would become "illegal drivers." If all parking was banned, anyone parking a car would be an "illegal parker." If all immigration to the US is banned then all immigrants become "illegal" immigrants.

Then "they" just shouldn't come in to the US is Mr. Buchanan's rejoinder. But they will, Pat. You know they will. But build a bigger wall, Pat says. But Pat, they will just tunnel under it. You know they will. But arrest them on the other side, Pat says. But Pat, that's what we are doing now. These people are risking their lives to sneak into to the US through a godforsaken desert, risk getting arrested and risk dying ... just to pick lettuce for nothing an hour. If they are now willing to pay their entire life savings to risk dying in an unventilated box car and being a criminal in the US just to pick lettuce for $10 a day and be treated like slaves, how do we say no? Lower the illegal immigrant minimum wage?

Mr. Buchanan wants to immediately find and deport all 10 million illegal immigrants in the US. Who is going to pick the lettuce? Is the US going go "vegetable free"? Meat free? Who mops up the blood and brains of pigs and cows in the slaughterhouses of the US?

First, we are told the problem is not immigration -- the problem is people breaking the law by entering the US illegally. But the same people then say they want all legal immigration to stop, for awhile at least, from certain countries perhaps. So the "problem" is not illegal immigration -- it's immigration period. Illegal immigration is just a shill, a talking point and a debating niblet. No discussion of who will pick the lettuce or mop up the pig and cow brains.

If these want to solve the "problem" they cite, they should call for massive infusions of US money into Mexico to increase the standard of living for Mexicans to a point where there is no longer an economic incentive for a Mexican person to attempt to emigrate to the United States -- or raise the minimum wage for picking lettuce and mopping up pig and cow guts. But these folks are the same who oppose all US foreign aid; favor South American governments which keep most of their citizens living in poverty; and brand as "leftist threats" any South American government which attempts to eliminate gargantuan separations between the richest few and the poorest many.

The US as a gigantic gated community. Good luck with that.

Patrick Buchanan deserves credit for at least being truthful to himself and his own beliefs instead of lying about them. He says in his new book that the Mexican government has a secret plan (remember this guy was Nixon's speechwriter) to flood the southwestern U.S. with Mexicans and by doing so "reclaim" the southwest US as de facto Mexican territory.

If so, good. It doesn't take a Beavis or Butthead to realize that a US state called ... NEW MEXICO ... was probably mostly inhabited by .... MEXICANS ... for a long time. So what's the problem with some NEW Mexicans in NEW Mexico? What do you want there, Norwegians?

A true Zen guy, Pat Buchanan "unanswers" the big question by asking it. Mexican people should be able to live in New Mexico USA or Texas or Arizona or Southern California. Why the hell not? So should Norwegians and Finns but they will need mega sun block cream. D.H. Lawrence liked it. And he was a Brit. Johnny Cash liked it. He wrote the Ballad of Ira Hayes. Geronimo liked it. He was an Apache. Navajos like it. Their language helped win WW II.

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