As I predicted in my two previous Taki’s columns, the Trump administration offered to Democrats an extremely moderate and generous compromise immigration package. Trump proposed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal aliens in return for three sensible reforms of the immigration system: a wall, an end to chain migration (or, as it should more accurately be called, clan migration), and the elimination of Teddy Kennedy’s nitwit diversity lottery.
In response, the respectable have, predictably, gone nuts spewing racist hate. For instance, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi asserted that Trump’s compromise framework was part of his sinister plan to “make America white again.” Likewise, Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post explained “How to fight Trump’s plan to whiten our immigration system.” The new conventional wisdom is that it would be racist for the American people to have any say in how much immigration they must endure.
David Brooks of The New York Times at least offers an argument for why he supports ethnic swamping besides just the usual “White Americans, I hate you”:
Every few years I try to write a column staking out a reasonable middle ground on immigration…. The case for restricting immigration seems superficially plausible.
For example, there are 7 billion non-Americans in the world. So if America didn’t restrict immigration, over one hundred million immigrants would quickly pour into our country. They’d keep coming until life in America became about as cruddy as in their home countries.
But that doesn’t occur to Brooks. Much as he tries, David just can’t find any good reason to restrict immigration:
And every few years I fail. That’s because when you wade into the evidence you find that the case for restricting immigration is pathetically weak.
As proof, David recommends you drive through economically depressed parts of America:
If you start in rural New England and drive down into Appalachia or across into the Upper Midwest you will be driving through county after county with few immigrants. These rural places are often 95 percent white…. They are often marked by economic stagnation, social isolation, family breakdown and high opioid addiction.
* How many pundits have made this same argument as Brooks? I know William Kristol has. It betrays a shocking lack of empathy for the less fortunate, but only if they are white. Do they write about the impact of low-skilled immigrants on black wages and unemployment?
Let’s face it: what we see here is the lingering anti-Gentilism of a few highly-influential Ashkenazi Americans, which is deeply rooted in ancestral memories (false memories when it comes to Anglo-Protestant Americans) of anti-Semitism in the Old-World.
The fact that their upper-middle-class children and grandchildren are not threatened by — indeed benefit very handsomely from — free mobility of labor and capital in an economically lopsided world, needs to also be taken into account. Or do they imagine themselves immune from ordinary human self-interest as well as suppressed feelings of resentment and a schadenfreudish spirit of revenge?
One last question: will attitudes change when they realize that anti-Semitism is rife in these new immigrant groups, Hispanic and Asian alike, whose demographic explosion may undermine American popular support for the state of Israel? Probably not, but other, wiser and more prudent of their co-ethnics may rise in their stead, of which Stephen Miller is a harbinger. Let us hope this is true.
* Also daily reminder that the man who says ‘ethnostates don’t work’ has a son who served in the Israeli army and exactly zero serving in the highly diverse US army who seem to do the lions share of the fighting in the wars he endlessly proposes.
* Interestingly, a lot of his commenters — who aren’t exactly iSteve types — immediately noticed that Brooks’ column can be read as an unstated but implied attack on black Americans.
* When Brooks started comparing immigrants to native-born Americans, my iSteve training immediately led me to ask the question (unaddressed by Brooks, naturally): “What’s hidden in that general population term ‘native Americans’?”
The answer, which John Derbyshire has shown in other contexts (notably America’s international ranking in student test scores) is that when you disaggregate the general set of natives into particular racial/ethnic groups, you see a very different picture. Brooks certainly knows this; he’s not a stupid writer, nor ignorant of the arguments advanced by Steve and Derb, among others.
One rationale for his having written such an idiotic column is that Brooks is indeed making a coded (and therefore cowardly) disavowal of American blacks, the way Charles Murray’s recent book (which he pointedly sites) was a veiled critique of black social dysfunction (with its implication that if disorder is this bad among lower class whites, imagine how much worse it must be among blacks).
On the other hand, that’s probably too generous an assessment of the column. The truth is, in the circle he now frequents, any realist subtext will go unnoticed, the PC pretext will be applauded, and it’s just another payday for Brooks. He can rest in the certainty that he’ll never, ever be asked to justify himself in public on these matters.