Although the basic philosophy of conservatism is optimistic (a belief in the individual’s ability to succeed if left alone by government is at the core of the movement, after all), conservatives tend to be chronically depressed when it comes to politics and elections.
Not only does government seem to grow ad nauseum with each passing year (especially under Democrats or George Bush), but a healthy touch of pessimism is a natural consequence of responsibility. Imagining what can go wrong is how responsible adults plan for the future. And conservatives are, disproportionately, among the responsible part of the population—responsible for paying the taxes, fighting the wars, raising the children, and running the businesses.
So it is not surprising that conservatives have a tendency to see the worst in every political event. This means that oftentimes conservatives completely overlook when they have actually won a major victory—concentrating instead on spotting the next potential defeat. This is what has occurred regarding the battle over illegal immigration and amnesty this past year.
At the beginning of 2006, the constellations were in perfect alignment for the forces of open borders and amnesty. Ready to push for amnesty—and the next flood of illegal alien interlopers it would bring- was the mainstream media, nearly all Congressional Democrats, President Bush and Karl Rove, John McCain and much of the Senate leadership of the GOP, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page and its disciples, sellout union “leaders,” corrupt corporations, every ethnic grievance group in the country, a number of imbecile bishops, academia, the rabid moonbat left, 20 million street-storming illegal aliens, and every weenie in America afraid of being called a racist.
All amnesty opponents had going for them was the wishes of a majority of the American people and the rank-and-file Republicans in Congress. And yet amnesty was defeated in a spectacular fashion. Many conservatives, who were angry that the victory had to be achieved over the political carcasses of our own President and Senate leaders, did not appreciate the scale and significance of this victory at the time. An army that has to mutiny just to be able to fight the enemy is inherently demoralized by that fact.
Given such circumstances, it’s easy to resort to jaded and safe clichés such as “there’s no difference between the two parties.” But the simple fact is there’s a huge difference between the parties on the amnesty issue: Republicans are divided over it, with most opposing amnesty. For Democrats there is no such division—they wholeheartedly support amnesty.
H.R. 4437, the bill establishing increased border security efforts and rejecting amnesty, was supported by 203 of 231 (88%) Republicans in the House—only 17 voted against it. By contrast, only 36 Democrats (18%) voted for the bill, 164 voted against it, hoping to pass an amnesty instead. In the Senate, the only opposition to amnesty came from Republicans—60% of them opposed it. 93% of Senate Democrats supported amnesty.
That’s the choice this election presents for opponents of open borders: support the Republicans that rose up against their leadership to oppose amnesty, or support the Democrats who will gleefully pass an amnesty just as soon as they are sworn in and able.
And here’s the real kicker: booting Republicans from control of the House to punish George Bush and John McCain for their ludicrous border policies will have the ironic effect of ensuring they finally get the amnesty they want. If Democrats win big next week, the Senate will resurrect their amnesty bill, a Democrat controlled House will pass it, and there can be no doubt that President George W. Bush will sign it with far more fanfare and enthusiasm than he displayed when he signed the bill initiating construction of 700 miles of border fence—a bill that Republican Congressman forced on him in response to voter pressure.
In short, voting Democrat, or not voting at all, merely amounts to cutting off our Tancredo to spite our Bush. It would be throwing away the tremendous victory we have won this year and, worse, set in motion a tsunami of increased illegal immigration.
Today’s illegal immigration problem is a direct result of the 1986 amnesty. Far from “solving” the relatively small illegal alien problem America had then (3 million), it made the problem far, far worse by sending the message out to all the world that the secret to a better life in America was to just get here: sneak in, lie your way in, buy your way in, but just get here and we will let you stay, forgive you, and eventually make you a citizen.
And the world heard the message. Today the population of immigration criminals hiding in America waiting for the next amnesty is 12 million to 20 million. We cannot afford another such amnesty solution. The only way to undo the damage of the 1986 amnesty is to put aside talk of new amnesties or guest worker scams and begin to vigorously enforce the laws on immigration.
In the long term, illegal immigration may be the biggest threat facing the United States. Americans are only 5% of the world’s population. If the borders are thrown completely open by another amnesty, we face the very real prospect of being made a minority in what used to be our country.
If, as a voter, you are concerned about illegal immigration and border security, then a Republican Congress is currently the best insurance policy you can buy—not just against Democrats in Congress, but against the Republican in the White House as well.
The next battle for our borders occurs Tuesday, November 7, at a polling place near you. Vote. Or you can spend the day in Spanish class.