I’ve concluded that John Edwards and Laura Ingraham are right. That may sound like a strange source of consensus — a liberal presidential candidate agreeing with a conservative radio talk show host — but bear with me.
Edwards has made his “two Americas” theme the cornerstone of his presidential campaign. He should know. A multi-millionaire former trial lawyer, Edwards lives in a mansion and sports $400 haircuts while charging in excess of $50,000 for speeches on the subject of “poverty in America” to breathless university crowds. But he assures us that he has never forgotten his meager origins and wants us to believe that he still identifies with those who have been left out of what Bill Clinton once called “life’s lottery.”
But as Ingraham points out in her book, “Shut Up and Sing — How elites from Hollywood, Politics and the Media are Subverting America,” elitism is not confined to the rich (although most are well off) or even to the liberal (even though the most misguided among us clearly lean left). Rather, elitism is more of an attitude, a state of mind, a world view.
That world view is at the heart of the cultural divide over illegal immigration. Those of us who see this issue as a clear case of amnesty for as many as 20 million illegal aliens are viewed by the elites as rubes, bigots, extremists, liars and now “nativists.”
President Bush attacked his own political base in a speech on Memorial Day. He told us that those of us who refer to the amnesty bill as an amnesty bill were “spreading fear.” I guess I have to plead guilty to that one. I am spreading fear, because there is much to fear in this monstrosity of an immigration bill he and the Congress are trying to foist upon us. And rest assured, they are not among those of us who will have to suffer the consequences of their actions.
There are, indeed, two Americas. One America lives in homes on the streets, avenues and boulevards of this country, in increasingly close proximity to Mexican street gangs, many of which are encroaching on previously nice neighborhoods. The other America lives in gated communities. They don’t even see the illegals. They hear about them on the news. They know they exist, but unless they hire them to clean their homes, they will never have contact with them.
One America watches as our teens are decimated by methamphetamines, 75% of which comes across our porous southern border and straight into our communities. The other America believes such risks are worth it to ensure a plentiful supply of cheap labor.
One America is exposed to unknown diseases every day while shopping among the illegals at Wal-Mart. The other America wouldn’t be caught dead at Wal-Mart.
One America depends on a health care system that is being crippled by a flood of illegals. The other America does not.
One America watches as an already mediocre government school system is overburdened by mandates to teach the children of people who don’t belong in our country. The other America sends their children to private schools.
Oh yes, there are indeed two Americas — the elites and the rest of us.
George W. Bush, like his father before him, will spend the rest of his life secluded in compounds, guarded by Secret Service agents. He will have little or no contact with the average person. He will personally experience few of the ill effects of his misguided attempt at immigration “reform.”
Ted Kennedy, who, along with John McCain, is the primary architect of this “reform” bill in the U.S. Senate, has lived his entire life walled off from the common men and women he claims to champion. He can expect his life to change very little.
As for the rest of us, we can anticipate the meltdown of our culture, the demise of our common language, the loss of our sovereignty and our national security, if so-called comprehensive immigration reform is approved in anything like its current form.