Embrace Your Immigration Ad, Dr. Paul

Ilana Mercer, January 11, 2008

In the kind of obfuscation we’ve come to expect from the establishment media, the Washington Times reported—and then retracted—that Mike Huckabee intended to repeal birthright citizenship. This, the Washington Times characterized as “a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced.”

It so happened that the newspaper was wrong. Huckabee had decided against hijacking Rep. Ron Paul’s plank to restore the original intent of the framers of the 14th Amendment. Even so, the Washington Times’ addled reporter ought to have credited Rep. Paul for this major initiative, despite the fact that he does not consider Paul a “major presidential candidate.” As disconcerting as it is, declining journalistic integrity is not the soul of our subject today; Ron Paul is. And when a candidate fails to tout his first-rate ideas—abolishing birthright citizenship, in this case—he may just be inadvertently inviting the ideologically impoverished to appropriate them.

When it comes to illegal immigration, Dr. Paul has a leg up—his is one of the best programs. Duly, the Paul campaign came up with this hard-hitting advertisement. In its report about the contretemps the ad generated, WorldNetDaily quoted some loud, loose and louche (mostly marginal) libertarians. WorldNetDaily would have done better to concentrate exclusively on Paul’s peaceful proposals to encourage attrition among illegal aliens—under a Paul administration there will be no amnesty, nor welfare benefits and birthright citizenship. 

You know Rep. Paul has scored a major moral coup when among those chastising him for his stand on illegal immigration is the author of a semi-pornographic tract, complete with a request for funds for the legal defense of an illegal alien. Yes, the prudish, proper Paul is being scolded by a “gentleman” who thinks nothing of exploiting his editorial position on a prominent forum to raise money for a Moroccan, homosexual, burlesque queen, whose résumé includes “exploits in the gay underground of the Arabic world.”

It appears that from the fact that Rep. Paul celebrates the free, unfettered movement of goods across borders—trade—Paul’s detractors have “deduced” that he must also rejoice in the free flow of people across our borders. This is so because these anarchists confuse desires with rights—they believe that preventing anyone from studying or settling in the US is an act of savage aggression. Contrary to unfettered immigration, however, free trade is a positive-sum game; it is always invited, consensual and hence mutually beneficial to the parties involved.

As a man of the classical liberal, unquestionably American, Old Right, Rep. Paul is perfectly congruous in his defense of a sovereign America bounded by borders. It is his anarchist critics who belong to a different tradition—and who don’t make a lick of sense to sane Americans.

Not only is a highly selective immigration policy an effective, non-aggressive tactic against terrorism, it is also the perfect complement to a peaceful foreign policy. When last did neutral Switzerland launch a preemptive war? Immigration into the heavily armed and harmonious Swiss society involves a highly discriminating process. Communities across Switzerland demand that their local authorities make it so. In this way, the Swiss have ensured that their various decentralized governments discharge their constitutional duty to defend the homeland without going on the offensive.

However, positions that appeal to most normal Americans appall the libertarian foil-hat fringe. Perhaps the genial Dr. Paul did not wish to alienate this brazen, noisy bunch. Whatever were his reasons, come the Republican Debate in New Hampshire, Rep. Paul failed to own the immigration ad his campaign had released. Instead, he responded to a question concerning immigration with an answer about the national ID card, and…inflation. 

Those who’re in the intellectual trenches of the fight for liberty understand that Dr. Paul makes a solid point vis-à-vis the Fed’s promiscuous money printing and the consequent devaluation of the dollar. But it’s the wrong point to make in a timed debate aimed at specifics.

Indeed, inflation, which Rep. Paul ought to also breakdown for the voter into easily understood basics, provides a background explanation to our woes. The big picture. But what precisely are Dr. Paul’s specific prescriptions to curb illegal immigration? A reference to economic—and inflationary—policies fails to adequately answer that question. Dr. Paul’s ad, however, does the trick more than adequately.

©2008 By Ilana Mercer
January 11

CATEGORIES: Immigration, Politics & Policy, Ron Paul

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