Posted on | February 15, 2017 | Comments Off on White People Are ‘Lazy,’ Immigrants ‘Work Hard and Really Want to Succeed’
Bill Kristol let his open-borders enthusiasm lead him into a swamp of delusion in a recent discussion with Charles Murray:
“Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in…? You can make a case that America has been great because every — I think John Adams said this — basically, if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three or four generations of hard work everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled — whatever,” Kristol said.
“Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico, who really want to work hard and really want to succeed. They really want their kids to live better lives and aren’t sort of clipping coupons or hoping that they can hang on and meanwhile grew up as spoiled kids and so forth. In that respect, I don’t know how this moment is that different from the early 20th century.”
Here is the video:
(Hat tip: Evil Blogger Lady.) Kristol is guilty of recycling a misleading liberal myth about American immigration history, where a sentimental view of past immigrants — the Irish, the Italians, etc. — is used to justify our current policy (or lack thereof). According to what we may call the Emma Lazarus School of Immigration Policy, the success of America in assimilating previous influxes of Irish and Italian and Jewish immigrants means that we can just as easily assimilate immigrants from Syria and Somalia. Unfortunately for Kristol (and for America) this is false. To the extent that the Irish, Italians and Jews are actually assimilated, this was quite a tumultuous ordeal of slums, crime, riots, treason, etc. Exactly how “assimilated” were Sacco and Vanzetti? How “assimilated” were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg? And as for the Irish, well . . . Ted Kennedy?
Go sell your misty-eyed tales about Ellis Island wherever you can find a market, but it is foolish to make nostalgia the basis of our immigration policy in the 21st century. Stop accusing Americans of bigotry because they suspect (and rightly so) that the influx of illegal immigrants is harmful to their interests. Scott Morefield cites a recent study:
51 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households. . . .
Immigrant households have much higher use of food programs (40 percent vs. 22 percent for natives) and Medicaid (42 percent vs. 23 percent). . . .
Welfare use varies among immigrant groups. Households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico (73 percent), the Caribbean (51 percent), and Africa (48 percent) have the highest overall welfare use. Those from East Asia (32 percent), Europe (26 percent), and South Asia (17 percent) have the lowest.
This is what is omitted from Kristol’s conflation of Ellis Island-era immigration with our current situation — the liberal Welfare State. The immigrant who arrived in America in 1880 or 1920 did not have a “right” to public housing, Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security, etc., because those programs did not exist at the time. In point of fact, the Democrat Party from FDR to LBJ owed its political ascendancy to its status as the party of federally funded entitlement programs which were overwhelmingly supported by the so-called “ethnics,” i.e., the Ellis Island immigrants and their descendants. It was not until the 1960s, when urban race riots and a surge in violent crime sparked “white flight” from the cities, that these white “ethnics” reconsidered their political allegiances.
You cannot have a Welfare State and open borders, too, because welfare sabotages the incentive to hard work and, as the data about welfare utilization by immigrants shows, government benefits become a redistribution program, transferring taxpayer money to foreigners. To characterize the taxpayer’s resentment of this as “racism” (as John McCain and other open-borders enthusiasts have done) is a smear that the taxpayer is not too stupid to recognize as an insult.
Finally, Mr. Kristol, can you please stop “white-shaming”?
The other day, I noticed a young feminist of Puerto Rican ancestry make some really obnoxious anti-white statement on Twitter, and it hit me that what she was actually doing was something Jeanne Kirkpatrick correctly analyzed in 1984: “They always blame America first.”
Anti-white rhetoric is a proxy for hating America. Despite all the talk of “diversity,” the majority of Americans are white. Therefore, to hurl insults at white people is a way of insulting America itself. To have a prominent conservative join in on this game, by smearing the white working class as “decadent, lazy, spoiled,” gives credence to the alt-right paranoid chatter about “white genocide” and, we might well wonder, is it really paranoia when we see so many voices uttering these anti-white sentiments even in the Republican Party?
Our nation is currently teetering on the brink of anarchy because we have too long tolerated divisive hate-mongering by the Left, which exploits ethnic resentments in a cynical identity politics hustle, telling minorities that all their problems are the fault of white people. At the same time, the poor are told to blame their problems on the rich, women are told to blame their problems on men, and gay people are told to blame their problems on heterosexuals. All of these allegedly oppressive forces — racism, sexism, homophobia, greed — are allegedly represented by the Republican Party, and embodied by the demonized villain Donald Trump, so that all of this “social justice” rhetoric adds up to a political idea so simple it can be summarized in two words: “Vote Democrat!”
Your basic problem, Mr. Kristol, is that you are an intellectual, and are guilty of over-thinking everything. Donald Trump, however grievous his faults may be, does not have this particular problem.
Our President is not a man devoted to intellectual abstractions, but is rather more like General Patton: “Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. . . . Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose.” That’s how Donald Trump thinks — maintain the strategic offensive and stop worrying about whether liberals call you a “racist” or whatever. Liberals are always going to sling those accusations at Republicans, no matter what, and if you waste time and energy defending against that stuff, you’ll lose sight of the objective, i.e., winning.
On Oct. 8, when the very worst of the accusations against Donald Trump appeared to have fatally wounded his campaign, I declared he could not possibly win, but a month later, he won anyway. And in achieving this against-all-odds victory, it might be argued, Donald Trump rescued the Republican Party from itself. For too long, Republicans have let themselves be intimidated by those who insist that it would be political suicide to attack head-on the problem of illegal immigration. Trump triumphed by ignoring those fears, and if Bill Kristol is still too attached to his pet intellectual abstractions to recognize the significance of this, well, who is it that has become decadent and lazy?
It is not “anti-immigrant” to enforce our immigration laws, nor is it “racist” to object to anti-white rhetoric, and the conservative movement needs intellectuals who can think clearly about these subjects.