The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

American History 101: No, Emma Lazarus Did Not Write the U.S. Constitution

Posted on | September 10, 2018 | No Comments

 

How many times have you heard the “nation of immigrants” line deployed by the advocates of amnesty and open borders? How often have you seen liberals (including some Republicans) invoke the Statue of Liberty, and the famous words about the “wretched refuse,” as somehow mandating a policy of unrestricted immigration? This involves a synthetic mythology that I’ve refuted at length previously (see “About Those ‘Huddled Masses’,” April 14, 2016), and which I don’t wish to rehash here, except to reiterate something so obvious it should not be necessary to say: The poetry of Emma Lazarus does not have the force of law.

Vox Day quotes a comment by a reader of Steve Sailer’s blog:

298 years after the first English colony, Roanoke Island, was established in the current US…
276 years after the first permanent English settlement in the current US… [i.e., Jamestown, Virginia, 1607 — RSM]
107 years after the Declaration of Independence was written… [1776]
100 years after we won our independence from the United Kingdom…
95 years after the US Constitution was ratified… [1788]
88 years after the Naturalization Act of 1795 (‘naturalization is reserved for free white persons) was passed…
3 years after the 1880 Census found the US to have a population of over 50 million…
And 1 year after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act (passed in the House by a margin of 5.5 to 1, and US law for 61 years)…
Emma Lazarus comes along to tell us what the United States is *really* about. Thank God we had her instead of 298 years of law and history to draw from.

Is this point clear enough? While I don’t think any of my ancestors were FFVs (First Families of Virginia, i.e., among the original settlers of Jamestown), all of my ancestors were here when America declared its independence in 1776, and were among the “We the People” in whose name the Constitution was “ordained,” with the express purpose of securing “the blessings of liberty” to “ourselves and our posterity.”

There was no American nation prior to 1776. Until then, my ancestors had been subjects of the British crown, residing in a colonial territory. Attaining nationhood required these English colonists to fight a long war against the mightiest military power in the world, and it was not until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 that the United States of America finally had the lawful status of a sovereign nation.

That the ancestors of those earliest American citizens had come to this country from Europe as pioneer settlers, establishing a civilization in what had been a wilderness populated only by scattered tribes of savages scarcely past the Neolithic stage of development, is a fact of history. “We the People,” in ordaining a permanent form of common government between the several states, anticipated the arrival of new immigrants to our nation, empowering Congress to develop laws for the naturalization of citizens. But we were not “a nation of immigrants,” because America was not a nation until we had won our independence.

Does this need further clarification? There would not have been a nation for anyone to immigrate to, had it not been for (a) the colonial settlers, who labored more than 150 years to turn the wilderness into farms, towns and cities; and (b) the patriot army that fought the British empire to a standstill, thus making the Declaration of Independence more than just a bit of clever prose on parchment. Had it not been for (a), some other European power might have made North America its colonial possession, and had it not been for (b), we’d still be subject to Her Majesty’s royal prerogative. Leaving aside hypothetical alternatives to return to historical fact: Having obtained our status as a sovereign nation, “We the People” had the right (which we have never abjured) to establish laws regulating immigration to our nation. Various changes in our immigration policy over the past 200-plus years might be criticized in retrospect, but what is causing controversy in the here and now, in 2018, is whether our existing laws should be enforced.

There are exactly two sides in this controversy:

  1. “We the People”;
    versus
  2. Advocates of an anti-American policy who claim that somehow we have forfeited our sovereignty, and no longer have the right, as a nation, to make and enforce our own laws regarding immigration.

It is the anti-American side which, by a deceptive trick of rhetorical prestidigitation — with Emma Lazarus’s poem as their “abracadabra!” — seek to transform the Statue of Liberty from a patriotic symbol into a weapon for the subversion of our national sovereignty.

This deceptive mythology is an insult to “We the People,” an attempt to defraud us of a legacy our ancestors earned for us by their labor, and by their blood shed for our benefit. Furthermore, by hijacking the poetry of Emma Lazarus for this purpose, these subversives have unjustly (and I would hope, unwittingly) incited anti-Semitism.

Oh, yes — I know what’s up with this (((Emma Lazarus))) thing, and I don’t like it one bit. Patriotic Jews ought to be concerned for their reputation, and perhaps also for their future safety, if the American people begin to heed the anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists who exploit the unfortunate appearance that the JJOOOZZZ are determined to turn America into a corrupt Third World socialist hellhole.

Hello, George Soros?

 

How long can the American people ignore the elephant in the room? God knows, I hate even to raise this topic, but the longer intelligent, reasonable and articulate conservatives keep biting our tongues, the more opportunity there will be for Jew-haters to keep whispering about such things, to foment suspicion, until perhaps it will no longer be possible to hold back the surging floodwaters of deranged hatred.

No one can accuse me of being an anti-Semite — indeed, I’m quite the opposite — but my efforts to suppress the conspiracy theorists will be futile unless conservative and patriotic American Jews take alarm, speak out, and make it clear that they are on the side of “We the People.”

Merely wishing the problem would go away — the idiotic bipartisan pipedream of “comprehensive reform” — is not just wasted time, it’s actually hastening the oncoming Culture War crisis. It is abundantly clear, and has been since long before Trump’s stunning 2016 victory, that a majority of Americans are sick and tired of this ceaseless influx of illegal aliens. They want the laws enforced and, insofar as legislative “reform” is contemplated, they want less immigration, not more.

To label opponents of amnesty as “racists,” haphazardly throwing around accusations of ignorance and xenophobia every time someone dares to speak on behalf of enforcing our immigration laws, is to fiddle while Rome burns. It’s irresponsible, and if this open-borders propaganda campaign “succeeds” (i.e., obstructing the immigration enforcement Americans want), the ultimate consequences could be frightening.

Like I keep saying, people need to wake the hell up.



 

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