It’s really too bad we can’t have a civil debate about anything anymore because Laura Ingraham’s observation that the “American we know and love doesn’t exist anymore” in some parts of the country is a ripe topic for serious discussion.
The Fox News host’s remarks were triggered by idiotic comments from nitwit Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Fresh off of opining on upper-middle class soccer moms (Ocasio-Cortez said “That’s not America anymore”), OC gave her dimwit views on the Democratic Party:
“A lot of these folk were in their political heyday in third-way ‘90s politics,” she said, “I think that like politically this upper-middle class is probably more moderate, but that upper-middle class does not exist anymore in America.”
She should get out of the city more often.
Ingraham acknowledged that Ocasio-Cortez was right “in a general sense,” but said she was missing the point about what’s been changing in America:
“In some parts of the country it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” Ingraham continued. “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like.
“Now much of this is related to both illegal and, in some cases, legal immigration that of course progressives love,” she added.
There was immediate outrage at Ingraham’s remarks:
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) August 9, 2018
Laura Ingraham getting straight to the white nationalist red meat tonight https://t.co/bdRGAzz6bJ
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) August 9, 2018
The swan song of white nationalism. https://t.co/a6aGFyQa6C
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) August 9, 2018
The question in my mind isn’t whether Ingraham is right. She is. The question should be: is this a good thing or a bad thing?
America has been changing demographically for 240 years. And each change that occurs has been met with howls of outrage that we were “losing” the America we know and love, or some variation of that theme. It’s puzzling because these demographic changes that we’ve managed to absorb over the centuries are, in large measure, what make America so exceptional.
Yes, some might say that these immigrants are different. They don’t speak English. They come from the s**tholes of the world. And yeah, we won’t mention it too loudly but they’re, well, browner than real Americans. They don’t want to assimilate. They don’t love America like real Americans. All they want is to leech off the welfare state, take our jobs, maybe steal our women and eat our children.
Sorry, got carried away.
There is absolutely nothing new in this lament. Something similar has appeared in newspaper editorials and been spoken by opportunistic politicians since America was founded. The difference today is that we’ve lost faith in what binds us together — both native born and legal immigrant. Despite where we came from, who our parents were, whether we were pauper or prince in the old country, what united us was a simple belief system that the lives of our children would be better than the lives of their parents.
This is where Trump and his supporters are dead wrong. A “merit based” immigration system is stupid because no one can possibly know what the children of these immigrants will become, what they will achieve. All we know from history is that the children and grandchildren of immigrants grow up loving America and become solid contributors to society at similar rates as other immigrant groups from the past. That is the magic of America. That is what makes America exceptional among all nations.
Now, getting control of our borders to counter illegal immigration is vital. And, as Ingraham points out, there used to be a bipartisan consensus that border control was essential.
“Remember the old Democrats — maybe some of them Ocasio-Cortez is referring to — they used to think that borders mattered,” she said. “But the new activists believe enforcing immigration laws is essentially an ongoing human rights violation.”
That consensus has been destroyed, which has radicalized both sides to bring us to our present sorry state.
Change, demographic or otherwise, has been a hallmark of American civilization since our founding. Not all change is bad, nor is all change good. All we know is that it will happen and alter America in ways we can’t even guess at.