Roger L. Simon

Living in Ideology vs. Living in Reality: Immigration Revisited

The more people live in ideology – defining themselves exclusively as liberal, conservative, anarchist, libertarian, marxist, Freudian, whatever – the less they seem to be living in reality. They see the world through their belief systems and rarely anything else. Of course each of those systems may once have had some value, indeed still have to one degree or another, but the more one is a true believer in any of them, the more the granularity of fact-based reality fades away.

The extreme example of this is someone like Ahmadinejad, when it starts to be delusional and becomes dangerous. But considerably more minor examples are all round us. When I heard Andrew Sullivan had written a book about reconnecting with “true conservatism,” I knew this was a book in which I had no interest. That its author is one who equated Christian fundamentalism with Islamofascism is highly-related and an another example of my point that the more you wallow in ideology the further you get from fact.

This of course relates to the immigration issue. Here are a few of the facts I observe. Bear with me if they seem obvious.

1. As a citizen of California, I see that my economy runs, to a significant extent, on illegal immigration, largely from Mexico, as a cheap labor force. This is also true of other parts of our country to varying degrees.

2. Mexico has always been incapable of governing itself in a rational way and taking care of its people. There is no expectation that it will in the future. So there will be continued pressure on Mexicans (and others in similar situations) to come here.

3. Many, probably most, illegal aliens are decent people who want to work hard and live normal lives.

4. Some illegal aliens are criminals.

5. Our borders are porous.

6. There are a significant number of people in the world who want to overthrow our civilization and replace it with Islamist ideology. Some of these people want harm us physically.

7. The rule of law is a necessity for a functioning democratic society.

8. Immigration is necessary to the economic health of our society.

9. Immigration is good for our national character.

Do you agree with these? Can you add more? Let’s stay with reality and then build some conclusions together. Who knows how they will track with the attempts of our Congress?