Saturday, May 25, 2013

Republicans Immigrant Dilemma

This Ann Coulter column comes soon after I blogged about a Latino Republican abandoning the party. The internal conflict in the party is intense.

Her column is full of typical false assertions and racism, with the basic point that she wants more English migrants instead of Mexican because Mexican migrants breed lazy children who go on welfare and become Democrats. That's not new for her.

What's more interesting is the conclusion, which is widely shared in the Republican Party:

The nation’s plutocrats are lined up with the Democratic Party in a short-term bid to get themselves cheap labor (subsidized by the rest of us), which will give the Democratic Party a permanent majority. If Rubio’s amnesty goes through, the Republican Party is finished.

What this suggests is that defeating immigration reform is the only way to save the Republican Party. Yet the opposite is true. The demographic ship has sailed irrespective of immigration policy. It's like my dad and I argued in our book--you cannot expect policy to control demographic realities. The country looks a certain way now. Perhaps you do not like it, but you cannot wish it away. Either you adapt or die.

And this is the crux of the party's dilemma. Part of the party says we need to adapt and attract new members. Another party of the party says we need to stay as white as possible. Both sides say their way is the only one that will save the party. So who will win in the end?

Also, I must admit I missed the memo where "small farmers" were equated with "plutocrats."


Anonymous,  2:15 PM  

Prof. Weeks,

Thanks for this always interesting blog. I am not sure if Ann Coulter is thinking about this issue or any other in terms other than its effect on her book sales or speaking engagements. I heard her on the Sean Hannity show shortly after the election saying something along the lines of "the takers now outnumber the makers--it's all over." All over except for her cottage industry peddling anger and resentment. As far as I can tell, all thinking Republicans understand that they must get reform behind them and some actually want it. Their big problem is the primary voter who is not necessarily thinking about this (or maybe anything else!) realistically and who tend towards a certain level of anxiety about these demographic changes.

Those have taken a public position against reform are either acting according to some sort of reflexive tribalism (Steve King?) or are poising themselves to claim ideological purity and say "I told you so" when some small number of immigrants inevitably commit a crime (Ted Cruz?, some of the National Review folks excepting Krikorian who is a true believer). I suspect that even some of these people secretly hope that the reform passes--they just don't want to be identified with it.

Let us hope that the sane, the humane, and the responsible ones prevail.

Greg Weeks 9:21 AM  

I hope you are right, but I think "reflexive tribalism" is very strong.

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