“Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation” -James Madison

Friday, April 21, 2006

A response to a response

This post started as a response to Deputy Mayor in the comments of my previous post on how conservatives should look at voting strategy in 2006 and 2008. DM is a friend of mine who is very intelligent and well-spoken and we argue about politics mostly from the same place but in different approaches. I am a realist; he is a Randist.

This post is not meant in any way to harm or mock DM; this is simply my response, and Haloscan said I exceeded the allowable word count for comments. And you, dear Reader, are privy to our conversation....

The original post.

Deputy Mayor's response:

Libertarians are right on immigration from a purely theoretical standpoint. Unfortunately, their view doesn't take into account reality. There are two things that stand in the way of the Libertarian immigration policy and reality. Security and welfare.

If there was no major threat from Muslim extremists, open borders would not be a so much of a security threat. (Some might argue that the 9/11 terrorists were legal. Maybe so, but why make it easier for future terrorists?)

Even if the threat of terrorism did not exist, there is another problem with open borders. The current state of our welfare system. There was a time when having immigrants come to this country was great! We had a worker shortage (as some claim we have now) and immigrants had two choices. Work when they got here or starve when they got here. Under the current semi-socialist system we currently live under, starvation is no longer an option. Now, one can come to this country and "live off the teet of society".

Fix these two problems (yeah, that's gonna happen) and I will return to the libertarian idea of open borders. Until then, build a wall.

And, for the record, I'm still all in favor of immigration. Just do it within the law. Is that so much to ask?Deputy Mayor Homepage 04.19.06 - 4:04 pm #

My response:

"Purely theoretical..."

Big deal; Communism THEORETICALLY works ideally in populations under 80,000....Socialism THEORETICALLY works for industrial societies.....Democracy THEORETICALLY works when people don't choose to vote themselves money from their neighbor's pockets.

Theoretically I should be touring the world with a band that brings together the best parts of Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Dream Theater, and Dead Can Dance in a Cirque du Bleah-style show.

Theoretically we all play nice and nobody needs any rules forced on them by anyone else, corporeal or spiritual.

Theoretically the government follows its own laws and the Constitution is the respected Law of the Land.

Theoretically All Men Are Created Equal.

Theoretically if everyone did the Ten Commandments and Golden Rule, the majority of laws on the books would be unnecessary. (Keep in mind I am in NO way religious; that's simply a pretty good set of rules that will build character sufficient to creating a good life).

Nations without borders are not nations. By extension, personal property is not definable without the external boundaries. If the national government is not allowed to set its own boundaries then it has no mandate to set personal boundaries. Ergo, no law enforcement.

If you want to be a truly theoretical libertarian under your argument, you should never lock your doors -- let people come in and do what they please, trusting that they will honor and respect your own property rights and traditions of behavior in "your" house. After all, nobody gets to tell them where they can't go, right?

"There was a time when having immigrants come to this country was great!

..."Fix these two problems (yeah, that's gonna happen) and I will return to the libertarian idea of open borders. Until then, build a wall."

There still is. You are confusing the issue -- the proponents of strenghening border security are not anti-immigration, only anti-ILLEGAL immigration.

If Juan Valdez wants to file the paperwork and come into the US legally to build my house or pick lettuce or pack meat, POWER TO HIM. He needs to learn English, have no criminal record at home or here, work toward citizenship, and choose to be an American as opposed to being a Reconquista. I want Juan to succeed and become fabulously wealthy and be the next 1st-generation success story.

Border-jumping Carlos, on the other hand, with his multiple arrests for drunk driving or assault or rape, who is only here to hang with his MS-13 pals and pick up welfare checks from his stolen SSN and use the free emergency rooms care for his various bullet/knife wounds and his anchor-babies borne by his various ho's, is *NOT* welcome and should be given no quarter. Why would the Libertarians wish to reward Carlos with free passage in and out of our home?

The current argument for letting Juan in to do Americans' dirty work is also letting Carlos in to do his own dirty work. This is a problem that require governmental intervention as well as that EEEEVIL intrusion on businesses.

Libertarianism, like all philosophies, falls short of its goals in the face of human frailty. As long as humans continue to try to get something for themselves at the cost to someone else, there will be a need for a Mommy/Daddy figure to create and enforce rules of civilized behavior. In the grownup world, that's the government. Idealism and theoretical discussions are for the ivy-league classrooms. The debates after graduation and moving out into the real world require something more flexible and less ideal, in order to generate a workable solution to a real problem.

Libertarianism is also confused with anarchism -- a libertarian is not anti-government; rather, he is for limited government. This necessarily involves some degree of intrusion on personal freedoms that in the theoretical world is not allowed.

You also undercut the theoretical nature of your own argument -- you will abandon the theoretically beautiful principle of open borders FOR NOW and build the wall, and then return to the theoretically beautiful principle of open borders once the Hard Work is done? If abandoning principle is allowed, then why even bring up the theoretical argument?

Bringing in the welfare system is a wholly different argument -- it is a separate issue that needs reform of its own, but its relevance to this issue will be moot once the proper immigration and border policy is enforced.

"Under the current semi-socialist system we currently live under, starvation is no longer an option. Now, one can come to this country and "live off the teet of society".

This is a great point, and reminds me of something else I read. Forgive the paraphrasing and lack of attribution; I'm not sure where I read this, but I'm certainly not claiming authorship:

"Hi. See over here? We have lots of work, and need people to do it cheap. Yeah, you'll make more doing this than anything you do at home. If you bring the kids, we'll teach them. If the wife has a kid born on our property within 5 minutes of arriving, the kid is a citizen. If you get a boo-boo, we'll fix it for free. You won't have to learn English or pay taxes. Now, see that border and that river? You can't cross that. If you do, you get all this other stuff. But don't cross it. Yeah, you can just step over the trickle in some points, and if we catch you we might send you back home or we might not. Don't cross that river....."

Thus is incoherent immigration policy born.

At any rate, the post was about voting strategy for conservatives, not borders/immigration policy. You have been chastised by the Master of the House for off-topic commenting.

I lock the doors of my house and decide who gets to come in. Why can't I do the same with my nation?


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