But there was peace in their hearts.
They were filled with the fearlessness of those who have lost everything, the fearlessness which is not easy to come by but which endures.
— Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The First Circle (P. 579)
I don’t care if he’s
unfashionable, I continue to be impressed by the great Russian novelist
Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I opened my 14,000-word 1992 Time To Rethink
cover story in the pre-purge
National Review with a
disguised homage to his novel about Stalin’s Gulag,
The First Circle.
(This article just had a huge spike in traffic, thanks to a generous column by
Ann Coulter.) I often close my speeches—for example, here and here—with his
powerful Nobel Prize address evocation of the absolute value of nations (“The
disappearance of nations would impoverish us no less then if all men had become
alike with one personality, one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind…” So
On May 25, despite heroic
resistance from patriots like Jeff Sessions (R.-AL), the U.S. Senate passed
S.2611—which should properly be called the Kennedy-Bush Amnesty/ Immigration
Acceleration bill, since it is fundamentally a Democratic measure, supported by
only a minority of Republicans, made possible solely by the fanatical support
of the Bush White House. Among many other awful things, including amnesty, this
disgusting special-interest feeding frenzy will
at least double legal
immigration from its current unprecedented highs. It is a further, giant
step towards abolishing
Now that Congress has
returned after the Memorial Day recess, Kennedy-Bush, or some poisonous part of
it, may well pass the House and become law. The moral of recent immigration
legislation history is that
Judging from VDARE.COM’s
huge email traffic, the controversy over the Senate’s sell-out has for the
first time alerted many ordinary Americans to what is being done to their
country and to their children’s future. They have fought hard to prevent it.
They may very well be shocked and dismayed if it goes through.
But, as a scarred veteran of the struggle for patriotic immigration reform, I am not. It has been obvious for some time that this will be a long and terrible war. So to these new patriotic reformers, and to my fellow scarred veterans in the struggle, I offer another passage from Solzhenitsyn, which forms the epigraph to this article.
It comes at the end of
Maybe nobody is going to die
if Kennedy-Bush becomes law—apart, of course, from the steady but unpublicized
toll from drunk driving, crime, disease, financial ruin and so on—although ever
more American communities will be debauched and destroyed. (Think
They had already lost
everything. By the late 1990s, they were effectively excluded from the mass
media and, especially after the disaster of the Bush clan’s recapture of the
Republican Party in 2000, from all political expression. They were treated with
a radical contempt virtually unique in the otherwise relatively collegial and
difference-splitting political culture of American democracy. They had nowhere
to go but up.
And, amid the lies and hysteria that invariably accompany any immigration-enthusiast assault on America, there is clear evidence that immigration reform patriots are indeed going up—and that they will continue to go up, until ultimately they and their cause prevail.
As we’ve said before on VDARE.COM, it took thirty years for Americans to cut off the last (1880-1920) Great Wave of immigration. By that measure, however unlikely it may now appear, in two or three election cycles the next cut-off will be here.
The Goldwater Effect
After a trauma like a stroke, the human brain is galvanized to rewire itself around the damaged area. Political trauma has a similar effect. The paradoxical result of Barry Goldwater’s disastrous defeat in 1964 was that it left the American conservative movement with its own independent rapidly-developing networks and institutions. These eventually enabled it to elect Ronald Reagan and solve an earlier generation of problems, bypassing an equally arrogant, ignorant and intransigent political Establishment.
Exactly the same process has been underway among immigration reform patriots. The immense difference between immigration reform in 2006 and ten years earlier is that, then, backroom Republican traitors like Sen. Spencer Abraham could sabotage the Smith-Simpson immigration bill, which embodied the reduction proposals of the Jordan Commission, and be protected by Wall Street Journal Op Ed page propaganda. Now there is a critical mass of organizations with websites willing to expose such perfidy in devastating detail and radio talkshows willing to publicize it. These organizations have evolved different specialties and are, generally speaking, as collegial as can be humanly expected. It all reminds me very much of the conservative movement when I first immigrated into it in 1970.
Of course, the MSM remains pretty much a desert—but increasingly irrelevant, thanks to the internet. And even here, individuals like the Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson, Slate’s Mickey Kaus, and above all CNN’s Lou Dobbs have begun to speak up, albeit sometimes uncertainly. Additionally, the Washington Times’ Jerry Seper and Stephen Dinan now provide real news coverage.
The most recent and surprising (to me) development: politicians— politicians!—have begin to speak up too, with what looks like an almost Solzhenitsynian fearlessness.
VDARE.COM has written
frequently about the heroism of Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-CO) who has deservedly
become a national figure on the immigration issue. But there are others: it
would be hard to match the vitriol of the press release with which Rep. Charlie
Norwood (R.-GA) greeted the Senate sell-out. I’m particularly taken with the
explanation for his vote against Kennedy-Bush offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley,
the popular veteran Republican Senator from
I voted for amnesty in 1986 when we had a 1 million illegal immigrant problem. [It turned out to be 3 million—hint!] Now we have a 12 million illegal immigrant problem. Amnesty didn’t work in 1986 and I don’t think it’s going to work in 2006.
(In other words, legislators
learn from experience—bad news for immigration enthusiasts.) And then
there’s this conclusion to his savage
Washington Times Op-Ed (
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
“Insanity”? Rohrabacher is talking about his own party’s White House here (G.W. Bush, current proprietor).
How’s that for “fearlessness”?
The Gathering Storm
One of the recent rituals of
the immigration debate has been loud post-election proclamations by MSM
immigration enthusiast commentators that immigration is not working as an
electoral issue. This is disingenuous, as usual. It suppresses the fact that
immigration has produced two of the most stunning electoral upheavals of modern
But what it also reflects, of course, is that these commentators have no understanding of nascent political movements—either because they only got into politics after the American conservative movement was in power (and, perhaps not coincidentally, able to reward supporters) or because they were actually Democrats at the time, like the neoconservatives. (Or even, in the case of the agile David Brooks , now token conservative columnist for New York Times where he is pro-immigration, natch—a socialist.)
The immigration issue has been gathering over American politics like an immense thundercloud. At first, you get lightning flashes—noble individuals who run as token protest candidates, like our Joe Guzzardi in the 2003 California gubernatorial race. Then you get thunder—contested primaries. Then you get isolated raindrops —captured nominations. Then, you get flurries of raindrops—election victories. Then the storm breaks—the movement comes to power.
It takes time. But you get to recognize the signs.
One sign right now is the absolutely extraordinary difficulty that President Bush has had (and may still have) in getting his amnesty passed.
Other scattered signs—for those who have eyes:
● Arch immigration enthusiast Utah Republican congressman Chris Cannon, whose costly defeat of an immigration reform primary challenger in 2004 was greeted with the usual triumphalist braying, faces an even more serious challenge this year. He may well lose—but the real point is that the trend is unmistakable.
● In California, a special congressional election June 6 is a head-to-head clash between an immigration critic, former congressman and FAIR lobbyist Brian Bilbray, and a pro-immigration Democrat. Showing a fine sense of party loyalty, Sen. John McCain has reneged on a commitment to appear at a fund-raiser for Bilbray. Once again, the trend is clear. Of course, we already know from experience what will happen after these races. If the immigration reformers lose, there will be great MSM—and WSJ—trumpeting. If they win, they will be instantly blanked out, like Propositions 187 and 200.
● Washington State Republican convention delegates voted over the Memorial Day weekend to call for the revocation of the notorious “anchor-baby” interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Party leaders, needless to say, are panicking.
● Nebraska Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Osborne, a legendary state football hero, lost the gubernatorial primary earlier this month because of his support for in-state college tuition rates for illegals.
● Also in
● In Herndon, Virginia, the mayor and five town councilors were replaced on May 2 by voters enraged at their complacency about illegal immigrants, which included sponsoring a day labor site.
● In Texas, there is now
reportedly “no overlap between the Texas GOP and Bush on immigration.” Their
state party platform calls for “suspension of automatic
These signs will appear with increasing frequency and intensifying urgency. But whether the political Establishment chooses to recognize them is another matter.
On the immigration issue, the American elite has reacted with a bipartisan intransigence exceptional in democratic politics. The astonishing spectacle of a seriously unpopular President expending the last of his political capital to impose a policy that alienates his own base and dooms his party to ever-worsening minority status is merely the latest example of this phenomenon. There are several reasons for this bizarre behavior, but the consequence is the same: no evasive action in the face of the gathering storm.
As a result, in the end the
current party system may just be swept away. This doesn’t happen often in
American politics, but it does happen. Significantly, it was immigration (from
You didn’t hear it here first. (Well, I did discuss it in Alien Nation, pp. 199-201.) Recently, a variety of well-known names have been quietly speculating that something of the sort may be in the wind: veteran Reagan operative Lynn Nofziger, shortly before his death (scroll down to May 19, 2005 entry); Richard Viguerie, whose direct-mail operations played a key role in the Reaganite capture of the Republican Party; David Frum, despite being author of the cheerleading Bush biography The Right Man; Peggy Noonan, despite being a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed columnist (although that must certainly give her first-hand familiarity with the problem).
It’s hard for people to
believe that the political parties they grew up with could ever disappear. All
I can say is: I’ve seen it before, in
In 1986, I finished my (also much-denounced) book on Canadian politics, The Patriot Game: Canada and the Canadian Question Revisited, by predicting that two new federal parties would appear: one Western-based, English-speaking, conservative; the other Quebec-based, French-speaking, separatist.
It took a few election cycles. But Stephen Harper is now Prime Minister in a minority government and the Bloc Quebecois holds the balance of power in Parliament.
No doubt my check (cheque in Canadian) is in the mail.
Political parties are
distressing in their habits. But they appear to be necessary to run democratic
government. Replacing them is a pain in the neck—and very awkward for
individuals with careers invested in them, including many old friends from my
days on the Senate staff. But in
And more important things than political parties will be hurt. The whole American political concordat as it had evolved by the second half of the twentieth century is beginning to unravel.
I can see this in microcosm in editing VDARE.COM. We are a coalition. Many of our strongest articles are by patriotic American Catholics articulately appalled by much of their hierarchy’s relentless support for immigration. But I increasingly get equally articulate articles from non-Catholic readers who have simply decided, on the basis of the bishops’ behavior, that the Catholic Church is a Bad Thing and, in particular, incompatible with the survival of the American nation-state.
In effect, the post-1965 immigration disaster, and the bishops’ foolish response to it, threatens to revive a controversy about the Catholic Church in America that had been dormant since the days of Nation editor Paul Blanshard’s 1949 best-selling polemic American Freedom and Catholic Power and John F. Kennedy’s celebrated 1960 speech to Protestant ministers in Houston, which was in many ways an answer. American Catholics may face the prospect of being forced by their bishops to chose between their country and their faith. Americans who are not Catholics face the prospect of losing not just their country but their friends.
Even darker is the issue raised by Larry Auster, author of the seminal The Path to National Suicide. Brooding on his View From the Right blog over the 11-0 vote of Jewish Senators for Kennedy-Bush and assorted other current Jewish open-borders manifestations, he asked recently:
As a descendant of Eastern Europe Jews, I never would have
imagined that to be descended from immigrants requires a person to have more
allegiance to future prospective immigrants than to
I say that this is a legitimate point
to make to the open-borders Jews and Catholics. ‘Was this part of the deal when
your grandparents were admitted into
Auster, with his celebrated cheeriness, thinks that this might “shock at least some of them into realizing how offensive their position is to other Americans, and they would shut up.” I think it would provoke foaming rage.
Still—so what? As I said, this is shaping up to be a long and terrible war. But a hard core of immigration patriots is forming that does not fear it. And the blame for it falls squarely on the heads of the immigration enthusiasts.
The Fundamental Contradiction
of Increasing Immigration
In a 1997 Wall Street Journal column propagating an early version of the myth that Proposition 187 hurt Republicans in California—the exact reverse of the truth—Paul Gigot, in his role as mouthpiece for Editor Bob Bartley, took the opportunity to decree to the conservative peasantry that the immigration debate was now officially concluded. And the immigration enthusiasts had won—so shut up.
…the crusade by a few
columnists and British expatriates to turn the GOP into an anti-immigrant party
seems to have failed. Immigrant-bashing has proven to be lousy American
politics. When even
Nine years later, in an amusing case of failing upwards, Gigot has succeeded Bartley—but the immigration debate, far from being “over,” has become so incandescent that, for example, his own star columnist now thinks that the failure of the Republican elite a.k.a. the Wall Street Journal Edit Page to respond appropriately could destroy the party. (See Peggy Noonan, above.)
At the time, Gigot’s bullying bluster got my attention because I had private knowledge that Bill Buckley had just fired one of those pesky “British expatriates,” John O’Sullivan, as editor of National Review—apparently because of this sort of pressure. (It was announced the following January with the typically effeminate Buckleyesque dissimulation that O’Sullivan was “resigning to write a book.”) I suspected, rightly, that this meant the elimination of National Review’s brief resistance to Establishment immigration enthusiasm—and of another “British expatriate” writing for National Review: moi.
But I never worried about the immigration debate being “over.” This was always obviously absurd. Almost unique in public policy, immigration enthusiasm contains within itself what Marxists used to call a “fundamental contradiction.” The reason goes to the point that Enoch Powell, who increasingly must be judged the greatest British political leader of modern times, made in his prophetic 1968 immigration speech: “Numbers are of the essence.” By increasing the number of immigrants, the enthusiasts increase the number of problems—their problems.
At VDARE.COM, we exist to provide journalism on these problems because the MSM won’t. But in case anyone has forgotten, the problems include: crime; disease; destroyed schools; destroyed neighborhoods; congestion; racial friction; linguistic displacement; wage depression; welfare costs; political displacement; and, last but of course not least, the abolition of America.
I was not thrilled about my impending exile to the taiga and the tundra. But in this respect at least, I guess you could say that, as with Solzhenitsyn’s zeks, there was peace in my heart.
But not in the
But now immigration has unmistakably reached the heartland. From 1995 to 2005, the Center For Immigration Studies reports no fewer than eleven states experienced triple-digit growth in their immigrant population:
(Remember, this does not include immigrants’ U.S.-born
children.) Of course, the 1995 immigrant population base in some of these
states was quite small, so triple-digit growth was statistically easier to
achieve. But still, the absolute numbers (for example, 264,000 in
Inexorably, in these states, immigration is becoming a
political issue. I’ve already mentioned
● In Tennessee, former Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Bryant is campaigning on the issue in his quest to succeed Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Bryant, a former federal prosecutor, has told reporters: ”The three biggest issues I’m hearing about is immigration three times.”
● In Kansas (up 75.9 percent), Representative Jim Ryun said
when he filed for re-election June 2 that “The Number One and Number Two issues
are immigration and immigration.” [“Ryun says immigration is No. 1 issue,” by
● In Wisconsin [up 70.7 percent], Senator Russ Feingold,
fresh from his vote for Kennedy-Bush, faced such indignant constituents at a
June 3 town hall meeting that he was forced to admit “Sure, it isn’t perfect.”
[“Immigration dominates Buchanan listening session with Feingold,” By Keith
A few days ago, I asked a
congressional aide what would happen if some version of Kennedy-Bush passes.
He reacted with horror. “It would be the end
Of course, it would indeed eventually be the end of
Perhaps a new party would be the first sign that this
process is getting underway. Perhaps, as some VDARE.COM writers have
speculated, this party will be organized along “citizenist” lines; perhaps it
will be more explicitly white nationalist, an inevitable and unimpeachable
response to the ethnocentrism of its immigration-imported competitors. Maybe it
will seek a geographic expression—a
Or maybe, in a great convulsive effort, the American nation will regain possession of the territory and institutions that it was induced, in a process that merits detailed investigation, to surrender after 1965.
To paraphrase Winston
Churchill’s speech at a not dissimilar moment of peril in British history:
Rejoice! It can all
be Reversed by Legislation
The Lord giveth, an earlier generation of Americans was frequently reminded, and the Lord taketh away.
Similarly, in respect of immigration, Congress gives and can take away. The sheer power of determined government to reshape social reality is easily forgotten by a generation that has only seen government paralyzed by immigration—if not positively working for the other side.
To see what it really means to have a determined
government, compare this bracing account of the Israeli border fence with the
wimpy mini-wall Congress may or may not get around to authorizing: [Israeli
advice on the Mexico fence: be ruthless, by Shmuel Rosner,
23 2006]. (“It can work, the expert says and other Israeli know-hows agree.
Don’t buy the argument of liberal opponents who say ‘no fence can stop people
from coming.’ If done in a proper way, the fence can work. It can achieve
whatever goal the
In fact, it would not even take legislation to start
significant portions of
The steps necessary to
● Shut off the illegal immigrant faucet with a border fence, effective visa controls.
● Clean up the mess caused by the illegal alien presence by: selective summary deportation (as outlined by VDARE.COM’s whistleblower Juan Mann, repeatedly); revived workplace enforcement; punishment of illegals’ employers through fines and tort action; ending of subsidies to illegals through federal and state programs, mandated hospital care, public education, eligibility for Affirmative Action programs etc.; repeal of the anchor baby interpretation of the 14th amendment; taxing illegal presence through imposts on remittances etc.; jail (Guantanamo?) for repeat offenders.
● Moratorium on legal immigration. Not no gross immigration but no net immigration—which would permit an inflow of 200,000 a year or so, enough to take care of hardship cases, needed skills etc. Abandon the principle of “family reunification,” which in practice has meant uncontrollable chain migration. Immigrants should be admitted on own merits.
Abolish “refugee” category.
In practice, this is simply an expedited, subsidized immigration
program for politically-favored groups. Anyway, humanitarian
aid is best given
example, the “Somali Bantu” could have been resettled in
● Quebec-style English-only legislation. It isn’t pretty but this is war. Everyone says they’re in favor of assimilation—prove it. Institutionalizing foreign languages materially disadvantages monolingual Americans. It effectively subsidizes immigrants, legal and illegal. End it.
● Make citizenship mean something. Lengthen the waiting period. End dual citizenship. The naturalization process is a farce. Wait to make sure new voters are actually Americans.
● Strip citizenship from those who have obtained it through fraud. A negative amnesty. Why not?
Note that I am deliberately
sketching out this wish list while totally ignoring the secondary question of
whether or not it is “politically possible.” These steps to redeem
I ignore the question of what’s politically possible for two reasons.
Firstly, it actually helps to know where the moon is. You can navigate by it. In other words, by looking at the ideal, we throw into sharp relief the deep, systematic problems of the real world and avoid the minutiae that is typical of so much policy discourse.
We could systematically strip citizenship from those who obtained it fraudulently. Isn’t that nice to know?
Secondly, the plain fact is that no one really has the faintest idea what is politically possible. Least of all the professional politicians. They appear to have been designed by evolution to snuffle along like blind shrews, following their exquisitely sensitive snouts for one day to the next, reacting savagely if asked about next week—let alone year—and thus able to perform 180-degree turns without rupturing their consciences.
Or even noticing. On innumerable issues—wage and price controls, welfare policy, the efficacy of military intervention overseas—the American conventional wisdom had changed out of all recognition over relatively short periods of time, without the conventionally-wise seeming to feel much need to reproach themselves for being wrong.
It can happen in immigration policy too.
Or, to put it another way:
The nightrmare will end. America will be freed from its immigration gulag.