Did you know that a Presidential candidate surprised everyone by going to Mexico and wishing their people well? Not only that, he came back to our country and gave a speech that did not pander to Mexican immigrants, but rather laid out in clear and concise terms that coming into the United States illegally is something that will not be tolerated in a future administration headed by this candidate and that the United States has a duty to his current citizens first and foremost and needs to design immigration policy with their needs in mind.
Now, whether Donald Trump, the candidate in question, follows through on these promises if he were to become President; I do think two important points should be made and this is a great time to make them. I am not the first to note the first point, but it bears repeating again and again – a hard line stance on immigration does not mean you bear any ill will toward individual immigrants and/or the countries they hail from. As Steve Sailer recently put it:
Via Frontpage Magazine, here is the opening from Trump’s August 31st immigration speech in Phoenix:I’ve just landed having returned from a very important and special meeting with the President of Mexico, a man I like and respect very much. And a man who truly loves his country, Mexico.
And, by the way, just like I am a man who loves my country, the United States.
We agree on the importance of ending the illegal flow of drugs, cash, guns, and people across our border, and to put the cartels out of business.
We also discussed the great contributions of Mexican-American citizens to our two countries, my love for the people of Mexico, and the leadership and friendship between Mexico and the United States. It was a thoughtful and substantive conversation and it will go on for awhile. And, in the end we’re all going to win. Both countries, we’re all going to win.
Trump’s Mexico trip was a huge PR triumph simply because the Establishment’s theory that Immigration Restriction = Hate is so low-brow, childish, and hate-driven. Simply by wishing Mexicans in Mexico well, Trump exposed the stupidity of the elite view.
Mark Krikorian, National Review’s immigration expert, echoed Sailer’s point in a blog post from today:
But perhaps the most encouraging part (other than the long-overdue critique of legal immigration) was the end to Mexico-bashing. Both in his successful visit with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto earlier in the day and in the prefatory comments of the Phoenix speech, Trump stressed that being pro-America doesn’t mean you’re anti-Mexico. You couldn’t really see it on TV, but Sessions and Giuliani were even wearing “Make Mexico Great Again Also” hats.
This is important for two reasons. Morally, it’s just the right thing to do. A true patriot loves his country without hating anyone else’s; even Japan and Germany, against which we fought a pitiless war, were not sown with salt after our victory, but rebuilt and befriended. It is especially important that a nationalist campaign stress this point, so as to lead its supporters away from the temptation of chauvinism.
The second reason is specific to our neighbor to the south. Mexico is the most important country in the world to us, after Canada. Nothing that happens in Ukraine or Syria or Burma or Swaziland is remotely as important to us as what happens in Mexico. As Trump said at the Mexico City press conference, “A strong, prosperous, and vibrant Mexico is in the best interest of the United States.” I would go further; the continued development of Mexico into a first-world industrial democracy should be one of the top two goals of U.S. foreign policy, second only to the avoidance of nuclear war.
My second point, which is related to the first point, is that I think a world with strong borders and individually flourishing countries is a world that cultivates and nourishes diversity of human populations better than the opposite (chaotic borders and multi-ethnic empires.) For example, a strong Japan that guards its borders and restricts immigration will be a unique Japan – if you value Japanese culture, heritage and history then why would you want to see Japan overrun with foreigners, changing the essence of what Japan is (rather than Japan changing over time organically, like any culture changes.) Likewise, why are the Kurdish people viewed so tragically in the West? Because they have not had a country of their own, they’ve been at the mercy of others to protect them (or worse, do them great harm) and have suffered indignities over the years just to try and preserve their culture and history (e.g. fighting the Turkish state to teach their children in school using their own language.) The Kurds with their own borders are a people who can control their own destiny and protect their own heritage – and suddenly outsiders can come visit (or not, if rugged mountains aren’t your thing) and enjoy Kurdish culture in the same way they would visit Poland or Portugal or Peru – to enjoy the culture, the history, and the sites of those respective countries.
One closing comment on these two points – is America somehow immune from this need for borders because the American idea embraces racial/ethnic groups from around the world? I would say no – I have discussed in the past that while I think it is true that we are exceptional in many respects from other countries because immigrants from around the world have come here, assimilated, and become quintessential Americans (in greater numbers than most countries); I also think we owe a debt to our Anglo ancestors who settled this country and for the most part were the ones who created our institutions and unique (for the time) system of government. Assimilation and integration into our ways of life matter and I think we cannot ignore the challenges or difficulties of assimilating people that come from cultures that are significantly different from England or more broadly, Western Europe. As Pat Buchanan so memorably said many years ago:
“If we had to take a million immigrants in, say Zulus, next year, or Englishmen, and put them up in Virginia, what group would be easier to assimilate and would cause less problems for the people of Virginia?”