3.11.2006

A Special Treat: Double Idiots

Today, we have two candidates for Idiot of the Day. An unlikely pairing, a juxtaposition if you will, of people who deserve the title "Idiot". The first is Hillary Clinton (no surprise there), and the second are the Catholic Bishops of the U.S. and Mexico. Now, I'm a Catholic, but I really think that it's a mark of objectivity when you can criticize your own, and these bishops are very much in need of criticism.
The issue that brings together these disparate elements of idiocy is illegal immigration, the rhetoric fueled hot-button that makes both Democratic and Republican lawmakers giddy with a heady combination of fear and delight; delight because they both know that they can appeal to an interest group whose support they want, and fear because they know that when they appeal to that interest group, they are going against the express opinion of a majority of the American people. Democrats hurl epithets like 'racist' and 'bigot' at Republicans who oppose posting 'Welcome' signs on our side of the border, appealing to the fear of racial minority groups predisposed to see discrimation everywhere. Meanwhile, Republicans are afraid to lose the support of business interest groups, and try to convince us that allowing illegal workers is actually good for our economy, while ignoring the troubling little fact that allowing illegals into our country to work for sub-standard wages puts a huge drain on tax-payer funded resources.
So, Hillary, speaking at a March 8th rally for illegal aliens, addressing the crowd, sys:
"You are really here on behalf of what America means, America's values, America's hopes."
Ignoring the dubious structure of that sentence, what exactly is she trying to say? That America's values and hopes are pinned on people who break our laws by their very presence in our country? That America means allowing people to enter our country, drain our resources, and work for unlivable wages, which then require them to live off welfare and the generosity of our hospital system? Gee, Hillary, so glad our country means that to you. It's not a very promising statement in terms of what she would do for our country if elected president.
Now, onto the bishops: Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, has decided that the proposed 700 miles of border wall between the US and Mexico is comparable to the Berlin Wall; "a very hostile act." The 2003 pastoral letter jointly published by the bishops of the US and Mexico, titled "Strangers no Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope", says that border protection initiatives such as adding more patrol agents and reinforcing fencing have simply driven more immigrants to more dangerous portions of the border, and caused their deaths. While they concede that thorough checks of border crossers are necessary for national security, they don't think we should be increasing security.
Aside from the problematic nature of their interference in US foreign policy (I'm Catholic, but I firmly believe that they should stick to issues of a moral nature, as this kind of political interference has never done good things for the Church), this presents us with a real conundrum. If we aren't supposed to increase border security because that would endanger the lives of the illegal immigrants, how are we supposed to perform any kind of background check? It is our country's imperative to provide for national security how we see fit, as long as no objective moral laws or human rights are violated along the way. But people do not have the right to simply move from country to country without following the process set out by the government of the country they are migrating to.
And no, I'm not a racist simply because I want our borders secured. I'm not against hispanics entering our country, I'm against anyone entering it illegally, and being permitted to stay because of lax enforcement and apathy. Maybe we should be taking another look at our current immigration laws, and changing them to allow more people to take part in the American dream, but that doesn't mean we should be allowing thousands of undocumented illegal immigrants to cross our borders, and we certainly shouldn't let the bishops, or Hillary Clinton, tell us how we ought to ensure our national security.
-The Quartermaster

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