The Aliens In Your Head


Christopher Hayes profiles ophthalmologist John Tanton, the man behind anti-immigration groups Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and helps the rest of us make the connection between Mexican au pair and imminent apocalypse :

Sitting at his desk during one of our interviews, [Tanton] reaches into a drawer, withdraws an electric metronome and flicks it on. As the device pulses at 135 beats per minute, he explains that each beat is a new birth (at the 1969 rate), and each new birth requires resources: food, clothing, education. It's a trick he used when he gave talks on population in the '70s, and it's effective. His voice barely rises over the percussive onslaught, and after just 30 seconds you want to yell: "Make it stop!"

You get the sense that Tanton hears that beat inside his head all the time.

Tanton has clearly spent a lot of time crafting that mad-scientist persona and devising the sort of complex, sophisticated reforms we've come to expect from his movement. Like that really big fence.