What the GOP Debate About Immigration Looked Like in 1980


Some more Reagan nostalgia for you:

Link via the Twitter feed of Jesse Walker, who notes: "The past is a different planet."

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  1. Hey Repub candidates: You want claim to be like Reagan? There it is. Be just like that. I’m waiting for some guts to stand up and take that position.

  2. If Reagan were alive today, everyone would be calling him a RINO.

    What I find so fascinating about that clip is how congenial they are with each other in comparison with debates today.

    1. “… the gentleasshole from the shitty state of …”

  3. SOmebody should play that Reagan clip for Sean Hannity.

  4. Can’t watch it, but I can guess at its contents, and I think everyone should do their part to share this with Republicans.

  5. Neither Team Red nor Team Blue has any core principles. They both set their talking points based upon whatever is making the general population nervous at any given time. Of course, they both work really hard to make the general population nervous about some particular topic to use that topic as a bludgeon against the other team.

    HW apparently was generaly proud of all of his grand kids including “the little brown ones”. Shocking how personal contact with “others” can make a person more tolerant (but not always — it occasionally goes the other way).

    1. In some sense the Teams may be “working” to make people nervous, but I get a general sense that at least when it comes to many of those topics, the leadership is trying to calm people down more than stir them up. There just seems to be a persistent rumbling of nervousness coming from populations in general. This can’t be explained by the existence of a few rabble rousers.

      Right now I think that if it were not for politics and politicians, there would be literal fighting in the streets, and that what we see instead is a relative channeling of this tendency into greater coherence and less violence. This does mean they have to pick out certain scapegoats from time to time, but I’m afraid that if they didn’t, you’d just see chaotic lashing out by vast numbers against just about everybody, because, dammit, somebody must be responsible for this not being a perfect world, and I think it’s the 100 people nearest me!

      1. if it were not for politics and politicians, there would be literal fighting in the streets

        Of course! If these heathen were actually allowed to think for themselves, rather than be ruled governed by their betters, then they’d obviously turn to anarchic violence.

        The political class. Always thinking of others.


  6. Holy shit! Lovin’ it! Go Pappy B and Ronnie! Open Borders Repubs – wooo hooo!

    Oh, wait – one’s dead and the other’s out of politics. Never mind…

  7. 9/11 changed everything, Matt. When you have kids, you’ll understand.

  8. Right. Because nothing has changed at all in the US re: immigration since 1980.

    Private property shouldn’t have borders, either. Anyone has a right to occupy any parcel of land it sees fit, right?

    1. Individual rights: Unlimited except that they can’t violate the rights of other individuals.

      Legitimate government powers: Extremely limited, specific, and enumerated — and they too can’t violate the rights of individuals.

      Why do you persist in thinking that private property and sovereign dominion are even close to the same thing?

    2. In the words of the gipper: there you go again.

      Private property rights are not analogous to sovereign dominion.

      1. Can the government own ANY property?

        Can I be liable, either legally or morally, for property which I do not own?

        1. “Can the government own ANY property?”

          What?! Try jumping the fence at the White House and find out for yourself.

          “Can I be liable, either legally or morally, for property which I do not own?”

          Legally, no. Morally, well, that’s up to you and your personal moral code.

        2. The proper analogy would be a condo. We all live in the same complex, but it’s none of your business who I decide to invite over.

          Can government own property? Sure, legally they can, but we should never confuse individual rights with the ‘right’s’ of government. Remember, government do not have rights, only individuals do.

          1. Ok, we agree that government can own property. I personally see this as individual property rights expressed collectively, not unlike corporate ownership of property.

            My point is I don’t understand the idea that “public lands” are not property. Corporate property is simply a legal definition of a group of individuals rights to property. Why is government ownership different? If the government doesn’t own the land, who does? No one?

            1. I think you make a ‘respectable’ point, but it’s one I disagree with completely. People join a corporation on a purely voluntary basis. Try giving up US citizenship.

              My views on immigration is based purely on the idea of individual rights. You do not have a right to tell me who I can and cannot associate with and where and where I cannot move to. Now it’s true, the US government does dictate both to a certain extent (though I don’t see where that authority is given to it in the constitution), but that constitutes an infringement on individual rights, not an assertion of some government right.

      2. Agreed. Now go sneak illegally into Mexico and report back to us on how they deal with this situation.

        1. Talk about childish. You’re the one actually suggesting we be more like Mexico, not me

  9. Reagan did amnisty. And that bought him exactly nothing with Mexican voters. Imagine an alternative histroy where say 40 percent of the Mexican vote went Republican after the 1986 Amnisty. Things would be completely different. The pro borders people would have never been able to take over the Republican party. But the Mexicans didn’t do that. They cared more about getting big government than putting their vote in play. So fuck em. They are not ever going to get amnisty now. Neither party cares about their vote because they don’t think it is in play.

    1. reagan said amnesty was the decent thing to do regardless of voting

    2. And a greater percentage of Republicans voted for the 1960s Civil Rights Acts than did Democrats. But the left incessantly calls the Republicans racists. The facts don’t matter; the important thing is to instill the narrative.

  10. Again: I ask….

    When will Reason allow “open borders” regarding blog posting on Hit and Run?

    1. Keep asking, cause it only makes you look ignant about how private property rights work.

  11. For all his mistakes, Reagan would still be spinning in his grave at space-time-distorting velocities if he could just see some of the fuckheads that have power in this country today.

  12. You don’t have to go that far back. In 2007, Bush 43 pushed for exactly what they’re talking about. The bill couldn’t even get out of the Democratic Senate, with about a third of Dem senators voting to block it. This is a case where it’s about what voters want, from both parties.

  13. I’m not a Republican and I’m not really sure about this, but this doesn’t sound much different than what I hear from the right wing of today to me. I didn’t see anything in this clip that was akin to “open borders”, it was about reforming the immigration system.

    That said, in 1980, the US population was 229m, and today it is 308m, so nearly 100m more people. And since much of our manufacturing base has moved to – wait for it – Mexico, I’d have to at least explore the consideration that the utility of a more open immigration policy is different today than it was 30 years ago. Not to mention the huge increase in social “entitlement” programs.

    The questions in 2011 are, 1. do we need to import large numbers of workers, and 2. can we afford them. This isnt 1980 anymore so get over it.

    1. 1) Need is irrelevant to liberty.

      2) There’s no “we” in that sense in a free society. The only reason that’s even a concern is because of the welfare state.

      1. “1) Need is irrelevant to liberty.”

        The role of a government isn’t to ensure liberty for all citizens of the world. Just for it’s own.

        “2) There’s no “we” in that sense in a free society.”

        Hmmm… “We The People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union..”

      2. Irrelevant? You get only as much liberty as other people let you have, so if they don’t think you need it, you don’t get it. I think what he’s saying is not that liberty isn’t just as good a thing now as it was then, just that people don’t desire it as much now as then.

    2. “The questions in 2011 are, 1. do we need to import large numbers of workers, and 2. can we afford them. This isnt 1980 anymore so get over it.”

      Do you ask these questions as they relate to goods and services? Essentially you’re argument is, “fuck free trade, do we really need more imports?”

      1. ‘Do you ask these questions as they relate to goods and services? Essentially you’re argument is, “fuck free trade, do we really need more imports?”‘

        I suppose if we are equivocating human beings with goods and services, you may have a point. Personally I don’t view people as chattel.

        1. Hmmm…

          “The questions in 2011 are, 1. do we need to import large numbers of CHATTEL, and 2. can we afford them. This isnt 1980 anymore so get over it.”

          Apparently you do see humans as chattel. I do not. OTOH, in terms of economics, LABOR is absolutely equivocal to goods and services.

          1. MWG – nice try. But I’m not playing your childish games. Good day, sir.

            1. Childish is appealing to emotion with the suggestion that I view people as chattel with comments like, “Personally I don’t view people as chattel.” Discussing basic economics and the free movement of labor? No so much.

              1. I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR!

        2. That’s funny, usually that sort of point is used to justify treating people *better* than objects.

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