MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

My Parents Were 'Somebody Else's Babies' - And Model Americans

Steve King's nativism is wrong on all counts.

Both of my parents were "somebody else's babies."

According to Rep. Steve King, the Republican from Iowa, that means they could never really be American. In fact, King implies that people like my parents—born to Irish and Italian immigrants, in 1923 and 1927, respectively—were part of Western Civilization's decline.

You've got to wonder about King, citing a nativist Dutch politician for wisdom on American immigration policy. Doesn't he understand that, unlike America, European countries are notoriously rotten at assimilating newcomers? For decades after World War II, for instance, West Germany permitted Gastarbeiter from lesser countries such as Turkey, Italy, and Tunisia to come and clean toilets and do work Germans didn't want to do. The children of immigrants, even those born in Germany, could legally reside there but they could never become citizens (the laws eventually changed). Rooted in traditions of "blood and soil"—what King calls "culture and demographics"—most European countries had or still have some variation on what Germany had. Going way back, even before there was a United States, we had a tradition of human alchemy. In 1782, Jean de Crevecoeur—a French emigre, of all things—wrote,

What then is the American, this new man? He is either an European, or the descendant of an European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations. He is an American, who leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds.

He becomes an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world.

Crevecoeur had his limits, to be sure. He speaks only of men and he owned slaves for a time. And yet he sketched a fundamentally different way of thinking about "culture and demographics" than the one that prevailed in Europe and elsewhere. King should spend some time with Letters From an American Farmer. It's in texts such as that one that true "American Exceptionalism" was born. What is different about America isn't that we're richer or more powerful than other countries. Certainly, it's not that our gene pool is better. It's that relative to most of the rest, we let everyone in, confident that giving people space and freedom would create something special and unique.

A hundred years ago, real Americans—folks such as Teddy Roosevelt and his friend Madison Grant, the head of the Museum of Natural History in New York and the author of The Passing of the Great Race—didn't care much for the Irish and the Italians. The Immigration Act of 1917 changed who was allowed to come here and in what numbers. Building off such predecessors as The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (which did exactly what it promised), the 1917 law barred Asians completely and imposed literacy tests as a way of keeping out Europeans from undesirable nations. It set the stage for 1924 legislation that would impose quotas based on national origins. According to Grant, whose grasp of geography was every bit as shaky as he was certain about race, both the Irish and most Italians were "Mediterraneans," the lowest form of whites. The historian Geoffrey Perrett writes that by the early 20th century, after decades of heavy immigration from Europe and the rise of polyglot cities due to industrialization, WASP elites had a palpable "sense of being cornered within their own country." That sounds familiar, doesn't it? In the 1920s, as now, there was a cottage industry in defining exactly who could be a real American, an anxiety that rumbles through novels such as The Great Gatsby (1925) like the roar of the title character's death-dealing roadster. At the end of the story, the narrator, Nick Carraway, evacuates New York City, a throbbing mess of a city now populated by uppity blacks, short-lipped Italians, and gangster Jews for a place "where dwellings are still called through decades by a family's name."

"One of my most vivid memories is of coming back West from prep school and later from college at Christmas time," Nick recounts. "Are you going to the Ordways'? the Herseys'? the Schultzes'?…That's my Middle West—not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth.…I am part of that, a little solemn with the feel of those long winters, a little complacent from growing up in the Carraway house in a city where dwellings are still called through decades by a family's name.

It must have been nice to live in a world like that one, with prep schools and a fixed social order populated by people with English and Teutonic names. It's an America that none of us born since World War II have ever known and never will know, thank god.

But back to my parents: Their parents came to America during the middle 1910s, fleeing centuries of poverty, mistreatment, and World War I once they finally had a way out. They were peasants and wanted out of a continent that only needed them for menial tasks and as human fodder in horrific battles such Arras, the Marne, and the Somme. At least my Irish grandparents spoke English, which Steve King told Tucker Carlson last night expresses freedom better than any other language. My Italian grandparents never learned English for all the years they lived in America. In Waterbury, Connecticut they were able to live into the 1980s in a community that spoke Italian (that's my New England, not the village greens or Congregationalist churches or Plymouth Rock but the plastic-slip-covered Italian ghettoes of a post-industrial hellhole). Despite being from old Europe, my grandparents were model Americans. Mostly, they worked hard as hell and provided for their children under difficult circumstances (prejudice, economic depression, war). The first job my grandfather Nicola Guida had in the promised land of America was chiseling rock with a hammer and sledge somewhere in eastern Pennsylvania (he and his fellow workers were never told exactly where they were to make it harder to run away). He would be so tired that he would piss and shit himself as he slept at night, unable to get up to use the facilities.

As befits "somebody else's baby," my mother didn't speak English until she went to grammar school. Neither did her two brothers. They were "somebody else's babies" too, even when they fought for America in World War II and Korea. My father also fought in World War II, landing in France as part of the Normandy campaign and fighting his way east into Germany, serving in all the major campaigns in Western Europe. When did they all become real Americans? Was it when my Uncle John landed in Sicily, as part of a force invading the country his parents had left not 20 years before? Was it when my father took Nazi bullets in the Mosel Valley and earned a Purple Heart?

No, they became Americans long before any of that. So did my mother and my aunts. And my grandparents. It's not complicated, not dramatic, and none of it has changed in the past 60 or 70 or 80 or 200 years. They all became American when they showed up here or were born here, when they went to school, and when they started working (at 13 years old for my father and a few years later for my mother). But maybe it was only after World War II that they became fully American, when they helped birth the baby boom generation and they moved to the suburbs like everyone else and ethnic stories such as The Godfather and Portnoy's Complaint and Roots became central to our national catechism. Here's the thing about "becoming" American: It's the easiest thing in the world. You just have to live here, work here, get along here.

The Irish and the Italians, like today's Mexicans and Latin Americans, weren't particularly welcome and they brought odd customs (Catholicism first and foremost) with them. They changed the culture in superficial ways such as food and language but mostly they were formed by American institutions such as private property and economic opportunity. I swear to Christ that I've never met a purer American than my Italian grandfather, who dug basements with a pick and shovel by hand during the Depression and with whom I never had a conversation more complex than his telling me I was a good boy. He might as well have been speaking Mexican as far as I or Steve King are concerned. Today's immigration restrictionists will tell you that the essential difference between the once-hated-and-feared-subhuman Europeans from 100 years ago and now is that we now have a vast welfare state in place so we can't afford newcomers. The terrorism of the Molly Maguires or Sacco and Vanzetti was totally different than the threats posed by refugees fleeing parts of the world that we've occupied for decades now. Our economy is changing and leaving too many people behind.

But the simple fact is that today's immigrants, legal and illegal, can't and don't access much in the form of welfare and transfer payments. They cause less crime than native-born Americans and they expand the economy wherever they show up, mostly by taking jobs that Americans won't do. They learn English at the same rate as previous immigrants. These are facts and they are as true in the Muslim-plurality cities of Dearborn and Hamtramck, Michigan as they are in mostly white Iowa.

Americans are known for nothing if not optimism. It's strange then that Steve King, Donald Trump, and other restrictionists would fret so much over the decline of civilization and "somebody else's babies." If history teaches us anything, it's that countries such as Japan, which refuses to allow much in the way of immigration, is growing old and dying. The same can be said of much of Europe, too, where birth rates are below replacement levels. In America, we still have the alchemical touch of which Crevecoeur spoke even as the only reason our population is growing is because of newcomers. Within a few years of showing up, people become American and their children are too. That's not a threat to our "civilization." It's the only reason it survives.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Damn that was long!

  • Homple||

    King's twittering contained 18 words. The word count in responses to it must now be in the hundreds of thousands to millions.

    This wild-assed amplification factor leads me to believe that people are reading WAY more into King's one sentence than it actually contained.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    America is FULL. Try us back in a couple of decades.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Go fix your own countries.

  • Juice||

    Moose out front shoulda toldya.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    I once drove from Missoula to Salt Lake City through the night and saw only two other cars the whole night. So how is America full again?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So you're going to start a new town for all those immigrants to live in? You're going to get the feds to release control over a shitload of BLM land for new immigrant cities?

    Most Americans within 100 miles of the coasts. Immigrants tends to move to established immigrant communities and cities.

    Nice try on the- we have plenty of open space.. so American traffic will never get worse with the population going up. 330M is enough.

  • Delius||

    What utter horseshit. 100M was "enough" 50 years ago, and then 200M was "enough" when that threshold was crossed. In population terms, "enough" is a meaningless concept, except to people who follow it up with a a whispered "... of those kinds of people".

  • damikesc||

    We want to pursue liberty...and what BETTER way to do that than to import voters who oppose the concept thoroughly.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Not to worry.

    Our magic dirt will fix that!

  • stev333||

    As long as there are no welfare or other handouts, let them in. I am tired of paying high taxes for a bunch of illiterate 3rd word peasants to have to support. I already raised my kids and I want no more dependents

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    You are pretty damn full of yourself that you think you know how many people "should" live here. And let me guess, you know exactly which ones as well.

  • Ron||

    How long ago was that. Iv'e been on the interstate between cali and colorado and there has never a lack of cars at any time of day

  • Diane Merriam||

    I don't even know how far back it takes for me to find the immigrant ancestors. I know the earliest were only 15 years after the Mayflower. The most recent I know of were in 1850.

    It's all of you more recent immigrants that are the problem /sarc

  • Juice||

    Nah. It takes very few words to be wrong. The correction is necessarily way way longer.

  • ||

    This wild-assed amplification factor leads me to believe that people are reading WAY more into King's one sentence than it actually contained.

    King should've just written that we need to steal other countries babies in order to restore our civilization. Then the histrionics and superciliousness would've been easily understandable or justifiable.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    And excellent. Well said Nick, thank you.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Damn that was wrong!

    FTFY.

    Really wrong.

    See, Nick, your grandparents came here to become Americans. Just like mine did.

    They didn't come to be fodder for the welfare state. There WAS no welfare state.

    I only remember hearing on set of my great-grandparents speak English--but that's where they were from. The rest were dead, or spoke the languages they grew up with in their houses.

    But they were all American.

    The phrase "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies" is absolutely true. We can't. They have to be OUR babies--wherever they started from. They have to grow up to value OUR ideals, and OUr traditions and have them be as much a part of them as those that come from their families.

    And it can be done.

    We just need to find the spine to start doing it again.

  • dan'o en barrel||

    I'm dumbfounded by the failure or refusal to see the truth of this situation. King, admittedly as articulate as a severely autistic person, wasn't talking about race-- he was talking about culture. He makes the (ethnocentric but defensible) claim that western culture is superior because of the freedom and prosperity it has achieved. "Other people's babies" was a reference to people whose ideas will bar their ability to integrate.

    I think that the low EU birthrate has driven multiculturalism more than any factor-- someone is going to have to be there to pay for retirees. The mass immigration there isn't looking promising. Not because of the color or the immigrants, but because of the lack of integration. Merkel herself called multiculturalism a failure because it has resulted in the formation of parallel societies within nations.

    As Reason fan and commentariat admirer for the past ~8 years, I'm disappointed in what I consider to be a serious degradation of quality of articles and discussion.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I think that the low EU birthrate has driven multiculturalism more than any factor-- someone is going to have to be there to pay for retirees.

    Japanese aren't playing that game. Neither are the Chinese.

    As wealth further increases, I expect birth rates to increase too. People like children. People want to procreate. But increased economic insecurity, increased taxation, and women leaving home for the workplace makes having a family harder.

  • dan'o en barrel||

    I could be giving politicians way too much credit for willing to look decades ahead-- its certainly not their traditional mo. Perhaps the simplest explanation is the right one: Bring in people who will vote for you and brag about what a compassionate person you are.

    * admission that this day-late comment doesn't count and probably won't be read.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I feel great shame for being birthed by somebody else instead of slithering from the congealed ooze of civilization like Steve King.

  • junyo||

    It's a documented fact that national origin of the uterus a baby is pooped out of is the chief determiner of one's worth/lack there-of as a person.

  • stev333||

    I feel gratitude

  • wareagle||

    They were peasants and wanted out of a continent that only needed them for menial tasks and as human fodder in horrific battles such Arras, the Marne, and the Somme.

    And they wanted nothing to do with bringing those things along for the ride. Contrast to the things King refers to, no matter what you think of his phrasing. Are Europe's immigrants similarly interested in leaving behind what makes most of their native countries shitholes? How about our own? Usually, people who come here from there have no interest in making here resemble there; or least, they didn't used to want that.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Forget it Jake, It's [AMERICA]town.

  • wareagle||

    when people came from Cuba or the old Soviet states, did they bring communism with them? How about those who came from African nations ruled by one tyrant or other - did they seek to replicate that here? Cling to your ideological purity; pretend that immigration today is just like the days of Ellis Island.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So who today is attempting to remake America in the image of the countries from which they emigrated?

  • wareagle||

    nothing has changed in a hundred years, Hugh; nothing at all.

  • Calidissident||

    Do you think America was a perfect country in 1917?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Wa...was that an answer to my question? Did you not understand the question that I asked? I'm not sure I can clarify it any further.

  • wareagle||

    Hugh, if you have to ask the question, then no answer is sufficient.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    "Of course America was better in 1917. The womens were in the kitchen, where they belonged, and not fucking up the voting booth with their ideas. The negros were poor and property-less, their only danger being getting coked up and raping white women. And the gays were all hidden away in their perverted closets, out of sight and out of mind." - ye ole yokel

  • Citizen X - #6||

    All them Messicans keep comin' here and now they got a whole aisle up at the Food Lion!

  • Sam Haysom||

    Completely unserious post so emblematic of cosmatarianism. Humorously the first thing that goes in areas with excessive immigration is any devotion to libertarianism. The one drawback to America's commitment to national sovereignty and rational immigration policy.

  • Tony||

    We have to kill freedom in order to save it.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Classic projection you want to destroy classic American freedoms and supplant them with a shitty poem. Thabkfully the American people have said No Mas.

  • Tony||

    Hey racist fuckface, we don't ask people whether they support some stupid political cult before we allow them to live here. Move to North Korea if that's what you want.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Racist Calls Racist 'Racist;' No Film At 11

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Cool, i'm "emblematic of cosmatarianism" now. Wait'll i tell my folks, they'll be like "What?"

  • You're Kidding||

    Here in Cali, they have their own supermercados. The whole enchilada.

  • damikesc||

    Do Mexican immigrants make it now offensive to students in school to have American flags?

  • Ron||

    I know of a dean at a University in California who did escape communism and is still to this day a communist and he runs a University. and since he is the dean almost all of the employees are communist. I just don't get it.

  • stev333||

    They don't assimilate and just take other tax payer monies

  • You're Kidding||

    Why should we be surprised that, when we put out bird seed, the birds show up? And, the flock multiplies.

  • stev333||

    No but they didn't beat and rape women, molest little boys, have mulitple wives, commit terror attacks, demand special places to pray in airports, schools, companies.
    They were civilized

  • Tony||

    What makes their native countries shitholes might be the fact that they exist on top of deserts.

  • wareagle||

    Sure, that must be it. Couldn't possibly be anything else. Nevada is largely desert; for some reason, it does not have the same problems.

  • Tony||

    Is this where you tell me via cowardly double-talk and code words that Muslims are born with something wrong with them and they should all probably be bombed or put in camps?

  • wareagle||

    I'll tell you in simple terms that Islam is not compatible with the Western world and there are plenty of Muslims willing to demonstrate that. There are also those who are not a problem, any more than a stray communist or klansman is a problem. But no place has ever improved by a mass influx of any of those groups.

  • Tony||

    Christianity isn't compatible with the post-enlightenment western world either but they certainly have no problem throwing their fat asses around telling everyone what to do.

  • WakaWaka||

    Are you simple or something? Christianity formed the basis of Enlightenment thought. Ever hear of the School of Salmanaca? Thomas Aquinas who re-introduced philosophy and ideas like 'natural rights' into the West?

    I'm not saying that Islam is not compatible with the Enlightenment, but to pretend like Christianity was not the central spark to the Enlightenment is beyond stupid.

  • Tony||

    Christianity let monks read books while it forced everyone else to live in a state of utter ignorance and servility. So I guess congratulations to it for letting at least a few well-read people live in peace. If this is the low standard we're applying then Islam has a fine history of supporting intellectual advancement too.

    As I said above, cowardly coded bullshit that fools nobody and reads "brown people with their weird clothes make me uncomfortable." But you're no bigot because if only they dressed, talked, and behaved just like you, you'd have no problem with them, right?

  • WakaWaka||

    You are a historically ignorant, which probably explains your great love for Leftism.

    And, yes, assimilation is a good thing and that is why immigration is not a problem in the US. You and your ilks obsession with identity politics will soon take its place in the trash bin of history, where it belongs

  • stev333||

    Go to dearborn or parts of minnesota and tell us about assimilation in America - They are no go zones for cops. So most do not assimilate

  • You're Kidding||

    That's Catholiscm Tony. Not all of Christianity. You are aware of the protestant reformation?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    In Tony-land, Christianity = Catholicism circa the middle ages. Thomas Aquinas never existed, Martin Luther never existed, and the Protestant Reformation never happened (but you can bet your ass the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and all the other bad shit they got up to did).

    Also, Gutenberg never invented the printing press allowing, for the first time, for the mass publication of written works, translated into multiple languages leading to the flourishing of human literacy.

    In Tony-land, it's still ~1200 ad.

  • Tony||

    Okay so in CA land it's still 1600. What have Christians done for me lately?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    They haven't gunned you down at the office Christmas party.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    The school of Salamanca ended up blowing itself up with a little bell just to take its enemy down with it.

  • Gracchus||

    Christianity also led to the Thirty Years' War, which killed a third of the people living in Germany at the time.

  • You're Kidding||

    Retroactive birth control in a world that has grown from 2.8B population when I was born to 7.5B today is not always a bad thing.

    Just as long as I'm not among the victims. ;-)

  • wareagle||

    "telling everyone what to do" is totally like beheading and immolating those who don't. The fundies get mad about a cartoon; they don't try to burn a place down over it.

  • Tony||

    So Muslins behead people and that's why we have to refuse entry to the Muslins running away from the beheaders.

  • wareagle||

    Europe is fairly ample evidence that they're not "running away" from anything. They insist on bringing the very thing that made home a shithole along with them.

    It's interesting that you expect no better from Muslims than riots and rapes and all the rest. But it's everyone else who dislikes the brown peoples.

  • Tony||

    Maybe *this one time* treating a minority group like invading insects will be looked upon favorably by history.

  • stev333||

    Churchill new the muzzies wer scum back in the 1930s

  • You're Kidding||

    Churchill was one of the greatest western statesman that ever lived. The U.S. could sure use someone like him today.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The Western world had an enlightenment under Christianity.

    The Muslim world never has.

    And never will.

  • Trumptard||

    It could.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    The fuck are you talking about. What do you think spurned on the Enlightenment? The influx of new ideas from the Middle East as a result of the Crusades.

  • jmomls||

    *The influx of new ideas from the Middle East as a result of the Crusades.*

    No, it was actually just the Coffee.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Coffee comes from Ethiopia, genius.

  • damikesc||

    Christianity fostered the Enlightenment.

    Islam suffocated it in the crib and then set fire to the house the crib was in.

    As a hint, such diatribes against the government tend to not be permitted in Muslim-run countries.

  • stev333||

    Christians let their wives drive, do not sanction beating women, do not marry multiple women, do not think rape is fine and do not believe in the gutter sharia religion

  • stev333||

    Just keep them in the shithole mideast

  • You're Kidding||

    Nothing that well placed nuclear blasts couldn't turn to glass in an instant.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Which is why the two countries on Hispaniola haven't experienced divergent results.

  • Homple||

    Yeah, like that dump called Israel that exists on top of a desert.

  • Tony||

    Yeah and like Nevada it exists via massive US federal government subsidy.

  • wareagle||

    yes, of course it does. Vegas and Reno are nothing but welfare queens.

  • Tony||

    So we're seriously going with the argument that the damn heathen Muslins are rotten because, hey, look at Nevada!

  • wareagle||

    why do you ignore Israel? You know, the place where Muslims have the most civil liberties of any country in the region. The one where women and gays and whomever can go about their lives without fear from anything beyond.....the odd rocket attack from Muslims across the border.

  • Tony||

    Israel, the world's biggest suckler at the teat of American welfare?

    I'm not in the habit of defending religious fundamentalism, but not every one of the billion+ Muslims in the world wants to behead you. Many of them are fleeing the terrorist wing and perhaps most of them are victims of regimes imposing fundamentalism on them. You have no solution to the problem, actually. Just NIMBY.

  • wareagle||

    not every one of the billion+ Muslims in the world wants to behead you.

    so how many of those wanting to or supporting those who want to is an acceptable number? By contrast, neither the Christians nor the Israelis - the leading strawmen in your argument - want to do this.

    You have no solution to the problem, actually.
    actually, I do. It's a long overdue sit-down with nations that actively sponsor terror telling them it is time to stop before things get nasty. Islam has a problem; only a retard would pretend otherwise, but it has to be solved from within.

  • Ron||

    its kind of comparable to the argument that "there is a bowl of M&M's some are poisoned. feel free to eat some". who would eat from the bowl nobody.

  • Gracchus||

    so how many of those wanting to or supporting those who want to is an acceptable number? By contrast, neither the Christians nor the Israelis - the leading strawmen in your argument - want to do this.

    As I recall, the Israelis just recently re-elected a governing coalition that plans on turning the West Bank into a gated community.

  • damikesc||

    OK, Tony, go ahead and pick out the ones who do NOT want to kill us. Note, they become more radicalized over time.

  • stev333||

    If it is only 1% it is still in the mllions

  • You're Kidding||

    If you are correct, why do they run away and not step up and eliminate that terrorist wing? Hell, they have to be cajoled into publicaly denouncing terrorists acts.

    In the west, we don't look the other way when fundamentalist Christians step out of line. And, we don't flee to other countries to get away from it.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    And what is the percentage of Muslims in Israel? That's right, over 20%. Looks like we can let in millions more Muslims without any danger to our way of life.

  • B.P.||

    You're the one who brought up the lack of arable land as a reason why other countries are shitholes, as if such factors as systems of governance (which are influenced by, ahem, culture) are not the reason. That was the most misinformed comment I've read on this forum in a long time.

  • Tony||

    Oh I'm big on geography as destiny. You can't consider the possibility that a culture and civilization that is lagging behind might itself be due to a poverty of resources?

  • B.P.||

    Hong Kong has no natural resources to speak of. Silicon Valley turned sand - sand - into trillions of dollars.

  • wareagle||

    You can't consider the possibility that a culture and civilization that is lagging behind might itself be due to a poverty of resources?
    What resources do the Israelis have that the region's Arabs do not? Try to keep in mind that many of those Arab nations are awash in oil. Yet I don't see many on the left rushing to move into any of those countries. Why not?

  • Tony||

    "What resources do the Israelis have that the region's Arabs do not?"

    Billions and billions of American dollars?

  • jmomls||

    The Egyptians receive the same amount of $$$ that the Israelis do.
    The Saudis receive the same amount of $$$ that the Israelis do via our oil purchases.
    Qatar receives a ton of $$$ due to our military presence.
    Kuwait received a ton of $$$ via our liberation of their pathetic little sheikdom.
    Iran used to before the Mullahs took over.

    As usual, you are loud and wrong. Anyone sane would have just quit and slinked away by now.

  • Gracchus||

    Prior to the 1970s, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran all looked like they were on the path to Westernization. Then when Uncle Sam started undermining Arab nationalists like Mossadegh and Nasser, those nations stopped being secular and started getting all theocratic. Since the Soviets never got a stable foothold in the ME, they turned to a homegrown ideology ("fundamentalist Islamism) instead of communism like they did in Latin America and Africa. You remind me of one of those clueless idiots who asked "why do they hate us?" after 9/11 Grow up and pick up a book once in a while, eh?

  • Homple||

    Israel is hardly Nevada, but you know that. Right?

  • Juice||

    Like Cuba and Venezuela?

  • Ecoli||

    There is very little desiccated land south of the US border, Tony. Those countries are shit holes because they made them into shit holes.

    Why do progressives profess their undying love of Islam and burning hatred of Christianity? I am an easy going atheist, perfectly content to let anybody practice any superstition they want. It is pretty obvious to me, though, that Islam is not compatible with western civilization. My wish for you, Tony, is that you get to live in the coming caliphate.

    I know. I am Hilter, and Hillary is mother Teresa.

  • Tony||

    I don't know what to call a person who thinks that the United States is at risk of becoming a subject of a caliphate. Crazy? Stupid?

  • damikesc||

    Well, Germans couldn't imagine a dolt like Hitler gaining power in Germany, the most open democracy on the planet at the time. Our leadership in the US didn't fathom terrorists using airplanes to plow into skyscrapers. We didn't fathom that the Japanese could successfully bomb Pearl Harbor.

    The things that we do not see coming are legion.

  • You're Kidding||

    And we couldn't imagine a dolt like Trump for president either.

    Just goes to show you how little we really foresee.

  • granite state destroyer||

    The fact that Hitler was never actually elected and the Nazis never won a majority of the votes kind of undermines your bizarre claim that Weimar Germany was the "most open democracy on the planet".

  • granite state destroyer||

    The fact that Hitler was never actually elected and the Nazis never won a majority of the votes kind of undermines your bizarre claim that Weimar Germany was the "most open democracy on the planet".

  • Ecoli||

    I don't think the US will become a caliphate. I won't deny my stupidity though.

    My point is that Islam, at least not Islam of the mid eastern variety, is not compatible with western civilization. You have only to look at the Islamic countries of the mid east to verify that. You are the one defending and trying to equate today's Islam with the 1400's Christian church. That seems kinda stupid to me.

    A substantial percentage of Muslims are sympathetic to ISIS and Al Quaeda. Such sympathies are not compatible with western culture.

    I freely admit that a majority of Muslims are fine people and would make fine neighbors. They are victims of the actions of a crazed minority among them. I agree with the crack down on immigration. Too much, too quickly. I like western culture.

  • Ecoli||

    Tony, do you support the $15 per hour minimum wage?

  • stev333||

    Or that their culture is till in the 12th century

  • WakaWaka||

    Europe doesn't get immigrants to assimilate, because the natives in those countries will never consider those immigrants or their children truly citizens. Americanism is an idea that forms our cultural norms and that is why we do a supremely better job at assimilating these immigrants than any other country on earth.

    The Census notes that after the second generation, the cultural attitudes of immigrant children are no different from children born from natives. That's a big reason why the Democratic party's obsession with identity politics is blowing up in their faces: assimilation. Anyone who plays the same game of identity politics, even when branded as an effort to 'save Western civilization', is just as bad as those Leftist nitwits

  • Sam Haysom||

    How can the census note this? The reality is third generation studies of Mexican immigrants are so depressing the state of California stopped conducting them.

  • WakaWaka||

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org.....americans/

    This is pew. I'll have to look for the Census report

  • Sam Haysom||

    Amusingly the only actual sociological data collected as opposed to attitude surveys which tell us nothing demonstrates that 2nd generation Hispanics how more out of wedlock children than the first generation. Hilarious fail on your part.

  • WakaWaka||

    Did you read the study at all, because your comment seems to suggest you didn't.

  • Calidissident||

    The US has a fairly high out of wedlock birth rate and single parent rate, so that doesn't really seem like solid proof against assimilation. You also cherrypicked one statistic out of all those in the report.

  • jmomls||

    *The US has a fairly high out of wedlock birth rate and single parent rate*

    Uh-huh...and among which ethnic groups are the numbers the highest.

    Go ahead. We'll wait.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Funny, seems that many of the attacks by Muslims - Ft Hood, Orlando, San Bernadino - were committed by 2nd generation Muslims.

    Tell me again how well Islam is going to assimilate into the US.

  • You're Kidding||

    "The Census notes that after the second generation, the cultural attitudes of immigrant children are no different from children born from natives."

    I've heard that many times and, I am the third generation from immigrants. But, my observations of life around me here in the SF Bay Area don't support that contention.

    Tribalism abounds. Even several generations out.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I'm pretty sure I was birthed with the singular goal of making America British Again. Other than pronouncing Jaguar "jag-you-are", I think my mother failed.

  • Tak Kak||

    "It must have been nice to live in a world like that one, with prep schools and a fixed social order populated by people with English and Teutonic names. It's an America that none of us born since World War II have never known and never will know, thank god."

    This just seems to make King's point. Mass immigration has fundamentally changed American Civilization, it's even lauded.

    "Here's the thing about "becoming" American: It's the easiest thing in the world. You just have to live here, work here, get along here."

    Only if America is little more than a shopping mall. The idea that there isn't (or wasn't) an actual "American people" beyond proposition is silly.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Changed it from what? What was it before?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    A PLACE WITHOUT UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE COVERAGE!!!

  • Tak Kak||

    As Nick said put it "a fixed social order populated by people with English and Teutonic names."

  • Hugh Akston||

    lol that might have been what a few places in America were like, but even before the war places like NYC, LA, and SF were bubbling cauldrons of cultural interaction. And let's not forget that fixed social orders had very specific places for people based on the color of their skin.

  • Tak Kak||

    I'm just using his own example, take it up with Nick.

  • You're Kidding||

    New Orleans would be the oldest and best example that I could think of.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "a fixed social order populated by people with English and Teutonic names."

    I'm not convinced that America ever truly existed except in a work of fiction.

    Maybe there were a few places like that, but America has always been a very large country populated by a large variety of people. One person's idea of "real America" has probably always been very different from someone else's. Perhaps that's one of many reasons why giving the federal government the huge amounts of power and authority that it now wields was a really bad idea: it allows fuckwits like Steve King to try and force his vision of "real America" down everyone else's throats.

  • Tak Kak||

    I actually agree with this, I typically just use "America" as a shorthand for the States, akin to saying "European". The States and regions had their own specific cultures that differed greatly from one another.
    That doesn't change the fact that mass-immigration greatly changed the cultures. One can look at the rapid changes that took place within immigrant-heavy areas like New York and Philidelphia and compare that to the immigrant-light South (with the exception of Memphis).

  • granite state destroyer||

    My America, in New Hampshire, was like that, except we had French Canadian names instead of German. "Real Americans" were white people whose ancestors had come from Europe hundreds of years ago, and whose ancestors had built the towns, cleared the land, fought in various wars, etc. everyone else was suspect. Most of the people I grew up with would have scoffed at the idea that the US is "a country of immigrants", and a lot still do, no doubt.

  • Trumptard||

    By the way, what is wrong with that? Something wrong with people with English and Teutonic names?

  • Tak Kak||

    It's un-American.

  • jmomls||

    Y'all must have missed the day in elementary school where everyone else learned that we were founded by the British.

  • Tak Kak||

    Because America was built on an Ancient Indian Burial Ground we've been cursed to never have distinct cultures or borders of our own.

  • Brandybuck||

    It was a place where the Micks and Spics knew there place! And that place was over there, beyond the tracks!

  • Brandybuck||

    It was a place where the Micks and Spics knew there place! And that place was over there, beyond the tracks!

  • Brandybuck||

    Fucking servers squirrels, how do they work?

  • Sam Haysom||

    Exactly. My ancestors happened to love that world that Gillespie and his ilk now celebrate the destruction of.

    Thankfully my ancestors were smart and attractive-traits which I inherited- so I do fine in this new country but people have now decided that they no longer are willing to accept significant changes as a cost of immigration. Suck it up Nicky you're a big boy.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Thankfully my ancestors were smart and attractive-traits which I inherited

    [assumes facts not in evidence]

  • Cynical Asshole||

    [Insert comment/ joke about "three generations of imbeciles" here]

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Suck it up Nicky you're a big boy.

    But you just said he was celebrating!

  • Sam Haysom||

    Let me walk you through this slowly at your third no maybe fifth grade reading level.

    Liddle Nicky happy that America changed from the way it was like for my ancestors (look this word up sixth grade level word). Little Nicky sad that people got fed up and said no more changes. Little Nicky now pouting.

  • Calidissident||

    When exactly was that said? Trump's election (which apparently was driven by 1 and only 1 issue) by a plurality of the electorate means everyone wants no more change to American society?

  • Hail Rataxes||

    So Nick was happy, but now he's pouting because...other people pouted? Yeah that definitely sounds like he's the bad one now.

  • John Titor||

    The inbreeding did a bit of a number on their descendants however.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    This just seems to make King's point.

    Epic sarcometer fail.

  • Tak Kak||

    Probably, I'm bad at that.

  • Sam Haysom||

    To us and our posterity.

    Opposing King is literally shitting on the constitution.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The Constitution literally has smears of shit on it now, y'all. Literally. Big ol' runny brown buttmud stains all over that document.

  • Detroit Linguist||

    Thanks, Nick. You echo comments I made in similarly-themed topic earlier today. It's always the next round of immigrants that will be the death of this country, from the Irish to the Jews to the Italians to the Japanese to the Syrians...

  • jmomls||

    Would you have imported hundreds of thousands of Japanese during the 30s and 40s?

    Don't be so obtuse.

  • You're Kidding||

    Well, I did hear from a history professor in college that the U.S. needed to shoulder some of the blame for that Pearl Harbor incident you see, because we were engaged in a battleship arms buildup war with peaceful little Japan. And, they got so scared that we were going to take them out that they struck first.

    Don't even get him started on our choice to unleash those nukes on Japan.

  • call your mom||

    Somebody on another forum pointed out that it was indeed a mistake to let the Irish in, because well into the third and fourth generations, they are still working to undermine the WASP establishment. As someone of Irish descent myself, I have to acknowledge that this does appear to be the case. Lookin' at you, Mr. Gillespie.

  • granite state destroyer||

    Just spend some time in Boston, then ask yourself if Irish immigration has benefited the US.

  • granite state destroyer||

    Just spend some time in Boston, then ask yourself if Irish immigration has benefited the US.

  • granite state destroyer||

    Just spend some time in Boston, then ask yourself if Irish immigration has benefited the US.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Despite being from old Europe, my grandparents were model Americans. Mostly, they worked hard as hell and provided for their children under difficult circumstances (prejudice, economic depression, war).

    Nick, would you classify your Italian Grandparents as "people of color"?

  • SIV||

    Nick has implied the affirmative in many essays on his self-proclaimed mongrel sub-human ancestry.

  • damikesc||

    His parents didn't really have a choice.

    Lo and behold, modern immigrants seem to have a choice.

    And a society that isn't quite as demanding in the whole "You need to be an American".

    Can't imagine how comparing his grandparents to modern immigrants is relevant as the situation is markedly different.

  • You're Kidding||

    It's really all very simple: 'A-shirts vs T-shirts.

    Kind of reminds me of the mix of nationalities I grew up with in my neighborhood.

  • Tony||

    Yeah but you have to have a really keen eye to pick an Irishman or Italian out from a crowd. I think Steve King is desperate enough to admit us craven papists into the gene pool to counteract certain swarthier elements.

  • Tak Kak||

    "In fact, King implies that people like my parents—born to Irish and Italian immigrants, in 1923 and 1927, respectively—were part of Western Civilization's decline."

    He could just mean non-Westerners, like Muslims. Whenever immigration comes up there's an instant conflation of all groups treating them as interchangeable. Is it completely beyond the pale to believe that groups may differ and some are less compatible and less likely to assimilate than others?

    Jumping back to America, the book Generations of Exclusion made a good case for being critical of Hispanic assimilation.

  • wareagle||

    Is it completely beyond the pale to believe that groups may differ and some are less compatible and less likely to assimilate than others?

    No, it's not and you don't have to look particularly hard to see evidence of this. But that offends the sensibilities of people like Nick.

  • Tony||

    I think the idea is that "America" is whatever its almost entirely immigrant population does, despite constant attempts by racist cowards to freeze everything in place. If a quarter of the population speaks Spanish, then to be American is to be in a bilingual culture. This scares the shit out of some people for some reason, of course. Those whose biggest problem in life is having to press an extra button when calling to talk to the cable company.

    Much bigger problems are faced by immigrants who, four generations on, are still confined to substandard barrios with the decreased quality of education and other services that go with them. That would seem to be a social problem to be solved. Perhaps the social problem to solve.

  • wareagle||

    Sort of like the left solved social problems for blacks? You folks have done quite enough. And why, four generations later, are people "still confined to substandard barrios" when a raft of others, from the Vietnamese boat people to Cubans to emigres from the Warsaw Pact are not similarly confined?

  • Tony||

    Hm, what could possibly be the difference between immigrants from south of the land-based border of the US and those from countries separated by oceans.

  • Juice||

    You're going to have to explain it if it's anything but culture.

  • Tony||

    Culture being code word for those brown people are genetically inferior. Like you're trying to get that past me or something.

    I answered my own question. Immigrants who have to cross oceans tend to be more of a self-selected set.

  • Juice||

    smh, you can't even understand what I'm saying? Or are you just arguing in bad faith as always?

    What's the big genetic difference between Cubans and "immigrants from south of the land-based border of the US"?

  • Tony||

    There isn't one. But people who have to cross oceans at least have the means to cross oceans.

  • Juice||

    So you're abandoning your lame "genetic difference" racism? And a Guatemalan who trekked the entire length of Mexico had an easier time than a Cuban who scooted over 90 miles of water in a little boat?

  • Ecoli||

    I work with a Vietnamese immigrant. He is an engineer. He escaped communist Vietnam in a dangerously over crowded fishing boat at the age of 10. His parents were murdered before his exit from Vietnam. He spent three years in a refugee camp in Thailand before immigrating to the US.

    Are those the kind of "means" you are referring to?

  • Tony||

    Sounds like a guy with some tenacity, yes.

  • wareagle||

    Go ahead, Tony; explain that difference. Explain why the Southeast Asian immigrants and those from Africa and those from Eastern Europe have managed while others have not.

  • Tony||

    I already did.

  • wareagle||

    No, you didn't. You treated it like the elephant in the living room, pretending it wasn't there. if you're struggling here after generations, then it's likely you would struggle anywhere.

  • damikesc||

    We were never at war with the people south of the border, but we were with Germans, Japanese, Russians, Vietnamese, and Koreans, for starters.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Looks like somebody forgot that the Third World War didn't happen and the Mexican-American War did.

  • Tak Kak||

    "I think the idea is that "America" is whatever its almost entirely immigrant population does, despite constant attempts by racist cowards to freeze everything in place. If a quarter of the population speaks Spanish, then to be American is to be in a bilingual culture."

    Fine. That'd still be acknowledging group differences and cultural. Just reversing the lead and the lag. (I mean it's silly on it's face to define American as "whoever *isn't* from America but moves to the landmass" but I'll take the concession)

    "Much bigger problems are faced by immigrants who, four generations on, are still confined to substandard barrios with the decreased quality of education and other services that go with them. That would seem to be a social problem to be solved. Perhaps the social problem to solve."

    Sounds like a perfect reason to not let them in if, as you put it, you're just importing more problems for generations.

  • Tony||

    Problems for the immigrants relative to the white population. They aren't coming here to live a worse life than what they left behind, obviously. But unless you want to posit an inherently racist explanation, the problem of segregation of populations is one caused by white people, so it should be theirs to solve. (Not that our track record with such things inspires confidence.)

  • Juice||

    But unless you want to posit an inherently racist explanation, the problem of segregation of populations is one caused by white people, so it should be theirs to solve.

    But that's completely asinine. If a bunch of immigrants decide to live together in some sort of enclave populated almost exclusively by people from the same country, this is somehow the fault of white people? Ridiculous.

  • Juice||

    especially if the immigrants are fucking white themselves

  • wareagle||

    just like it's white people's fault that minority college students want to reintroduce segregation.

  • Tony||

    It would suggest a lack of opportunity afforded by society at large.

    Or you tell me why the Irish assimilated completely but Latinos don't even multiple generations on.

  • wareagle||

    Or you tell me why the Irish assimilated completely but Latinos don't even multiple generations on.

    you just can't help it, can you? It's always some nefarious outside force conspiring against certain groups, even when people within those groups defy your expectations.

  • Tony||

    So articulate your point of view in plain English. No bullshit cowardly coded language.

  • wareagle||

    What code do the voices in your head see? Jesus on a biscuit; you're the one outright saying that, for some reason, no one should expect Latinos to be anywhere near as successful as the Irish. If some group remains in those "substandard barrios" you talked about after four generations, then it stands to reason that the problem may reside within that group.

  • Tony||

    And what problem would that be? Plain English please.

  • Juice||

    It would suggest a lack of opportunity afforded by society at large.

    Or there's plenty of opportunity, but these people just decide to live near others from their original country (which is perfectly fine).

    And how did the Irish assimilate completely? They spoke English to begin with, but it's not like they eschewed their whole culture. It became part of "American Culture".

    And let me just issue a disclaimer here. I'm for open borders and don't care if anyone "assimilates" or not.

  • Tony||

    Mexican immigrants all speak English after a generation.

  • Juice||

    You know the children of all Mexican immigrants? Impressive.

  • Trumptard||

    Where I live all the kids with hispanic surnames have first names like "Dylan" and "Jake", and their parents drive BMWs.

  • Tak Kak||

    "Problems for the immigrants relative to the white population. They aren't coming here to live a worse life than what they left behind, obviously. But unless you want to posit an inherently racist explanation, the problem of segregation of populations is one caused by white people, so it should be theirs to solve. (Not that our track record with such things inspires confidence.)"

    So what? Why should the white population want or allow immigration if it results in problems they have to turn around and solve? To satisfy some sense of cosmic justice and prove they aren't evil racists? If immigration were such a good thing it'd just be a Pareto improvement for all parties, no need to resolve anything.

  • Tony||

    I dunno, you're supposed to be the freedom maximalists. Probably the reason it's not solved is because it's not actually a problem for the white majority, what with its providing of cheap labor and delicious food without them having to let any of them into their neighborhoods. It's win-win for white people.

  • Tak Kak||

    "I dunno, you're supposed to be the freedom maximalists."

    You've definitely mistaken me with someone else.

    "Probably the reason it's not solved is because it's not actually a problem for the white majority, what with its providing of cheap labor and delicious food without them having to let any of them into their neighborhoods. It's win-win for white people."

    I think you've confused "neighborhood" with "gated communities". They're definitely in average middle and poor white people's neighborhoods, the problem show up in the schools quite regularly.

  • Trumptard||

    I have lived in some pretty wealthy neighborhoods and there were Indians, Koreans, Chinese, etc., living there. Keep trying.

  • Dadlobby||

    So I'm confused, is the Italian immigrant and/or Irish Catholic "white"? If so, how were they discriminated against being part of the "whites". And how is it these "whites" (Italians and Irish) managed to escape the ghetto but now keep other immigrants in poverty for 4 generations? You guys need to get better at clarifying "white", which nationalities are and which aren't? And what percentages? I mean Obama was half white but gets to be "black", so what's the mix to be 'white"? Then again, maybe this guy wasn't talking race and religion and was talking about current US Citizens versus non citizens? Shit, maybe he wasn't prejudiced and those that attack him are?

  • Juice||

    I mean Obama was half white but gets to be "black", so what's the mix to be 'white"?

    I had to listen to a talk by Patricia Hill Collins recently. She repeatedly referred to Obama as black and how the president was black and oh he's black isn't he. Then 5 minutes later started talking about how awful it was that people in the past used the "one drop rule" to put anyone with a black parent or grandparent into the category of "black."

  • Dadlobby||

    My father was a dust bowl Okie (a little discrimination just for being that) and the American Indian was treated pretty bad and was identified as "1/2 breed" and "1/4 breed", etc. which related back to the Dawes role (any mix breed was bad). Get your paternal and autsomal DNA done and you'll find there is no such thing as a "race" other than the human race. NatGeo DNA tested a bunch of people in Queens and then moved them "back in time" by their ancestry at points in time, very interesting to see the diaspora and the "mix".

  • damikesc||

    I love that non-whites don't have the ability to segregate themselves, in spite of ample evidence of them desiring exactly that (see college campuses).

  • You're Kidding||

    It irritates me to no end when people conflate religion with national origin in these arguments.

    Judaism is not a race! But it is regularly mixed in there with "minority" racial identities as though it is.

  • Alcibiades||

    Thanks Nick, great essay.

  • Sam Haysom||

    "For us and our posterity"

    If only open borders fanatics could quote a similar phrase of support for their policies from the constitution maybe they wouldn't have to resort to baby-crying racism.

  • Calidissident||

    God forbid posterity include people whose ancestors might not have been in America in 1789 *shudders*

  • Calidissident||

    *some of their ancestors just in case anyone gets pedantic.

    I don't think I'm a rare specimen in that I have ancestors who were in the (future) US in colonial times, and also some who immigrated after.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Look words have meaning. Posterity means what it means and moreover that meaning entirely supports King's point of view.

  • Calidissident||

    Words do have meaning. And posterity means descendants or future generations, which includes people who are also partially descended from people outside that initial group. Do you have to have 100% of your ancestors be in America in 1789 to qualify? I'd also argue you and King are reading a lot into this one line part of a preamble to the actual document.

    If you want to talk about words having meaning - where exactly in the Constitution is the government granted control over immigration? There's a line giving Congress power over naturalization, but that is not the same thing. And indeed, there were virtually no restrictions on immigration until the late 1800s and early 1900s. If you're going to be a strict contructionist, you can't make an exception for only one thing.

  • Sam Haysom||

    "Our" "posterity" this isn't difficult.

  • You're Kidding||

    I believe the more appropriate time point would be pre-1642.

    Which brings me to my conclusions about all of this support for unlimited immigration: Just ask the native Americans how that worked out for them.

    I have been known to point out to black power finatics that blacks in America today, are headed down the same path.

    But I have no idea what to say to my grandchildren, all of whom are "mixed race". (So am I actually, but 1) it's they're all "white" and thus don't count in our zeal to count such things and, 2) there are large portions of my lineage that are uncertain.)

    My grandchildren are actually my greatest hope. I hope that someday soon, when they are forced to check the box for racial identity on the census forms or job applications, they will laugh and either put "DTS" or "none of the above". Or maybe even MYOB!

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    I'm worried that America will become one big Dearborn, Michigan.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Or Minnesota, but without Prince.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    And that's how Al Franken will become president.

    My god.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That's just called "Minnesota," now.

    :'-(

  • Damned||

    I'm worried that it would become one big Flint.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Putting government in charge of everything gets us closer to that precious reality. After looking at what happened in Flint with the water, I can't WAIT to see what the same people can do with healthcare!

  • You're Kidding||

    You've heard of the Oroville Dam?

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    Immigrants ruined Flint, too?!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Who do you think put all that lead in the water? Not honest, red-blooded Americans, that's for sure.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Detroit Linguist||

    I've been to Dearborn. It's kinda nice. There are good restaurants and interesting supermarkets. And many of the restaurants serve alcohol. Then there's Ford world headquarters and Greenfield Village. Highly un-American.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    Hey, I have the internet, and I know from the internet than Sharia is the law of the land in Dearborn, and all the cucks turn a blind eye to it because they are afraid of being called racist. It's a fact.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Wow many of the restaurants serve alcohol? Now what about proselytizing are American citizens frequently arrested for handing out Christian pamphlets by Dearborn police. Yes yes they are.

  • Detroit Linguist||

    This happened once. It was a bunch of Westboro Baptist Church folks (or their ilk) handing out the pamphlets. And it caused a shitstorm.

    Nothing like it has happened since. And there are lots of churches in Dearborn. In fact there are a lot of Christian Arabs living in Dearborn--the Detroit area has the largest concentration of Chaldeans (Christian Arabs) in the country. And they live in peace with their Muslim and non-Arab Christian neighbors. Sorry to spoil your stereotype.

  • SIV||

    Nick, pretending to be an oppressed non-white minority again. He's the Rachel Dolzeal of faux-libertarian opinion journalism.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah, that's exactly what he wrote. You got it.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Look, every minute that SIV spends typing nonsense into the Internet is a minute of blessed reprieve for his chickens' cloacas.

  • Ska||

    My bearded dragon had a cloacal prolapse. I hope the chickens are getting the veterinary help they require.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    My bearded dragon had a cloacal prolapse.

    That is how you abstract euphemism, kids.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I don't think that's a euphemism. I think Ska just admitted to carnal knowledge of his pet lizard. Really, i'm not sure there's another way to read that.

  • Ska||

    You should see when we play hide the cricket.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    D-:

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    You should see when we play hide the cricket.

    Pics?

  • Ska||

    No crick pics.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He has two hands, guy.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yeah, but his two-finger typing method requires both of them.

  • chemjeff||

    How are immigration laws not just another form of central planning? Here's why central planning sucks:
    1. Corrupt Top. Men. perverting a well-intentioned central plan to suit their own ambitions
    2. Incompetent Top. Men. who cannot execute a plan on a vast population of hundreds of millions of people
    3. Dictatorial Top. Men. who use tyrannical means to force conformity to their plan
    4. Despite all that, even if the Top. Men. were noble saints, having some centralized plan in which everyone is coerced into participating degrades the dignity and the liberty of the individual who simply wants to do his/her own thing for a reason that he/she does not need to justify to anyone.

    We see all of this with immigration laws:
    1. The visa process has been distorted to benefit companies unwilling to pay market wages to native-born workers.
    2. The state has no real clue how to stop illegals from coming here. The only reason Mexican migration peaked in 2009-2010 or so was not due to stepped-up deportations but because the economy went into the shitter.
    3. Look at the "constitution-free zone" within 100 miles of the border. Or the current plans favored by many on the right to have individuals "show their papers" every time they come into contact with a LEO.
    4. If I wish to invite my neighbor onto my property, why should the state, or ANY third party, get involved if there is some imaginary border line separating our parcels of property?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    King implies that people like my parents—born to Irish and Italian immigrants, in 1923 and 1927, respectively—were part of Western Civilization's decline.

    King wasn't talking about the olden times when Ellis Island was correcting foreigners' names. He's talking about nowadays, a time when America has hit the sweet spot, culture-wise, and when outsiders refuse to assimilate right.

  • Juice||

    According to Rep. Steve King, the Republican from Iowa, that means they could never really be American. In fact, King implies that people like my parents—born to Irish and Italian immigrants, in 1923 and 1927, respectively—were part of Western Civilization's decline.

    You and I both know that when Steve King says "someone else's babies" he means someone other than white people.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Mr. Gillespie,

    With all respect, if your parents were Irish and Italian, then they were already from western civilization. Wasn't King talking about Muslims from Africa and Syria?

    I oppose any kind of religious or thought test for immigrants.

    I support an expansive immigration policy, but that's like saying I'm against a particular war.

    Just like declaring war, setting the rules of naturalization is an enumerated power of Congress, meaning that it's subject to democracy--as well it should be. I may oppose any particular war, but I don't begrudge Congress' proper authority in declaring war if and when it's appropriate to do so.

    That's the way I feel about King's comments. It's important that we libertarians don't shoot ourselves in the foot with the anti-elitist voters out there. Opposing King's views because they're racist and wrong is one thing, but we need to be careful not to suggest to voters out there that they shouldn't have any input into immigration policy.

    There are many things that should not be subject to democracy. Our First Amendment rights, Second Amendment rights, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights among them, but democracy does have its place. Honest, rational, and tolerant people can disagree on immigration--but whether our representatives in Congress should completely dismiss the desires of their constituents on matters of war and immigration is another story.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Wasn't King talking about Muslims from Africa and Syria?

    He was talking about "someone else's babies." The tweet isn't long. You should read it.

  • Juice||

    Based on what King has said in other contexts, he means non-whites.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    No, he means Muslims.

    As does Geert Wilders.

  • Juice||

    So when Steve King says, "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," what does he mean by "demographics"? He means religion? If that's the case, why would it matter who is having babies? Why wouldn't he just say religion? Wouldn't religion be part of culture?

  • jmomls||

    He means people who speak English and/or are familiar with constitutional democracies.

    That disqualifies everyone but Canadians and Western Europeans.

    If you don't like that, too bad.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yes, he's talking about the "Muslim invasion" of Europe.

    The birth rate in Europe has dropped dramatically over the last 40 years, and the birth rate in the Muslim and Arab world remains high.

    It's actually cross cultural. There are two things that crimp the birth rate. In no particular order, when women are given more opportunities to contribute financially to the household income, they have fewer babies. This is positively correlated with educating women. The other thing that crimps the birth rate is infant mortality dropping. Throughout the developing world, having children guarantees you income in your old age. The higher the infant mortality rate, the more children women have. It's true in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Everywhere in the world.

    40 years ago, Italian women used to have an average of 6+ children. Infant mortality dropped, the women's revolution came with all its career opportunities, and now their birth rate is 1+ (below replacement level). That's happened all over Europe. It's happened in the U.S., too. If it weren't for immigration, U.S. population would be shrinking right now.

    In Africa and the Middle East, where infant mortality rates are still high and/or there are few opportunities for women outside the home, their birth rates remain high. If present trends persist over the next 50 years as they have over the last 50 years, then 50 years from now, most of Europe will be Muslim.

    That's what Wilders and King are talking about.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Think of it this way:

    In Italy, the average age is 45.1

    In Iraq, the average age is 19.9

    http://tinyurl.com/oyqb6dw

    In Italy, the birth rate is 8.0 per thousand.

    In Iraq, the birth rate is 30.9 per thousand

    http://tinyurl.com/yo4442

    That's what Wilders and King are talking about.

    We will not counter them effectively by pretending they're talking about something else.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, what's the appropriate response to the suggestion that demographics is destiny?

    I'd start with observations about Ireland, Italy, and Spain. These are Catholic countries, and they were more devout 50 years ago than they are today. Not using birth control was a point of religious faith, and their fertility rate showed that--compared to more Protestant countries.

    They had a high birth rate, but despite their religion, the birth rate fell with infant mortality rates and as women were given more opportunities for education, work, and careers. In other words, demographics was not their destiny.

    The same is true of Muslim immigrants. The important thing is to make sure women are given plenty of opportunities for education and career. As they migrate to Europe, Europe won't just become more like them. They'll also become more like European women--with education and opportunities and lower infant mortality rates.

    It's already happened like that with earlier generations. French-Algerians don't have the same birth rate as Algerians.

  • You're Kidding||

  • Ken Shultz||

    Gillespie left of part of King's tweet--the part King was responding to. It says this:

    "Hundreds of Islamists shouting "Allahu Akbar" in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Wilders is right for over 10 years. #turkijerel"

    You should read King's whole tweet for yourself. It's right here:

    http://tinyurl.com/jlvyjwk

    . . . it isn't long.

  • wareagle||

    Gillespie left of part of King's tweet

    I wonder why that would be. And media folk can't understand why the public views them with skepticism.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I should add, the part he left off was someone else's tweet.

    But King's comments should be understood in context--and it makes King's tweet better and worse in my opinion.

    On the plus side, he's not coming out against all immigration per se.

    On the downside, he's apparently an Islamophobe.

    Regardless, if we're going after him for what he said and what he meant, we should be clear about the context in which he said it.

    It was a reply to a specific tweet about a specific sort of immigration. He's anti-Muslim. This isn't about Gillespie's parents or grandparents.

    Robby's post the other day was likewise off (in a number of ways). Robby was saying that anyone should be let in so long as they're devoted to free markets, classic liberal ideas, free speech, etc. That's wrong 1) because the government shouldn't give any thought tests and 2) because King's tweet is actually in harmony with that idea from his own perspective. In his bigoted view, he's trying to save all that stuff Robby is talking about from the "Muslim menace"--as he sees it.

  • wareagle||

    why is noticing that Islam has a problem playing with the rest of the world evidence of a phobia? And that only highlights the ridiculousness of Nick's story. Most people leaving a place don't try to bring along a key element of why it was bad. Europe has had some immigration problems. With one group.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Why is noticing that Islam has a problem playing with the rest of the world evidence of a phobia?"

    Archie Bunker thought the the racist stuff he said wasn't racist because it was true!

    Certainly if you think people are rationally afraid of Islam, it still isn't improper to call them Islamophobes. After all, they are afraid of Muslims.

    Having said that, I'm not convinced that the entire Muslim world is having a problem playing with the rest of the world or that the problems that are being associated with Islam in people's minds are necessarily endemic within or representative of Muslims.

    Is it rational to blame 1.2 billion people for what a small percentage of them do?

    I don't think so.

    And when libertarians see a congressman who may want to discriminate against people because of their religion, they should look at him askew. Anytime someone wants to use fear to justify watering down or ignoring the First Amendment, libertarians should be there pointing at him and laughing for being a coward. Selling our rights short for fear is a classic attack on liberty. Why wouldn't we point out that he's an Islamophobe?

  • damikesc||

    Southerners are still condemned by the actions of the KKK. And radical Islam is far more populated than the roster of the KKK ever was.

    If there is no right to immigrate here, then we have every right to decide who does and who does not. It's something literally every other country on Earth does in dramatically more harsh manners than we do.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Southerners are still condemned by the actions of the KKK. And radical Islam is far more populated than the roster of the KKK ever was."

    Condemning anyone for the actions of other people is wrong.

    "If there is no right to immigrate here, then we have every right to decide who does and who does not.

    The First Amendment is a prohibition against government.

    The government cannot discriminate against people of a certain religion.

    The First Amendment isn't subject to popularity contests.

  • jmomls||

    *The government cannot discriminate against people of a certain religion.*

    Tell me, does Congress pass laws that apply to people in other countries?

    Citizens of foreign nations have no constitutional rights and certainly no right to come here. It's pretty simple.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Tell me, does Congress pass laws that apply to people in other countries?"

    1) Our rights are not given to us by the Constitution or Congress. . . . and that is according to the Constitution.

    2) The First Amendment protects our rights. It protects our rights from the government.

    The government cannot violate your right to free speech.

    The government cannot . . .

    "Congress shall make no law . . . "

    That's what it says. That's what it means. As along as it's the U.S. government we're talking about, they are specifically prohibited from discriminating against people on the basis of religion.

    And other people's freedom of religion isn't for your benefit. It doesn't matter whether Scientology or Islam or Satanism are beneficial to society or you. People have a right to freedom of religion anyway, and the government is specifically prohibited from discriminating against anyone because of their religion.

    We're okay with that. We're libertarians.

  • damikesc||

    For citizens, that is true.

    The Constitution doesn't cover all of humanity. Never has. Never will.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Citizenship gives you the right to be here, the right to vote, and the right to hold office--and nothing else. And that is as it should be.

    I'm sick to death of deadbeat Americans who imagine that being a citizen entitles them to an education, healthcare, and retirement--all at my expense.

    There is a system of government that says citizenship entitles you to something other than the right to be here, vote, and hold office. It's called communism. Maybe you should immigrate to a communist country or at least a democratic socialist one?

    The communists think that your rights only exist if the government says so and you're a citizen, too. Maybe you're a communist? Go be a communist!

  • jmomls||

    *Is it rational to blame 1.2 billion people for what a small percentage of them do?*

    A small percentage of 1.2 billion people is still a hell of a lot of people.

    There's no need to let *any* of them into the United States.

    Period.

    The end.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, see, the problem with letting the government violate the Fifth Amendment when they're going after arsonists is that the Fifth Amendment doesn't just protect the rights of arsonists. It protects my rights, too. Once we denigrate the Fifth Amendment, then what's going to protect my rights? I'm not standing up for the rights of arsonists, really, but I'll stand up for my own and the Fifth Amendment.

    Can you guess what the problem is with letting the government violate the First Amendment when they're going after terrorists?

    It's what I said above plus one other thing: if you look at other countries that don't have the First Amendment but a lot of our culture otherwise, like the UK, Australia and Canada, their commitment to free speech and freedom of religion isn't anything like ours. Holocaust denial is a crime in France. In Canada, a comedian was fined tens of thousands of dollars for hurting the feelings of a handicapped kid. In Australia, politicians sue journalists for what they print about them in the paper--without having to prove malice or damages.

    In other words, the First Amendment isn't just what makes us free in certain respects. It's a legitimate source of patriotism. The First Amendment is what makes this country worth fighting for, and it's what makes us American.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Archie Bunker thought the the racist stuff he said wasn't racist because it was true!

    If you object to the truth as racist, you need a new concept of racist.

  • You're Kidding||

    Oh, I don't know. My country freinds are always complaining about the city folk that buy places up in the country to escape their urban grind life. Only, the country folks say, they try to bring all of that same old shit up here with them.

    It's just human nature I guess.

    :-)

  • AZ Gunowner||

    I'm not an Islamophobe.

    I have a rational fear of Islam.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's what all the paranoids say.

    You should call a hotline. Maybe try Lexapro or something.

    Anyway, they've got professionals that can help you with that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I have a rational fear of Islam."

    I should add that among the other awful things George W. Bush did, maybe the most long lasting and worst was making a virtue out of cowardice.

    Before the Bush administration, guys weren't proud of being afraid--not in public.

    Telling people how scared you are of something is . . . um . . . effeminate and unmanly.

    . . . not that there's anything wrong with that if you swing that way. I'm just sayin'. Guys didn't used to talk about how scared they were--and after Bush went around telling everybody that if they didn't support what he was doing, then they were insufficiently frightened, all that seems to have gone out the window--at least in regards to Islam.

    Men aren't supposed to be scared.

    And they're not supposed to cry a lot in public either.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVQOLX1wDAc

  • damikesc||

    In the past, men would just deal with the issue as needed.

    I REALLY doubt you're calling for that. But if you are, well, things don't always go as expected.

  • DanO.||

    Opposing King's views because they're racist and wrong is one thing, but...

    But nothing. King's views are racist and wrong. Period. If his constituents are also racists, then they are "wrong" as well. And if you think elected officials should cater to their constituents' racist ideologies, you're worse than King, because you should know better.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "They cause less crime than native-born Americans"

    That statement is . . . um . . . misleading.

    Immigrants cause less crime than native born Americans--in the same socioeconomic group. The average native born American is not limited to an eighth grade education and is not on the bottom of the economic scale. The average immigrant does not commit less crime than the average American suburbanite.

    The average immigrant commits less crime than native-born, high school drop outs in our inner cities.

    . . . I support open borders with Mexico anyway (with some qualifications regarding reliable IDs and security).

  • Room 237||

    It all went down hill when we let you Irish in.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    ag fuck tu go leir

  • You're Kidding||

    And, my father used to say that the two worst things we ever did was let women vote and allow them to get driver's licenses. ;-)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "...and they brought odd customs (Catholicism first and foremost) with them. "
    Catholicism was already here in Florida and out West with the Spanish.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    -1 Maryland colony

  • Trumptard||

    No kidding. What about the Acadians who ended up in Louisiana?

  • Dadlobby||

    Why didn't they speak English? How did they communicate to fight in those wars if the only spoke Italian?
    This guy. like all the other "I'm a shit on immigrant too" adherent of uncontrolled immigration forgets how well that worked out for the NATIVE American's when the mass immigration hit them and spread across the country. Without assimilation the locals were overcome by sheer numbers and their culture, religion, and way of life was undermined. Those coming to America were looking for opportunity AND the right to be themselves, guaranteed under the US Constitution. And to compare past immigration to today is to take things out of historical context. Without defined boundaries a "nation" is no a Nation and no Nation citizen's are required to accept immigrants, but are required to keep its citizens safe and free.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Why do I feel like by "NATIVE American" you mean something other than "Native American"?

  • Tony||

    Talk about being overcome by someone else's culture (and microbes).

  • Dadlobby||

    I meant the American Indian (which I usually use but was being PC), mass European immigration worked well for them, right? Most use the early 1900's to compare to, but eugenics was accepted science and most government tried to limit 'those people". By law all who are born here are Native American's which is what I believe King was referring to.

  • DanO.||

    Dear Glibertarians,
    You forgot a few bigots and xenophobes. Come get them please.
    Thx,
    Dan

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Major Hassan (the Ft Hood Muslim murderer) was a baby of Muslim immigrants.

    He assimilated real well.

    The brothers Tsarnaev assimilated so well they blew up the Boston Marathon killing 3 and injuring over 100 others, 16 of whom lost limbs.

    There are quite a few other examples.

    But nobody wants to talk about them either.

  • Tony||

    Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people with a bomb. You don't want to talk about him do you?

  • Tak Kak||

    We have more than enough home-grown nuts.

  • Dadlobby||

    So because we had a home grown terrorist we should invite others in to do the same ... ?

  • Tony||

    Or perhaps we should root out terrorism using means other than blanket racism.

  • Tak Kak||

    Just don't let them in and you could do just that.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Thanks Nick. You've justified that PhD :-)

    One of the things I despise most about the anti-immigrant closed-border crowd is that they think "American" means some specific characteristics, primarily nowadays being non-Muslim and speaking English; they've dropped some of the whiteness, but they aren't really very different from their anti-Irish anti-Catholic ancestors. The very concept that "American" is an attitude of liberty is beyond their feeble minds, and they show it with every new regulation, occupational licensing law, zoning ordinance, safety czar, and other bureaucrat, like a child capturing a firefly in a jar and wondering why it dies.

  • damikesc||

    Out of curiosity, do you know of the percentages of the immigrants that support those policies?

  • Dadlobby||

    Define white? Is it the Italians (cause I thought they were treated non white)? The Irish (Protestant or Catholic or both)? All Europeans? French, Dutch, English, Scottish? Scandinavians, German's? You seem highly bigoted towards early Europeans and their ancestors (and put them all in one category). Wasn't it Europeans who gave us the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and this Republic (if we can keep it as Franklin stated). Please explain it to my 'feeble mind".

  • Kongming||

    Phenomenal article, Nick. Thanks for writing. I'll never understand how a nation of immigrants can get so xenophobic.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Cowardice. Fear. My God, but we've become a nation of pussies.

  • You're Kidding||

    Pictures please. (of the pussies)

  • DanO.||

    It always boils down to collectivism:

    Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.


    --Ayn Rand

    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/racism.html

  • You're Kidding||

    But, was she not surrounded by, and dabbled in, Eugenicists?

  • DanO.||

    No.

  • MikeP2||

    Pathetic article, Nick. Wish you would stop the over-the-top promotion of open borders ignoring how a nation of immigrants has every right to proper regulate the introduction of new citizens.

    King's comment was clear and to the point. Culture....is the argument that the anglo culture of meritocracy, egalitarianism, liberty, and rule of law is not superior to that of other cultures? It would seem to be an ignorant position to argue. If the anglo culture (with its open adoption of the best of other cultures) does have advantages, is it not then absurd to radically alter that culture with an influx of people from other cultures, well and above that of the current assimilation rate. Is it not absurd to embrace millions of people, who have babies at multiple times the native rate, who have a distinctly different culture and a noted unwillingness to assimilate and adopt native culture and values?

    King is absolutely correct and his point is valid. Demographics defines the future. Culture defines who we are. If we value who we are, why ignore the demographics that point to a future loss of who we are? pathetic.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The only way you can seriously claim that King was talking about "egalitarianism, liberty and rule of law" is if you're completely ingenuous or an idiot. Or both. I'm not ruling that out.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Well reasoned retort!

  • Tony||

    Nobody's forcing you to fuck a Mexican dude.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I don't think that would work. Unless you meant to have a comma before "dude."

  • JeremyR||

    Go ask the Native Americans how it worked out for them?

  • damikesc||

    Nick claims to want liberty...but feels that importing fascists is a perfectly acceptable way to do this.

    People like Nick is why Libertarianism is just a sick and cruel joke. A lovely idea fostered by a group of utterly naive dullards with no capacity to foresee any possible issues with their myopic views.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I should no longer be amazed by how cowardly the Trumpistas are. But sometimes I still am.

  • DanO.||

    They out themselves proudly.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Retards to the left of me, pussies to the right: Here I am, stuck in the middle with you. And, apparently, Ayn.

  • damikesc||

    Cruz supporter actually. But tell me more about how importing more people who are utterly not in line with any semblance of Libertarian philosophy will bring about the Libertarian moment.

  • DanO.||

    1) Human beings are not "imported." Cars and electronics and wine are imported.

    2) Oddly, there is no libertarian purity test for immigrants who, more oddly still, are like their American counterparts in that they have never heard of libertarianism.

    3) Straw men.

  • damikesc||

    1) H1B visa holders are basically imported. And they seek to give their "employers" even more power over them.

    2) When your goal is to improve liberty, bringing in more people politically opposed to it seems like an asinine decision. YMMV. I see no benefit in drawing people in who don't want to go along with the core concept of liberty that we have here.

    Open borders hasn't ever been practiced until recently and, quite bluntly, it has been a fiasco.

    3) Maybe you can expand your "thought" out further here.

  • Ron||

    Yes America has always worried about influxes of immigrants those same immigrants that end up making America what it is to this day and maybe its that worry by all immigrants of the past trying to protect what it has become, not referring to personal wealth to protect but the existential America that people of the world seek out. It is the american ideal that people strongly want to protect and it is that control that possible helps America to stay the America of immigrants with out it being flooded so quickly that its former self is no longer recognizable. it is the duty of every creature to protect itself form being over riden and we have seen this same thing happen to other cultures already we know it can destroy those cultures just ask native americans. Bring on the Immigrants just control the rate.

  • GiveMeLibertyOrHandouts||

    "Was it when my Uncle John landed in Sicily, as part of a force invading the country "

    Yes, actually. Being part of an invasion force is the perfect way to become an American.

    Either that, or by putting on an 50 extra pounds by watching AMERICAN sports like football and baseball while pounding american beer and eating the finest american foods such as cheesesteaks and freedom fries. I know that's how I did it.

  • Mesoman||

    What a waste of print arguing with a straw man.

    His point, which he clarified, is obviously that people coming here from incompatible cultures are not the best fit as immigrants. If their kids are raised in those cultures, ditto.

    If your country is full of actual, faithful Muslims from many cultures, the separation of Church and State will vanish.

    In the past, immigrants and no choice but to join our culture.

    Today, multiculturalism seeks to create separate cultures within the US - to import, say, a bunch of people with a really messed up culture - say, Afghanistan - and then let them live in their ghettos and raise their kids with the same values. The welfare state makes this possible, plus modern communications allows theses communities to remain isolated even if they are not geographically together.

    Not every kid will grow up to be a Taliban. Not every child of Mexican illegal immigrants grows up to be a gang banger - I know some who are great contributions to our society. But if you haven't been to a modern barrios (Hopefully in a modern car), then you may not realize that we now have extremely dangerous, dysfunctional cultures living in many of our cities.

    So don't jump on King for what he didn't mean. It's as dumb as taking Trump's tweets literally, or believing he really intends to build an actual high concrete wall the length of the border.

  • Barnhouse||

    "Here's the thing about "becoming" American: It's the easiest thing in the world. You just have to live here, work here, get along here."

    So 'get along' means more than mind your own business to me. It means understanding and accepting our participatory form of government. It means accepting all of the tenets of the Constitution, especially free speech and freedom of religion. You don't get to set your daughter on fire because she 'shamed' your family. And, you don't get to kill someone because they insulted your God. So, in my opinion, the standard to become American is a little higher than Nick alludes to here.

  • Jr12||

    Nick concludes that since his parents were immigrants and good people, all immigrants are good people. Typical liberal perspective obscuring individuality with the stereotypes of universal worth, and trusting that the preferred stereotype ensures the targeted individuals conform to a preferred standard of behavior.

    Why are stereotype driven collectivists publishing a magazine aimed at a readership of individualists. Must be that "big tent" crap that rationalizes federally selected collectives of tax dependency are a necessary handicap on independence.
    Like communism, but with different stereotypes.

  • Bearded Spock||

    As I have read the recent belligerently pro-immigration screeds by Gillespie and Dalmia I have been struck by the unspoken false assumptions which underlie their arguments, assumptions which almost rise to the level of religious dogma.

    The first of these is the idea that immigration, and by extension immigrants, are always and forever an unalloyed good; immigration always produces positive outcomes, and the more immigrants, the better.

    The second of these is related to the first, that immigrants are always good and the only people who would object to America's come-one-come-all immigration policies are irredeemable racists who secretly pine for an opportunity to march the Rainbow Coalition into the nearest gas chamber.

    And finally, the third assumption is the most illogical and risible of all: That America can take in millions and millions of unskilled, uneducated Third-World poor and adopt a "LOL, whatever" attitude towards border security and there will be no cultural, societal, or political repercussions whatsoever.

    The last one is truly bizarre, considering that the main reason Donald Trump is president today is because he promised to actually do something about immigration as opposed to mouthing bland Bush-ist multiculturalist pieties about the beauty of diversity or some such nonsense.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    The last one is truly bizarre, considering that the main reason Donald Trump is president today is because he promised to actually do something about immigration as opposed to mouthing bland Bush-ist multiculturalist pieties about the beauty of diversity or some such nonsense.

    It's even more bizarre given that the same people who advocate nearly unrestricted immigration of unskilled, uneducated third-world poor wring their hands at income inequality and social disparities in the US.

    Apparently, it's really easy to turn an illiteral Syrian refugee into a highly productive worker, when we can't accomplish the same for an inner city black. But don't you worry about it: "the 1%" will pay for it all!

    Big-L Libertarianism has clearly jumped the shark by adopting these illogical, inconsistent progressive beliefs.

  • You're Kidding||

    Ah, diversity. As I've said many times, I live in Cali and diversity is rammed down our throats at every possible opportunity: Politics, employment, government.

    The latest is the new, ongoing attacks and lap dog acceptance of the 'lack of women" in tech firms.

    While I have nothing against diversity per se, and, have found it enjoyable at times, I've never seen empirical proof of its being something "good" unto itself.

    My favorite Chinese restaurant is owned and run by............Chinese. Should we force them to be more diverse? Would the food be as good? What about the ambiance?

    Pro football certainly isn't diverse. At least by the measures of relative proportion of race within the general population compared to the teams themselves. To say nothing of the same gender issue. But, would pro football be the same if it were more diverse? Especially if that diversity is artificially contrived by some bureaucratic measure?

  • DanO.||

    There's nothing like an immigration story to bring out Trump's cockroaches.

  • hurts_donut||

    Jesus, there's a lot of lefty trolls on this site now.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Doesn't he understand that, unlike America, European countries are notoriously rotten at assimilating newcomers?

    We've got *magic* dirt. You step off the plane, and *boom*, you're assimilated, ensuring that you'll bring up your children with deep-seated values of individualism, tolerance, liberty, and rule of law.

    But back to my parents: Their parents came to America during the middle 1910s

    Before the Dependency State came along to subsidize and promote unassimilated dysfunctional societal subcultures.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    ^ This.

    And let me be crystal clear: as an immigrant myself, I do not want many of my former countrymen to join me; they are politically and socially dysfunctional, and I wanted to get away from them.

  • buybuydandavis||


    In fact, King implies that people like my parents—born to Irish and Italian immigrants, in 1923 and 1927, respectively—were part of Western Civilization's decline.

    He would imply that they were *different* than Americans of the time. And they were. And that the addition of them and people like them would *change* American culture, making it more like Italian and Irish culture. And it did.

    Dalai Lama:


    The unabated influx of Chinese immigrants to Tibet, which has the effect of overwhelming Tibet's distinct cultural and religious identity and reducing the Tibetans to an insignificant minority in their own country, amount to a policy of cultural genocide. Today, in most of the major towns and cities Tibetans are already marginalised. If this population transfer is allowed to continue, Tibetan civilization will cease to exist in a few decades.

    Hey Nick, is the Dalai Lama also an evil filthy racist nativist?

  • creech||

    "He would imply that they were *different* than Americans of the time. And they were. And that the addition of them and people like them would *change* American culture, making it more like Italian and Irish culture. And it did."

    Of course it did; you think there would be any huge St. Patty's Day celebrations - and not by just the Irish descendants - on Friday? Or Cinco de Mayo? Or Columbus Day?

  • John Q. Public||

    Thank you for a very fine and thoughtful essay.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    It's strange then that Steve King, Donald Trump, and other restrictionists would fret so much over the decline of civilization and "somebody else's babies."

    Nick, are you seriously incapable of understanding the difference between educated, skilled, liberal immigrants on the one hand, and welfare-dependent, statist, intolerant immigrants on the other?

    If history teaches us anything, it's that countries such as Japan, which refuses to allow much in the way of immigration, is growing old and dying.

    That's just stupid. There is a reasonable middle ground between xenophobic Japan and anything-goes America. Like, for example, what most other countries are doing: they largely limit immigration to skilled, self-reliant, tolerant people.

    Take it from an immigrant: you do not want millions of my former compatriots to come to the US, lest they turn the US into the same kind of shithole that I emigrated from.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Here's the thing about "becoming" American: It's the easiest thing in the world. You just have to live here, work here, get along here.

    And, these days, get free health care, free education, and a kick-ass social safety net that beats pretty much anything anywhere else, all courtesy of "the 1%"!

    See, "becoming an American" today is radically different from what it was when your parents immigrated.

  • reardensteel||

    I'm not convinced that tweet even meant what Gillespie thinks it meant.

  • ConnarchyInTheUSA||

    Well said, Nick.
    If the first immigrants here would've just stfu and assimilated, we'd all be speaking a very different language. Immigration changes a societal landscapes because of the variables associated with those who make up the culture. What we are seeing is a shift; European/Caucasian culture -- once a vast majority -- is now becoming gradually smaller. In the next century or so (perhaps sooner) the projections say it will no longer be the majority and might even be the minority.
    With all of the interaction between so many ethnic groups, there will soon come a new ethnicity. Not black. Not white. Not Asian. Not Middle-Eastern. Not any other descent. It will be a true American ethnic classification. Why? Because in the other parts of the world there is not this level of ethnic mixing.
    The knee jerk fear of immigrants is a natural, if overblown, reaction to the decay of the majority ethnicity. Anyone with an ounce of Irish blood and a family who keeps its history knows that.

  • ConnarchyInTheUSA||

    **LANDSCAPE.
    Didn't mean to add an "s".

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online