Linda Chavez, who makes her living as a conservative female Hispanic, has a column at Townhall that should really be read several times in full. A summary and selected quotes don’t do it justice. In brief, though, her point—which she puts quite bluntly—is that the fuss over amnesty for illegal aliens is simply noise churned out by a tiny minority of irrational haters. That tiny minority unfortunately includes “a fair number of Republican members of Congress, almost all influential conservative talk radio hosts, some cable news anchors—most prominently, Lou Dobbs—and a handful of public policy ‘experts.'” Mrs. Chavez’s solution? “We need to quit pretending that the ‘No Amnesty’ crowd is anything other than what it is: a tiny group of angry, frightened and prejudiced loudmouths backed by political opportunists who exploit them.”
While the piece is written in grammatical English, its content is something one might find in a tirade by an ill-tempered person who’s really, really drunk. She obviously wasn’t drunk when she wrote it, though, and she presumably got where she is saying things that pleased conservatives with money and political influence and that seemed rational to moderates, so the piece should be taken seriously as a statement from a leading spokesman for the respectable conservative movement on issues regarding nation and ethnicity. It seems in line with our president’s views, for example.
Basically, the position is quite simple. Differences enrich. Immigrants are better and more American than Americans are, because they have consciously chosen this country as a place to work, contribute, raise families and recreate themselves as Americans. They give us many things we don’t have already. It follows that the more immigrants we have, and the more different they are from us and from each other, the better. The only people who disagree with such a view are xenophobes. Such people are utterly hateful and irrational and always do whatever they can to harass, abuse, and drive away those they consider different. The choice between forced sterilization on the one hand and securing the borders and deporting illegal immigrants on the other is purely opportunistic. It’s just a matter of what the xenophobes think they can get away with.
What can you say about such a position, or about a state of public discussion in which it can simply be presumed correct? Chavez, and the president, evidently believe they can silence opposition by yelling “racist.” Neither is stupid politically. Are they right?