In an effort to stay solely focused on the topic of free speech in my last bit of writing, I neglected another point I wished to address. So, I’d like to gather up that free-floating thought before it’s swept away, never to be remembered. The American poet Ruth Stone once discussed the following – and I’m paraphrasing: if you feel a piece of writing barreling across the landscape, you better run like hell to catch it before it escapes to find another writer. Once I’ve done so, I’ll move on to my prepared responses.
The biggest piece of topical left-overs that remains on the table is that of lingering aristocracy in countries that were historically monarchies. With just that sentence alone, I’m sure the first example to come to mind for most is that of England and their royal family. Even when I was younger, the idea of the British royal line never sat right with me. I find royalty in general to be egregious, but this case seemed particularly ridiculous.
The British line is akin to a family of aristocratic cheerleaders. It wasn’t too long ago that they still held a modicum of power in the governmental hierarchy of Great Britain. Although, that time has passed. Their power has faded, yet they indeed remain. Since at least the 1940s, the world has seen the British royal family’s transition from heads of state to socialized celebrities. They are bought and paid for by the British citizenry in exchange for being polished paragons of everything English. It’s no surprise their allure has gained such an attraction in the United States. The royal family has all the attraction of an A-list celebrity, but with the added fantasy of old-world money and status. Monarchs are always more adored than mummers. Whenever a royal wedding or birth takes over the mainstream media, Americans suddenly forget that the American Revolution was, in a very small part, a refusal to foam at the mouth over the playtime of aristocratic entities.
Aristocracy, especially the obsolete kind, circumnavigates the merit-based culture of republicanism. Many Americans, including myself, critique the Kardashian family for being famous for doing nothing, but at least Robert Kardashian had to successfully defend OJ Simpson to put his name on the map. The British royal family sits atop the crumbled doctrine of divine right. Either way, I think the United States and Great Britain could do without both the Kardashians and the British royal family.
Next, in terms of responding to your previous post, I’d like to move on to revisit illegal immigration and one of our most recurring topics – President Trump.
While discussing illegal immigrants, you took a shot at the amount of them that are currently residing within the United States. The best estimates I’ve seen in relation to the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is 11 million. That’s quite a staggering number even when you don’t give it much thought. But, when you do, it becomes all the more troubling. The total population of the United States hovers around 300 million. So, that means that almost four percent of the United States population is not authorized to be here by the government of the land that they’re currently occupying. One of the foremost authorities a government must possess is the ability to dictate who has access to its guarded lands and the fruits of that land. If it’s unable to do that, then it’s unable to adequately control the overall climate in which it’s forced to govern.
I would never advocate for the mass-removal of all 11 million illegals. My thoughts on the matter have already been fully stated throughout previous posts, so I won’t bother fully reiterating what I’ve already stated. To sum up my thoughts on illegal immigration in a brief statement, I’d say the following: compassion is a necessity – after all we are dealing with human beings, which is a fact that seems forgotten all too often – but a firm belief in the sovereignty and laws of the United Sates of America cannot be abandoned.
You went on to say that “any American administration attempting even a fraction of such an action would be stopped by civil disobedience in the form of unmovable masses of citizen bodies. So, it won’t happen.” I disagree with that sentiment on two counts.
The first count is the fact that Donald Trump heavily campaigned on the idea of mass deportation of illegal immigrants. As we saw during the campaign, this was an extremely inflammatory piece of rhetoric Trump was trumpeting. The left lobbed labels of racism and bigotry at him, which his campaign attempted to counter with the Nixonian excuse of law and order. A mix of support for this policy, as well as some disbelief as to whether Trump would actually follow through with this campaign promise, lifted Trump to the White House. Then, only five days after moving in, Trump promised to immediately deport between 2 and 3 million illegal immigrants with criminal records. Now, while Trump has yet to reach those “bigly” numbers, he’s on his way.
As of April 24, 2017, statistics show that the Trump administration has overseen the removal of nearly 55,000 illegal immigrants with both criminal and non-criminal backgrounds. While that’s nowhere near the 2 to 3 million he promised, he’s still trying to carry out his campaign promise in general. However, it seems he’s expanded his targeting since winning the election, as during the campaign he promised to spare non-criminal illegal immigrants the humiliation of deportation. There have even been several stories of illegal Trump supporters being detained and removed from the country. It would seem some people have overestimated Trump’s adherence to the truth on this particular issue.
That brings me to my second point, which I find quite interesting. You were right when you alluded to the idea that Trump would be stalled by resistance and civil disobedience. After all, many people find the idea of forcibly deporting 2 to 3 million people to be appalling. However, just because people find it appalling doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. That fact was made all too clear during the Obama administration, during which Barrack Obama deported 2 to 3 million criminal and non-criminal illegal immigrants over the course of his 8 years in the White House. This was the largest mass-deportation program ever carried out by an American president. While executing this system of mass deportation, Obama faced little public opposition. The most famous opposition to his illegal immigration strategy came from Janet Murguía, president of the National Council on La Raza, when she called Obama “the deporter-in-chief.”
So, it’s clear that this kind of mass action against illegal immigrants is a possibility. In fact, Trump is on track to repeat Obama’s numbers when it comes to deportation. Some might say that this will be a case of history quickly repeating itself. I never really subscribed to that old adage, but I do think history tends to rhyme. And, unfortunately for illegal immigrants within the United States, it does appear that a new stanza is just starting to be written.
The final issue I’ll lightly touch on before I wrap up this chapter is your clarification of conservatism and its separation from Republicanism. I agree with you that conservatism is not inherent to the Republican party. In all actuality, the conservative movement has only been a stable political staple in the United States for the past sixty years or so. The form of the conservative movement in America was shaped in a big way by the hands of political commentator William F. Buckley.
I find it quite poetic to mention Buckley only one piece after mentioning Gore Vidal. These two men were bitter rivals, and weren’t afraid to show contempt and hatred for each other in public. Their animosity was put on display in 1968 at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, respectively. This series of debates was put on television by ABC, and was really the start of political punditry as we know it today. However, the discourse may have taken a slightly rougher turn than we are used to when Buckley called Vidal a “queer” and threated to “sock him the goddamn face” after he called Buckley a “crypto-Nazi.”
Nevertheless, Buckley – with the use of his magazine, National Review – was the poster boy for the early Conservative movement. The movement put its faith in Barry Goldwater in 1964. However, after a landslide victory by Lyndon Johnson, conservatives wouldn’t find their footing again until Richard Nixon won the Presidency in 1968. While that worked out for a time, Watergate blowback cost conservatives the Whitehouse in 1977 to Jimmy Carter. It wasn’t until Ronald Reagan called for an effort to “Make America Great Again” in 1981 that conservatism truly captured the White House and took the United States by storm.
So, to say that Republicanism is inseparable from conservatism is wrong, considering the Republican party stretches all the way back to 1854 and American conservatism only fully emerged in the 1950s.
The laisez faire usage of words like liberal, conservative, Republican, and Democrat, perverts the meaning of those words. When we start to use them interchangeably, we start to believe that they mean the same thing. Political clarification isn’t any easier when you consider that most human beings don’t have the urge to learn from history or even realize that the way things are now aren’t the way they’ve always been. This fact is perfectly clear when you consider the modern toxicity of the words liberal and conservative.
In today’s political climate – in which labels are the be all and end all of political status and definition – if you were to insinuate that Abraham Lincoln was quite “liberal,” many people would probably attempt to rebuke you by saying that he was a Republican.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you were to say that John F. Kennedy was actually pretty “conservative,” there would be no end to the amount of argument and debate that would be let loose upon you. Most of that argument would probably hinge on the fact that Kennedy was a Democrat.
To those people I would say: 4 doesn’t equal 5, and liberal doesn’t equal Democrat.