I knew I was setting myself up to be irritated when I clicked on the MSN link called
But I didn't really think it was worth blogging about until I got to the end.
And 2009 is only the beginning of the story. According to Pew, if current trends continue, the U.S. population will rise from 296 million in 2005 to 438 million in 2050. Eighty-two percentlet me repeat that: 82 percentof the increase will be attributable to immigrants arriving after 2005 and to their descendants. By that point, whites may make up only 47 percent of the country, ending centuries of a majority-white America.
Will the journey be smooth? That is doubtful. Politics can quickly turn mean. In hard economic times there is often a search for an "other" on which to blame the problems of life. In the wake of a possible terrorist attack, fear could easily lead to tension, resentment and discord. The good news about America, though, is that for all of our nativist fevers and periodic witch hunts, we tend, often after having exhausted every other option, to do what is right.
"Do what is right." You know, vote Democrat.
Yes, "right" is Left, because the Right is racist. Read between the lines:
In hard economic times there is often a search for an "other" on which to blame the problems of life.
Need I specify who will supposedly "search" for whom? Who will supposedly have "nativist fevers" and initiate "witch hunts"?
But let's put politics aside for a moment and talk demographics.
"Current trends" don't continue forever. If the US economy goes downhill, this country will become a less attractive destination for immigrants. (OTOH, even a fallen US would still be desirable to many who live in true misery.)
In any case, there does not seem to be any significant demand to close the door. Many oppose amnesty for illegals, but few want to cut down on legal immigration. Questions for other readers:
1. Is restricting legal immigration a good idea, and if so, what sort of restrictions would be desirable: e.g., given our high-tech economy, would university graduates be preferred?
2. In particular, given the current war, is it desirable or even possible to prevent jihadists from immigrating? How can jihadists be distinguished from the majority of nonviolent Muslims? Is a small number of jihadist immigrants a necessary price to pay for an open door? Does it make sense to fight jihadists there if they can still come here?
3. Is more assimilation desirable? If so, how will this assimilation take place, and to what degree? For example, is it possible to be a "good American" without English? If America is a proposition nation, should it be OK to understand the Constitution and other fundamentals in another language? To vote in another language? Is Americanism intrinsically bound to the English language?
4. What will happen to affirmative action once more than half the population is eligible for it?
5. For the Rightists here: The Democratic Party is perceived to be the party of diversity. Should the Republican party reach out to nonwhites, and if so, how can it do this without tokenism, pandering, and patronizing?
Posted by: Amritas at January 18, 2009 09:30 PM (y3aIN)
I'm not a rightist, but can I answer #5?
I think that Republicans can reach out to non-whites by virtue of being visible. Currently, we have a political situation where what you DO does not matter, what you SAY you do/believe/will do matters.
The only way anyone can combat that is to actually go out and do things.
Mississippi was rebuilt after Katrina by churches of people who took pilgrimages to work. Churches that sometimes get recognized, but really get lost in the complaining about a still stagnating New Orleans. And churches that are generally more "right" than "left".
Rick Warren, while not a favorite of mine in many areas, gets attacked for some of his stands and yet his church has an active ministry for HIV+ as well as huge programs to provide food and shelter for the homeless.
If conservatives want conservatives to be seen as a force for good rather than a force of people with way too much money; conservatives need to be more visible in what they do for the community. That is the best and most honest kind of outreach. Not insipid speeches about how everyone was wrong before and things will get better given to organizations that basically exist to perpetuate victim stereotypes.
But, I could be wrong. Maybe you're just evil and beyond redemption.
Posted by: airforcewife at January 19, 2009 07:02 AM (Fb2PC)
Thank you for your reply.
Is there any evidence for a correlation between increased Rightist community involvement and more votes for Republicans? Can conservative private and religious charities compete with state benefits for the loyalties of their recipients? A cynic could say that the Right gives, but the Left gives more. Should the Right play the giving game?
I completely agree with you about "insipid speeches." That kind of talk isn't just cheap; it's toxic.
Who is the "you" in your last line? Me specifically, or the Republicans in the audience? (It'd be nice if colloquial English had retained a singular thou/plural you distinction.) I am not and never have been a Republican.
Posted by: Amritas at January 19, 2009 08:54 AM (y3aIN)
Good questions & thoughtful responses.
As a more conservative person, I prefer to decide where my charitable dollars and efforts go. It's hard for some, I'm sure, to realize that when the government hands out cash & prizes, that money comes from me too. The government doesn't generate it's own income, but it certainly does rely on me to do so.
Until people are willing to be intellectually honest on a large scale and quit throwing the baby out with the bath water, so to speak, it will be very difficult to make a noticeable paradigm shift.
Posted by: Guard Wife at January 19, 2009 09:44 AM (N3nNT)
I have an errant apostrophe in that comment & it bothers me. I can't change it. If Sarah takes pity on me & does, I will be grateful.
Posted by: Guard Wife at January 19, 2009 09:45 AM (N3nNT)
I meant "you're" in the aggregate sense.
But I agree also with Guard Wife's last sentence.
I think the best way to introduce different ideals to Americans, and in particular bring the good works of those more conservative groups to the forefront is to have a lot more involvement with education. Seriously - that is where it all starts.
For those of us who do not buy the leftist line hook, line, and sinker - we should really rethink where we send our children to learn. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, right?
We homeschool because we move a lot, but also because I want my children to know my values. I'm not opposed to them thinking for themselves or disagreeing with me. Geez, I disagree with my VERY liberal father and grandmother quite a bit! And I was totally steeped in the ideology growing up, let me tell you. I phone banked at Planned Parenthood fundraisers when I was 12 (now I'm very solidly pro-life, believe it or not).
But my children better darn well understand what they're rebelling against and be able to articulate their own arguments against it. And as a teacher I know for a fact that they will NOT learn those skills in most public schools and a great many private schools.
There should be alternatives for parents - not everyone has the ability to work from home like I do, or to depend on their husband's income as much as we do. If conservatives really do care about they future, they will work to MAKE those alternatives, not sit around and wait for vouchers that may never come or demand that families make sacrifices that they may not be able to withstand. If you (aggregate) are conservative and concerned about kids, you (aggregate) should be doing something for their education. Period. And personally. Whether you have kids school age or not.
But education is the only way to start. The ONLY way.
Posted by: airforcewife at January 19, 2009 03:04 PM (Fb2PC)
As a former Republican (and trying really hard to be Constitutionalist now), here are my initial thoughts (aside from "wow, there are a lot of thought-provoking questions today!"):
#1: Nope, I'm not in favor of imposing any additional limits (or even some of what we already have) on legal immigration. My idea: let everyone who wants to build come put their efforts into building the country, bailing the water and righting the ship! ;-)
#2: It does still make sense to fight radical Islamists around the world, I suppose; I've been conflicted for a while about the morality and Constitutionality of it, though. RE: the immigration aspect of it, screening for known terrorist ties makes sense, but I honestly don't know enough about existing procedure to make that sort of call. I'd probably err on the side of allowing people opportunity, since I really believe that the majority of good people can always overcome the bad minority. In fact, a good minority can overcome a bad majority. Good > Evil.
#3: ABSOLUTELY. I LOVE other languages & a lot of cultures, and I think we should all learn more than just English and "el shoe-o" Spanish as part of being educated human beings. But yes, PLEASE let's standardize our language of social intercourse. It's just practicality, IMHO. English is the international language of flight, commerce, etc.; it used to be French, but since it's English now, (right?), we should quit trying to find a guilt trip and just standardize our "internal commerce" accordingly.
#4: Dunno, LOL... but won't that be a hoot? :-) Seriously, though, I'm not holding out hope for the end of orchestrated class warfare, though, which is what a lot of the country's race problems seem to boil down to... power-hungry people using others for their own aggrandizement. I'm sure it wouldn't go away, even if the "race roles" those power brokers cling to, swap places... and heaven only knows what the bureaucrats will do then.
#5: Ignore our pigmentation entirely, regardless of what happens. Quit viewing people as blocs and start looking at them as individuals. Stop the INFERNAL STRATEGIZING, politicians!!! I think community and individual service show our "true colors" much better than words, which powermongers and talking heads just ignore or deny by spouting their poisonous dogma, anyway. We're all human beings, and we recognize when real care is shown to us. If we lift each other up as individuals and work charitably with each other at our most basic levels of life, I am *confident* that the rest will follow.
Posted by: kannie at January 19, 2009 03:06 PM (iT8dn)
And a big AMEN to AFW's education and thinking sentiments, and Guard Wife's intellectual honesty point!!!
Posted by: kannie at January 19, 2009 03:14 PM (iT8dn)
Thanks to everyone for their responses.
I'd be interested in hearing from the liberals in the audience about how to sway the other side.
Before we can even work on mass-scale intellectual honest, I'd like people to be more intellectual, period. I see too many people operating on instinct and feelings, not thought. That might have been sufficient to get by in the old days, but we live in a more complex world. However, I don't expect the human species to change soon. We're still cavepeople. We're not that far removed from the Flintstones.
What do you think people without school-age kids could do to promote education?
I have never heard of children phonebanking. It sounds manipulative, regardless of the right or wrong of the cause.
I appreciate how you addressed all my questions. Not that anyone is obligated to answer even one of them.
Posted by: Amritas at January 19, 2009 08:24 PM (y3aIN)
I meant "intellectual honesty"
Posted by: Amritas at January 19, 2009 08:26 PM (y3aIN)
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