Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Paradigm Shift

Victor Davis Hanson tries to account for "this sudden independent action abroad while becoming ever more skeptical of traditional alliances." He thinks the general public has a clearer understanding of what he calls the "post-Cold War teenager syndrome" (that perpetual dependency creates envy and jealousy) than do the elites (and Europeans). So the real story, he writes, is not global "anti-Americanism", "but perhaps a growing American weariness with strident allies and the braggadocio of pathetic Middle Eastern despotisms." And Hanson has some suggestions on what we ought to do. Very interesting stuff. 

Discussions - 6 Comments

I just found this latest news item from the Netscape home page:

Study: U.S. "dangerously unprepared" to handle another terrorist attack

I am not one to trust this organization, but in this case, they are probably right. Perhaps if we had been paying more attention to protecting our own citizens, and less on "liberarting" the oppressed people of foreign countries, we would be in better shape than we are now. Unfortunately, this administration has been failing to do that.

They are. The US are to remove all the bases in South Korea, Germany, Okinawa, Spain, and Greece. And last I heard, they are not relocating somewhere else, they are going back to America. Most people still don’t get it, but VDH is describing (and he supports it) that the US is returning to "mind our own business" policies.

Open: Good, Closed: Bad

"US is returning to "mind our own business" policies."

Is it in the cyclical stars? Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, was quoted recently as stating that one major reason we removed Saddam was so we could remove our troops from Saudi Arabia.

A move toward some sort of "new isolationism" wouldn’t surprise me. Cyclical trends suggests we are due for a move in this direction. The biggest trend is the incredible revival of immigration in this country, since we re-opened our doors in 1965. The last flood of immigrants (1880-1920) resulted in Congress instituting quotas following the World War I (who could forget how FDR turned a ship full of German Jewish refugees away in 1939 with the quota excuse).

Personally, I wish it weren’t so, this move toward isolationism. The Open: Good, Closed: Bad theory, I believe, is one of the biggest factors that drives a dynamic and growing economy. The 1929 Crash, and resulting Depression and Total World War were the consequence of this sort of short-sighten nationalism that swept the world years ago. And I am really not too thrilled to see a replay of it in my lifetime

Why don’t we simply allow completly free borders? Let anyone who wants to come to the United States do so legally. Replace the wet foot/dry foot, with an any foot policy. Let our world dominance show by the numbers of people that want to come here. (there are lots of people who love america and want to live here.) Let them do so as full citizens, get rid of any quotas limiting the number of immigrants. This is also the quickest way to reduce the welfare state. End all subsides to foreign governments. End all corporate subsidies. Withdraw from the United Nations. Reduce military presence overseas except in key strategic spots. While many people will say that completly open boarders would simply invite terrorists, I doubt this is the case. Regulated boarders don’t stop terrorists, they only discourage the many people who would love to work and live the American dream. If we take the Declaration seriously everyone is entitled to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. If and only if they are willing to work for it. Let anyone who is willing to work for it enter. On the other hand we should take a more proactive stance on shutting down the terrorist fronts opperating in the United States. There is no reason to tolerate any group that goes so far as having a single association with any known terrorist. In short we should assure that not a single american dollar goes to fund anything that would or could harm us. We should be isolationist in the sense that we should remove ourselves from the rest of the world. But we should allow anyone who seeks the opportunities enshrined in the Declaration to enter freely. In many respects I agree a lot with Mr. Lamb, the New Isolationism should be a completly open isolationism. But Isolationism in the sense of ending the UN, and no longer dealing with anyone who openly dislikes us is really not about isolationism it is about 1 thing: not tossing pearls to swine. Every pearl we toss to swine, is one less pearl available for current americans. But it isn’t just about current americans, it is also about the millions of people who want to be americans. A closed door policy is anti-american. So are quotas in all forms. When there are so many people who want to be americans why are we busy screwing around with anyone else? The example of turning away the Jews, is popular because we all know how it turned out. But my guess (I am not sure anything scientific could ever be done on the issue) is that the cost in lives and suffering that has occured because of quotas on immigration, is an incredible multiple of this one incident. For the cost of all the pearls we have tossed to swine, our country could have assorbed a much greater number of immigrants. These immigrants could have made us an even stronger nation. If President Bush is serious about true diversity, the answer isn’t in quotas, but in the abolition of quotas in regards to immigration.

I think so. As I’m a migrant to New Zealand I think what the US could do is this: abolish national quotas and implement a points-based system similar to the one used in NZ, Australia and Canada. Each migrant case is judged on his merits (including things like his skills, knowledge in English, character, etc) and if he passes a mark he is allowed to migrate to the US. If he fails he would have to reapply in the future. The passmark varies from year to year giving flexibility of who America currently needs and also allows flexible number of migrants the US takes each year.

In this way, there is no background for cries of discriminations from some litigation-hungry lawyers, and it allows migrants in solely on their merits, which is consistent with the American founding.

I must take issue with the recent comments of Dr. Lewis. Although I do not totally disagree, I will comment on the immigration issue. Dr. Lewis proposes all sorts of other sweeping and grandiose reforms, but I cannot go down through each of those, just enough to say I think they are a little extreme. I do not see how a closed or monitored border is anti-American. It is true that the Declaration proposed the idea of Liberty to all men, but it also helped to create a nation that has sovereignty, interest, and physical borders. The idea of a completely open border system is uncomfortable to me. Now, it may be true that the current system of immigration is flawed, but to abolish all immigration laws seems awfully dangerous. I do not mean physically dangerous, like from terrorist attacks, I mean dangerous to society in general. I am not advocating protectionism or something, just a little more caution. America is both a principle to live by and a physical realm to be protected. Immigration law is for that purpose. Are they perfect? No. Are they anti-American? No, I don’t see that, although I do see what you are getting at. But I wonder if what you are getting at is an absence of everything that affords some basic governmental regulation required by modernity.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: