American Elephants


Only On the Hard Left: Goofy Dreams of a Borderless World by The Elephant's Child

BN-ON168_Fence_G_20160616142223
Americans have watched the influx of millions of young, Muslim, and mostly male refugees into a European Union poorly prepared to deal with them.  The European Union, envisioned as sort of a United States of Europe, has been troubled from the start with an oversupply of political correctness. The Schengen Area agreements which gave free rights of movement within Europe were not planned to deal with the migrants or their numbers. A popular revolt has arisen. Europeans apparently wish to accept Middle Eastern immigrants only to the extent that they arrive legally and promise to become European in values and outlook, and they are learning that their own values and outlook are quite different from what prevails in the Middle East or North Africa.

President Obama has effectively planted a big welcome sign on our Southern border. Since 2012, the U.S. has essentially quit policing the border entirely. He has, by executive order, reduced the requirements for citizenship, scattered illegals across the country inflicting hundreds of new students on unprepared school districts. This has directly led to the rise of Donald Trump and his “great big wall.” It may be as much that someone is finally taking notice of the problem, as the actuality of a promised wall. Victor Davis Hanson, whose home is in California’s great Central Valley has written often about immigration and its resulting problems.  He wrote yesterday:

Driving the growing populist outrage in Europe and North America is the ongoing elite push for a borderless world. Among elites, borderlessness has taken its place among the politically correct positions of our age—and, as with other such ideas, it has shaped the language we use. The descriptive term “illegal alien” has given way to the nebulous “unlawful immigrant.” This, in turn, has given way to “undocumented immigrant,” “immigrant,” or the entirely neutral “migrant”—a noun that obscures whether the individual in question is entering or leaving. Such linguistic gymnastics are unfortunately necessary. Since an enforceable southern border no longer exists, there can be no immigration law to break in the first place.

Today’s open-borders agenda has its roots not only in economic factors—the need for low-wage workers who will do the work that native-born Americans or Europeans supposedly will not—but also in several decades of intellectual ferment, in which Western academics have created a trendy field of “borders discourse.” What we might call post-borderism argues that boundaries even between distinct nations are mere artificial constructs, methods of marginalization designed by those in power, mostly to stigmatize and oppress the “other”—usually the poorer and less Western—who arbitrarily ended up on the wrong side of the divide. “Where borders are drawn, power is exercised,” as one European scholar put it. This view assumes that where borders are not drawn, power is not exercised—as if a million Middle Eastern immigrants pouring into Germany do not wield considerable power by their sheer numbers and adroit manipulation of Western notions of victimization and grievance politics. Indeed, Western leftists seek political empowerment by encouraging the arrival of millions of impoverished migrants. …

Few escape petty hypocrisy when preaching the universal gospel of borderlessness. Barack Obama has caricatured the building of a wall on the U.S. southern border as nonsensical, as if borders are discriminatory and walls never work. Obama, remember, declared in his 2008 speech in Berlin that he wasn’t just an American but also a “citizen of the world.” Yet the Secret Service is currently adding five feet to the White House fence—presumably on the retrograde logic that what is inside the White House grounds is different from what is outside and that the higher the fence goes (“higher and stronger,” the Secret Service promises), the more of a deterrent it will be to would-be trespassers. If Obama’s previous wall was six feet high, the proposed 11 feet should be even better.

It’s a long article, but very worth your time. Dr. Hanson has clearly given the matter of borders a great deal of thought.

Clearly delineated borders and their enforcement, either by walls and fences or by security patrols, won’t go away because they go to the heart of the human condition—what jurists from Rome to the Scottish Enlightenment called meum et tuum, mine and yours. Between friends, unfenced borders enhance friendship; among the unfriendly, when fortified, they help keep the peace.


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