Avert the end of America?
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” So said George Bernard Shaw.
In his book Who Are We? (Simon & Schuster, 2004), the eminent Harvard professor of political science Samuel Huntington writes:
Muslims, particularly Arab Muslims, seem slow to assimilate compared to other post-1965 groups…. A study of Los Angeles Muslims found ambivalent attitudes toward America: “a significant number of Muslims, particularly immigrant Muslims, do not have close ties or loyalty to the United States.” When asked whether they had “closer ties or loyalty to Islamic countries (perhaps your country of birth) or the United States,” 45 percent of the immigrants said Islamic countries, 10 percent the United States, and 32 percent about the same. Among American-born Muslims, 19 percent chose Islamic countries, 38 percent the United States, and 32 percent about the same. Fifty-seven percent said that “if given the choice, [they] would leave the United States to live in an Islamic country.
Suppose the United States attacked Iran to stop its development of nuclear weapons. Could the police and the National Guard quell Muslim riots in any major city of the United States – riots instigated by imams?
In “The Liberal Newcomers,” Phyllis Schlafly (February 3, 2014), writes:
People come to America because it is a remarkable oasis of freedom, prosperity, and opportunity. Conservatives recognize that the principal reason for our unique abundance is our constitutional restraint on the power of government….
Maintaining this system requires the public to support limited government. In a new report, Eagle Forum details how immigration is fundamentally changing the electorate to one that is much more supportive of big government.
By itself, the annual flow of 1.1 million legal immigrants under the current system will create more than 5 million new potential voters by 2024 and more than 8 million by 2028. Congressional Budget Office projections indicate that under the Senate Gang of Eight’s S.744 bill, the total additional potential voters would rise to nearly 10 million by 2024 and 18 million by 2028.
The influx of these new voters would reduce or eliminate Republicans’ ability to offer an alternative to big government, to increased government spending, to higher taxes, and to favorite liberal policies such as Obamacare and gun control.
There is nothing controversial about the report’s conclusion that both Hispanics and Asians, who account for about three-fourth of today’s immigrants, generally agree with the Democrats’ big-government agenda. It is for this reason that they vote two-to-one for Democrats. The 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey found that 62 percent of immigrants prefer a single, government-run health-care system. The 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that 69 percent of immigrants support Obamacare. Pew also found that 53 percent of Hispanics have a negative view of capitalism, the highest of any group surveyed. This is even higher than the 47 percent among self-identified supporters of Occupy Wall Street.
The Pew Research Center has also found that 75 percent of Hispanics prefer a “bigger government providing more services,” and only 19 percent prefer a smaller government. Pew also reported that 55 percent of Asians prefer “bigger government providing more services,” and only 36 percent prefer a smaller government. So it’s no surprise that in 2012, 71 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of Asians voted for Obama.
Even Republican emphasis on patriotism and national sovereignty is likely to alienate many immigrants. A Harris poll found that 81 percent of native-born Americans believe our schools should teach students to be proud of being American, compared with only 50 percent of immigrants who had become naturalized U.S. citizens. Only 37 percent of naturalized citizens (compared with 67 percent of native-born citizens) think our Constitution is a higher legal authority than international law.
The end of America?
While it seems that much of the Republican-party leadership has not actually looked at the policy preferences of immigrants, everyone else who has looked at the polls comes to the conclusion that significant majorities of immigrants and their children are big-government liberals. The New York Times’ Washington bureau chief admitted last year that “the two fastest-growing ethnic groups – Latinos and Asian-Americans – are decidedly liberal.” As University of Alabama political scientist George Hawley observes, “Immigrants are well to the left of the American public on a number of key issues.” He also makes clear that “liberalizing immigration will liberalize the U.S.” Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute points out that it “is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation.” Immigration in general – not race – is the issue.
The limited data for other immigrants – including Europeans and Muslims – indicate that they, too, generally hold views well to the left of the average American voter. In fact, as discussed in our new report, for reasons largely outside the control of conservatives, immigrants and their children gravitate to left-wing parties in almost all Western countries. The problem for conservatives is not race or ethnicity but immigration as such.
In the Politics, Aristotle warns that one cause of revolution – meaning change in the basic character of a regime – is “heterogeneity of stock.” America’s founding fathers were aware of this, and wanted to put meaningful restraints on eligibility for citizenship in America.
Is there a way to avert the end of America? Perhaps, but it would require bold, architectonic statesmanship.☼