Martha’s Meltdown Model

September 22, 2022 Updated: September 26, 2022

Commentary

Martha’s Vineyard has been all over the news.

The tony resort community so loves aiding and comforting the undocumented immigrants who were flown in from Florida that it hugged them—for all of 48 hours.

Oddly, the left became unhinged when red-state governors—whose states the past two years were flooded with some 3 million people who entered the country illegally—finally decided to spread the welcoming chores among affluent blue-state communities.

It was a natural fit.

Most, like Washington and New York, were on record as sanctuary city jurisdictions. In the abstract, they endorse open borders and celebrate diversity—from the serenity of thousands of miles away.

The uproar at Martha’s Vineyard prompted the Democratic hierarchy to do some explaining. Why had it not earlier objected to the federal government night flights of tens of thousands of border-crossers to red-state communities that had opposed illegal immigration?

And why be angry with governors who were only emulating that policy by flying in a mere 50 newcomers—in the light of day—to a far wealthier and liberal-minded sanctuary resort?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the nearly all-white, rich vacation spot an opportunity to match noble words with even nobler deeds. But in response, the 1 percent screamed that their small community couldn’t possibly cope with a mere 50 new arrivals.

So far, wealthy progressive enclaves in Malibu, Aspen, and Napa haven’t stepped up to alleviate the “burden” put on their Martha’s Vineyard brethren.

They should ask how a poor Yuma or El Paso sustains hundreds of thousands crossing illegally into their communities—since Joe Biden has effectively rendered federal immigration law null and void?

The Martha’s Vineyard vacation mansion of the Obamas is currently vacant, as are most of his neighbors’ estates. Their sizable and expansive grounds could still serve as ideal centers for hundreds of illegal immigrants to camp out.

Almost all arrivals would surely prefer the Obama estate, scenery, and view to crowding among the impoverished at the border.

Here, where I live in southern Fresno County, California, often ground zero for those arriving without documentation, receptive communities try hard to make space for immigrants.

On my avenue, small farmhouses are now rented to landlords who often manage to accommodate 20 or 30 immigrants on their small lots.

In fact, almost all farmhouses in my environs are surrounded by trailers, shacks, and sheds where hundreds of the undocumented live—to the total indifference of the state and utter neglect of California’s left-wing elite.

Instead, our apartheid living elite virtue signal that increased crime, gangs, drug smuggling, prostitution, and child trafficking don’t accompany open borders.

From personal experience, I can attest that many have found otherwise.

But, to be fair, Martha’s Vineyard could serve as a permanent way station for border-crossers. That way, it might offer a more disinterested long-term assessment of the effects of illegal immigration on U.S. social services and communities.

The Vineyard could also offer the nation a test case to ascertain whether the frantic panic of its privileged reveals their xenophobic racism and stereotyping—or if those are all too understandable reactions to the politically driven, reckless, and inhumane open-border policies of the Biden administration.

This new idea of redirecting undocumented immigrants from swamped communities on the border to more supportive, well-off sanctuary cities might also serve as an ethical model for us all on a variety of other issues.

For those who object to establishing grounds for the homeless far away from urban parks and downtowns, might they instead offer their own yards to help spread the burden among the entire community?

For those who mocked the efficacy of border walls, might they take a vow not to erect walls around their own estates?

For those who decry the inordinate carbon footprints of the consumer classes, might they pledge not to fly in private jets until catastrophic climate change abates?

For those who believe that natural gas is too carbonized a fuel to generate electricity or to warm homes, can they pledge not to heat swimming pools or cool their homes below 78 degrees?

For those who supported defunding the police and decriminalizing an array of previous misdemeanors and felonies, might they highlight the ensuing safety and security by not hiring private security guards?

For those who call for extensive gun control and decry the ubiquity of handguns, might they pledge not to hire armed security details?

For those who feel that charter schools undermine the public schools as much as unionized faculty empower them, might they eschew private prep schools?

The Martha’s Vineyard experience marks a unique opportunity for modern bicoastal progressivism.

View it as a landmark teachable moment to prove to the nation that leftists’ loud theories and Utopian agendas merely reflect—rather than being at odds with—their own prior concrete and well-lived experiences.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Victor Davis Hanson is a conservative commentator, classicist, and military historian. He is a professor emeritus of classics at California State University, a senior fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University, a fellow of Hillsdale College, and a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Hanson has written 16 books, including “The Western Way of War,” “Fields Without Dreams,” and “The Case for Trump.”