President Donald Trump’s announcement April 20, via his messenger of choice, Twitter, that he was temporarily closing the United States to almost all forms of immigration is a fitting capstone to his 2016 candidacy and the Armageddon of the battle between right and left in the United States at this point in our history.
The only issue that could possibly rival the Democrats’ desperate belief in open borders is their secular sacrament of abortion, but even that fervently held tenet has been weakening of late. Which leaves them with untrammeled “immigration,” whether legal or illegal, instant access to all welfare benefits, and a lifelong commitment to the Democratic Party to vote early, late, and often.
Trump’s opponents in the media immediately scoffed at his executive order: “Trump’s new immigration ban is a scam. Don’t pretend otherwise,” ran an opinion headline in the never-ever-Trump Washington Post.
Other “Resistance” outlets, such as Politico, helpfully pointed out that the “ban” was unlikely to include seasonal workers—which has been the case at least since FDR’s wartime “bracero” program in 1942. That was a wartime labor-shortage program occasioned by the drafting of millions of American men into the armed forces, which admitted temporary Mexican seasonal workers on the condition they were guaranteed acceptable living conditions and a minimum wage of 30 cents an hour.
What did Santayana say—“Those who forget history are condemned to make fools of themselves in the present”? Something like that.
The prospective order, however, is far more significant than a simple tweaking of immigration and travel restrictions already in place, which it basically is. A red-meat promise to shut down illegal immigration from Mexico and other countries across our southern border lay at the heart of Trump’s campaign.
However inelegantly and inartfully expressed—“They’re sending people that have a lot of problems … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people”—Trump was articulating what residents of border states have long known.
A once gentle, peaceful country, Mexico has latterly been regressing to an Aztec level of savagery, including butcherings and beheadings, the consequence of the weakening of its Catholic faith and the rise of its murderous drug cartels. There’s an important distinction between “racism” and prudence.
More importantly, this is the fight Trump wants to have—and if not now, when? Frustrated throughout his first term by the Democrats’ lawfare against his border wall, Trump has opportunistically seized upon the CCP virus crisis in order to further his policy prescriptions for what ails the America of its Founders.
His embrace of federalism has infuriated the left, which nonetheless can’t quite come out and advocate direct rule from Washington in defiance of the Constitution. His daily jousting with the media has turned their cries of “more press conferences” into wounded bleats of “fewer press conferences” as he bests them time and again.
And his placing of medical men and women front and center at the daily press briefings has exposed the generic ignorance of the cartel-like White House Correspondents Association, which can only frame every issue as political.
When all you have is a hammer … eventually even your thumb looks like a nail.
Democrats are crying foul, but politics ain’t beanbag (as Mr. Dooley famously observed), and politicizing everything is exactly what the radical wing of their party is doing.
It’s not Republicans who are gloating over the cratering of the price of oil: “You absolutely love to see it,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter April 20 in a since-deleted tweet. “This along with record low-interest rates means it’s the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet. *cough*”
Cough, yourself. Inefficient “green” energy will need taxpayer subsidies for years, if not decades, while oil prices will recover from their historic lows as storage capacity expands and the United States keeps filling up the Strategic Oil Reserve, a legacy of the Gerald Ford administration.
“We’re filling up our national petroleum reserves … looking to put as much as 75 million barrels into the reserves themselves that would top it out, and we’d get it at the right price,” said Trump.
It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.
Returning to Fundamentals
No, what the immigration order signifies is Trump’s willingness to engage his political opponents on fundamental issues just as campaign 2020 starts to heat up.
He’s willing to crash head-on into tired, inaccurate progressive shibboleths such as that the United States is “a nation of immigrants,” when in fact it’s a nation of yeoman farmers led by 18th-century intellectuals in which, from time to time, the immigration gates have been wide open and others in which they have been slammed shut. Consult the Immigration Act of 1924 for details. Only a cultural Marxist could possibly object.
Going forward, Americans of all stripes and of both parties (or no parties at all) need to remember our fundamental truths, which are enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
We are free to argue (indeed, we are encouraged to do so). We are free to dispute, squabble, contend, without animus.
We are free to practice, freely—our religion.
We are free to gather in peaceful protest.
We are free to do everything except overthrow the constitutionally-ordained system of government bequeathed to us by our Founders—and, yes, that includes the Electoral College, unless we amend it accordingly—in which case it’s no longer the United States but an alien, cultural Marxist import from central Europe.
What we are not free to do is to reject—“resist”—our constitutional rights and obligations under our founding documents, and the results thereof. Such as “the Resistance” has done.
The president’s authority to control immigration is clear under Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II, Section 1182, paragraph F of the United States Code, which clearly states: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
Here endeth the lesson. If you disagree, you have a chance to vote on it in November.
Michael Walsh is the author of “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace” and “The Fiery Angel,” both published by Encounter Books. His latest book, “Last Stands,” a cultural study of military history, will be published later this year by St. Martin’s Press. Follow him on Twitter @dkahanerules.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.