History has shown that nearly every major event is preceded by some seemingly isolated event that eventually escalates into a major, engulfing conflagration. Forest fires and wars are good examples of this process and, if mishandled by the Obama administration, this may be the consequence of the new illegal immigrant control measures signed into law by the governor of Arizona last Friday.
One thing we can be absolutely certain of, however, is that President Barack Obama and the Democrats will use this issue as an opportunity to further divide the citizens of the United States of America. And let me make it perfectly clear — I am NOT anti-immigrant, nor am I anti-Hispanic, but I know full well that any support for controlling the borders of the United States will be decried by the left as being racist. That is the weapon of choice by the left because they cannot prevail in their arguments for their policies by relying on reason and fact. They prefer to use mud to totally obfuscate the heart of the issue which, in this case, is simply whether the laws regarding our borders and citizenship requirements are to be enforced or whether they are to be ignored, should doing so prove politically and/or economically advantageous to certain constituencies.
The polls show that 70% of the Arizonians support this new law and I doubt that they will go quietly into the night if the federal government attempts to contravene the will of the people. And, based on the president’s comments before the bill was even signed into law, he has every intention of doing just that. The demonstrations against the implementation of these tougher law enforcement policies have already started and are certain to grow among the Hispanic residents of not only Arizona but all across the country. It will be a huge political issue in the fall elections, and it will be exploited to the limit by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Tempers will undoubtedly flare, and if the powers that be are not careful violence will erupt in the streets of Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma. In fact, to a minor extent, it already has started in the form of rock throwing and pushing and shoving against the police by the demonstrators in Phoenix. (Oddly enough, illegal immigrants violently demonstrating in the streets are branded heroic by the same mainstream press which decries Tea Party protesters as racist, violent and angry.)
Whatever the case, it won’t get any better when Al Sharpton shows up for his usual publicity-seeking campaign, as he has announced his intention to do. And then we’ll likely see the counter-demonstrators from across the country begin to arrive on the scene in large numbers. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to visualize this all getting out of control very quickly if some fringe element from on either the left or the right is provoked into making Arizona their battlefield of choice.
Make no mistake — this will become a dangerously volatile situation requiring great care to diffuse, but don’t hold your breath until the president acts to cool the emotions that will inevitably be fomented on both sides of the issue. He has already expressed his opinion that the Arizona law violates the civil rights of innocent Hispanics, further inflaming passions. With leadership like this, how much hope is there for a rational solution to our de facto “open borders” policy, which has endangered the lives and property of the legal citizens of states all along our border with Mexico? I just returned from spending several months within a few miles of that border and, as a result of the encroaching tide of drug-related violence and the continuing influx of illegal immigrants, tensions are high and will only be heightened by the demonstrations against the new measures. I say this not to disparage the preponderance of good Hispanic citizens living and working in the area that I was in, but simply as a cautionary fact.
Again, this brings me to my question: “What will it take to unify this country so that we can function as a cohesive citizenry must if a nation is to survive and prosper, or has any dream of such unification become a totally unrealistic expectation?”
If those at the highest level of authority use divisiveness as a means of achieving their political and economic goals, what hope is there for reaching common ground? Have we become an ungovernable people whose quality of life is to be forever compromised and darkened by the constant undercurrent of hostility from those with whom we disagree, regardless of which side we’re on?
Unfortunately, it appears that we are now at the point of political and cultural disagreement in this country such that former President Bill Clinton considered it necessary to warn the “Tea Party” movement against “incendiary” commentary potentially resulting in violence akin to the Oklahoma City bombing, while esteemed New York Times columnist Joe Klein accused Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin of seditious speech. In both cases, and many more similar pronouncements by the likes of ABC’s Cokie Roberts (comparing the filing of suit by fourteen state attorneys general contesting the constitutionality of the health care bill with the pre-Civil War nullification action by South Carolina), it is clear that the objective is to restrict the right of free speech by those opposed to the Obama administration’s policies and, dare I say it, insufferable arrogance. So, again, I ask: “To where will this lead us?”
In my opinion, we have lost all points of reference that normally tie a diverse population together for the “common wealth.” And so I ask myself upon what can we agree as a basis for creating a civil society in which there are strong differences but an even stronger commonality of beliefs and purpose, and the answer certainly doesn’t seem to be the Constitution, if one is to construe that to mean a strict interpretation of the words of the Founders taken within the context of the times in which it was written. And Judeo/Christian principles? Not a chance in this age of secularism that sexualizes even our children and the scourge of multiculturism.
We can’t even agree on the history of the United States as a force for good in the world, so where can we go to find a point of philosophical and moral convergence, or are we irretrievably doomed to deep and uncivil separation from each other?
This is the point at which the states found themselves in 1860 and, as a result, the fabric of that “more perfect union” was twisted and soaked with the blood of 600,000 men before the dust settled over a ravaged land. In truth, the fabric of our nation has never been fully restored and is now more torn than ever. We like to think that we are now somehow incapable of the kind of conflict that the adversaries commenced in 1861 and that we would never follow that path again. Perhaps so, but that would require the suspension of the law of fallen human nature. Only God is capable of accomplishing that feat, and then only for the willing, and I don’t see too much interest in pursuing that path to peace and reconciliation.
So, again, this gives rise to the question of whether it is really possible that we have lost the sense of a common heritage and culture necessary to hold a nation together in a civil, mutually supportive, society. With much credit given to President Obama, and so much fault being laid at the feet of Israel, it should be abundantly clear that we have at least lost a common view of the role that the United States should play on the international stage. In the absence of such societal “glue,” I see little hope of improving this situation in the future simply because of the demographic paradigm shift that is rapidly overtaking us, coupled with the failure to encourage and inspire adequate assimilation into our national heritage and values, including English as the primary language of every person seeking citizenship.
According to the Pew Research Foundation, it is estimated that the population will increase from 298 million in 2005 to 438 million by 2050 with immigration, both legal and illegal, accounting for 82 percent of the growth. It is also estimated that the Hispanic population will increase by a factor of three and account for just slightly less than one third of the total. The clear message here is that we had better get this right and settle the border issue now in ways that will welcome those who would come legally, seeking only our freedoms and opportunities, while at the same time preventing those from gaining entry by any means that would abuse our generosity and exacerbate our drug and associated crime problems.
This will never happen as long as the Obama administration views the Arizona situation as a crisis “not to be wasted” rather than the potential social disaster it represents if not handled with extreme caution. So far, this administration has not demonstrated its ability or desire to govern with such wisdom and even-handedness. Let’s pray that they acquire and engage these traits before it’s too late, but I have a gnawing fear that those very people view the coming Arizona confrontation as manna from heaven in this election year.