Freedom Folks

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Show Prep 072006: Electing A New People

Hour One: Follow up on the "estupido march"

The Star Spangled Mangle!  Listen as this chica demolishes the Star Spangled Banner.  It doesn't sound as if she cared enough to practice beforehand.  But quick, let's give them amnesty, cuz they really, weally, love this country, no really!

Photos: here and here

My secret spy on the ground reported that no one at the event spoke english, and that several groups who'd been involved with the previous marches, Irish and Asian ones predominantly, weren't invited this time, I'm shocked, shocked I say!

Lonewacko catches this in the Indymedia coverage...
One of the most notable shifts in the demonstration, though, was the huge move toward the more conservative visual representations that some activists say came largely from the influence of spanish-language radio host Pistolero. Participants were told to wear white, but the greater contrast came in the flag display. On March 10th, a strong majority of flags were US, though a large number of Mexican and Irish flags gave a certain counter-hegemonic flavor. One May Day, this was far more apparent, with a flag from almost every country of the world represented in the front of the march, and ample Mexican flags, red flags, and others that easily outweighed the influence of the US flags. Even in the latter march, conservative news sources and right-wing groups affirmed the high number of US flags. Well, today there were tons of flags all over the march, and they were almost all Old Glory, the flag of the United States of America, most likely at the request of protest organizers.
This brings to mind my "super-villain theory."

AP coverage

Our coverage of the earlier marches, here and here

Hour Two: Electing a new people

Source: Center for Immigration Studies
The Founding Fathers crafted things so that the "knaves" will be forced to abide by the will of the people, but they warned that their "natural progress" is to find ways to remain in power and increase that power at the people’s expense. They therefore also urged eternal vigilance, spiritedness, and the occasional revolt of the people.

However, there are a handful of topics where the elites do not act in the interests of those they govern. Of these, the most notorious is the contentious issue of immigration. Why are politicians so keen on mass immigration while the common American is not? This has perplexed analysts.

...but the basic finding was: Indeed, American politicians are overwhelmingly pro-immigration, for a variety of reasons, and they do not always admit this to their constituents. Of those 50 legislators, 45 were unambiguously pro-immigration, even asking us at times to "send more." This was true of both Democrats and Republicans.

While Democratic legislators we spoke with welcomed the Latino vote, they seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and "dependable" in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American.

Republican lawmakers we spoke with knew that naturalized Latin American immigrants and their offspring vote mostly for the Democratic Party, but still most of them (all except five) were unambiguously in favor of amnesty and of continued mass immigration (at least from Mexico). This seemed paradoxical, and explaining their motivations was more challenging. However, while acknowledging that they may not now receive their votes, they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and "teaching," they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them. Republicans seemed to idealize the patron-client relation with Hispanics as much as their Democratic competitors did. Curiously, three out of the five lawmakers that declared their opposition to amnesty and increased immigration (all Republicans), were from border states.

Also curiously, the Republican enthusiasm for increased immigration also was not so much about voting in the end, even with "converted" Latinos. Instead, these legislators seemingly believed that they could weaken the restraining and frustrating straightjacket devised by the Founding Fathers and abetted by American norms. In that idealized "new" United States, political uncertainty, demanding constituents, difficult elections, and accountability in general would "go away" after tinkering with the People, who have given lawmakers their privileges but who, like a Sword of Damocles, can also "unfairly" take them away. Hispanics would acquiesce and assist in the "natural progress" of these legislators to remain in power and increase the scope of that power. In this sense, Republicans and Democrats were similar.

While I can recall many accolades for the Mexican immigrants and for
Mexican-Americans (one white congressman even gave me a "high five"
when recalling that Californian Hispanics were headed for majority
status), I remember few instances when a legislator spoke well of his
or her white constituents. One even called them "rednecks," and
apologized to us on their behalf for their incorrect attitude on
immigration. Most of them seemed to advocate changing the ethnic
composition of the United States as an end in itself.
Jefferson and
Madison would have perhaps understood why this is so—enthusiasm for
mass immigration seems to be correlated with examples of undermining
the "just and constitutional laws" they devised.

Electing a new people
There is much bluster, notably by the incorrigible Wall Street Journal editorial page, to the effect that the GOP can win more Hispanic votes. But at the very best this will be an uphill struggle. Hispanics do indeed move rightward the longer they remain in America. But this effect is canceled out by newly arrived immigrants who overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Hence, directly because of immigration the GOP has never approached a majority of the Hispanic vote. And this shows no sign of changing any time soon.

Hour Three: Free for all

As always:

Illegal immigration news

Your moment of Atzlan



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