Tribalism Continues To Dominate Current Press For A Major US Amnesty for Aliens

By Donald A. Collins | 16 March 2013
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Here in Washington on March 14th there was a single session on immigration at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on immigration reform which Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the respected Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) dubbed “Amnesty Agitprop at CPAC” in his piece published on National Review Online on 3/15.

I admit I had to look up agitprop, which as Wikipedia tells us: “Agitation propaganda (commonly shortened to agitprop) is the systematic spreading and thorough explanation of political, philosophical, economic, historical, as well as scientific, technical, and other types of ideas by the political leadership of a movement, society or organization, advancing the effectiveness of political persuasion and training on the target, leading to rapid action, or mobilization”.

Mark quickly exposed the intent of that session:

“It’s always been hard to get a skeptical perspective on immigration represented at the marquee events at CPAC (as opposed to the smaller panels sponsored by groups paying for the privilege), what with Grover Norquist’s ongoing push to suppress any pro-sovereignty voices on the issue. But this year’s one panel on immigration, held yesterday in the main ballroom, was straight pro-amnesty agitprop. Entitled “Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy,” it was a commercial for amnesty and unlimited immigration, lacking even a token dissenter, and chock-full of cliches about immigrant family values and entrepreneurship and how amnesty will ensure victory in 2016. Representative Raul Labrador was the most hawkish member of the panel, which tells you something; he has worked as an immigration lawyer and would be a good choice for a panel discussion at a conservative gathering — but representing the least hawkish end of the spectrum, not the most.

The audience reception was decidedly cool, with one member of the audience calling out “legally!” when a panelist was singing the praises of immigration. A lone person at the right side of the ballroom clapped on cue at several open-borders applause lines, but no one followed. Other than the usual polite smattering at the end of each presentation, only non-immigration topics got any meaningful reaction, like attacking government regulation of business.”

In short, these open border, non rule of law reformers were preaching to the wrong tribe, who are basically American citizens who are feeling screwed by the flood of aliens at a time of economic distress.

But what really is behind this current press? A couple of things. The Democrats see the chance to capture long term the votes of the myriad of Hispanic immigrants, using all kind of specious arguments and calling any objectors “racists”. And the Hispanics, some citizens, some note who see more of their tribe as desirable.

This CPAC audience’s disaffection with the current surge on Capitol Hill to ram another amnesty down the throats of American citizens is not surprising and leads me to ask this question.

When will Americans get over their surge to tribalism and see the utter chaos and inconvenience our present broken immigration policies and non policies and non enforcement by the Obama Administration is causing?

The answer is surely not to increase the numbers of inhabitants whether they be legal or illegal immigrants.

We are well aware of the power of cultural ties from the writing of many including Tufts Scholar and author, Lawrence Harrison, whose seminal books define the immense power of culture including religion, to affect behavior.

The famed biologist E.O. Wilson’s April 12, 2012 article (based on his new book, The Social Conquest of Earth) in the Daily Beast wrote,

“Have you ever wondered why, in the ongoing presidential campaign, we so strongly hear the pipes calling us to arms? Why the religious among us bristle at any challenge to the creation story they believe? Or even why team sports evoke such intense loyalty, joy, and despair?

The answer is that everyone, no exception, must have a tribe, an alliance with which to jockey for power and territory, to demonize the enemy, to organize rallies and raise flags.

And so it has ever been. In ancient history and prehistory, tribes gave visceral comfort and pride from familiar fellowship, and a way to defend the group enthusiastically against rival groups. It gave people a name in addition to their own and social meaning in a chaotic world. It made the environment less disorienting and dangerous. Human nature has not changed. Modern groups are psychologically equivalent to the tribes of ancient history. As such, these groups are directly descended from the bands of primitive humans and pre-humans.”

When our Founding Fathers created our unique republic that sought to achieve just laws which governed behavior over tribally dictated favoritism, our noble experiment lurched forward, ignoring the thorny issue of slavery for decades and now surviving its consequences.

But now, with the major continuing immigration invasion the issue of tribalism emerges in stark outline. Anyone seeking to fashion a deal on immigration ignores the fact that while in a business deal it is often more efficacious to fashion one which creates a win/win for both sides.

In the current thrust of the Obama Administration it appears the prime objective is to be a winner and to make the other party a loser.

This certainly jibes with the tribalism described by many periods throughout human history. Having just this past year visited the historic Dordogne Valley city of Sarlat in France, my travel group received an excellent recitation about how the English and French managed to conduct what is known as The Hundred Years War from 1338 to 1457. The war was ultimately lost by the English who finally ceded their strong foothold in that area of France, but not before some of the most bloody and senseless battles in history. No win/win folks in this one.

So what does all this have to do with real immigration reform? Just that our assumption that logic will prevail and people will eventually perceive their best interests and act upon them may be true, but certainly not always, nor not always on a timely basis.

This then defines the mission of true immigration patriots, people concerned about the excessive numbers who have invaded our sovereign nation since 1965’s legislation changed the quota system, which, by the way, was admittedly partially a form of tribalism.

That said, we can’t ignore the powerful forces of culture and the tendency to succumb, as our nation is so close to doing to neo-tribalism, which could be redefined as multi-culturalism.

All Americans must thus try to stand up and argue vociferously about our concern for seeing that the people who come here are legal, and can be counted on to seek to become part of the American dream.

The central vision of that dream can only operate effectively if our precious Rule of Law prevails. Maintaining that condition now has become greatly endangered by our decades long failure to deal responsibly with excess immigration.

The business lobby has aligned with the ethnic and religious lobbies to gain marginal numbers of cheaper high skill employees while ceding the long term idiocy of bringing in huge numbers of low skill, uneducated immigrants who will drag down our nation and add costs which will ultimately be very negative for our economy and general well being.

We need to continue to call upon all our citizens to see beyond their ethnic and cultural origins and, yes, religious beliefs which are often embedded in culture, to the only workable vision for a strong sovereign nation that can offer an acceptable social contract to all its citizens.

Otherwise, the chaos which exists in so many nations around the world will become our future.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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