Posts tagged ‘illegal immigration’

Straw Men and Mad Dogs

Straw men are usually figuratively meant to assign a false argument or proposition to your opponent and then attack them for it.  But here the straw man I am talking about is just a false premise to begin with. The mental picture here and the analogy are just too rich. President DFF tells us that we are going to deploy the military to the border, you know those masses of immigrants coming to ruin our country. Except that is the straw man. We have the lowest level of illegal immigration since 1971. So the argument for the army is that the Democrats, oh those evil, vile Democrats, have been so lax that we are swimming in illegal immigrants eating up all our food, taking our jobs, and swamping our welfare rolls, except it is all a lie. There is no data or even anecdotal evidence of this. So where do the wild dogs come in? That would be the base that President DFF, the Right wing media, and Fox News plies with these lies. So for them it is true. And like rabid animals attack wildly.

But you want to know the best part of this nonsense? Visualize the mad dogs attacking the straw man and ripping it apart. Frenzied dogs ripping and tearing with straw flying everywhere. But the straw man is not real and they have exhausted themselves tearing apart a fantasy of a real man, or in this case issue. And they might have bitten a few bystanders in their frenzy. That is what is going on today.

There is no illegal immigration problem. We do have a drug problem, demand. We do have a shortage of field labor. We do have jobs that go wanting, but the only immigration problem is that we don’t recognize how badly we need them, or our roots themselves and how we were they not so many years ago, looking for a fair chance at life for ourselves and our children. Now we just turn our backs and send them home.

Tariffs and trade is another straw man. Sure there are problems and unfairness in the system. But we also need that trade to spur our own industries. Job loss in Middle America was not caused by unfair trade, but by globalization and the very nature of the almighty gods of Republicans, Capitalism and profits. The money/jobs went were the most profits could be made, be that overseas or to automation. Those that adapted well and found good jobs were the well educated and those who were not well educated suffered. But the straw man is Tariffs and unfair trade so attack it mad dogs. Rip it to shreds. Straw everywhere, but nothing is changed. Oh, wait, things are getting worse because friends of that straw man are cutting off our supply of straw. Hmm. Oh, and just as an aside, think about the well educated. Which states again are gutting their education systems to afford tax cuts so they will be in a worse position as the global economy evolves? They are circling the drain.

Attacks on Amazon are another straw man. Do we really think that retail was not in trouble before Amazon came along? What about Wallmart or Costco? Are they next? What we have found as shoppers is we can find what we want in our size on line. Capitalism is supposed to be about the better mouse trap and the wonderful ability of the Wall Street to find and provide the capital for these new ideas. Well, it worked and you don’t like it? Oh, and lets not forget the lie about the Post Office.  They, already make a profit, not a loss from this business and sure they can raise their rates, at which time Amazon is free to move all its shipping to cheaper private shippers.  But let’s attack Amazon for beating up on the Post Office which of course they did not.

Then there is the straw man about the wall and drugs. Add to that the Senate getting rid of the filibuster so legislation could be passed (I am actually all for that). The trouble is the majority drugs are not coming in via mules of illegal aliens. “The majority of the illicit drugs enter the United States through legal ports of entry, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Traffickers conceal the drugs in hidden compartments within passenger cars or hide them alongside other legal cargo in tractor-trailers and drive the illicit substances right into the United States. Increasingly, traffickers are using more sophisticated methods such as dissolving methamphetamine and cocaine into innocuous liquids.” So what good is a wall? Oh, and Republicans cannot pass the wall vote on a simple majority vote. The filibuster argument is once again another straw man. Rip it apart mad dogs. It will change nothing.

The last example I will leave you with is the Sinclair News fiasco. Another straw man from the conservatives, fake news. News, like capitalism, only works well if there is competition to counter group think. So along comes Sinclair New that may own almost 40% of the TV news affiliates in the country with a message on beware fake news. Okay, I can buy that except it is setting itself up to be the only mediator of what is fake and what is not. The straw man is that CNN, NBC, CBS, and other networks are not the purveyor of fake news, they are the guard against it. The Sinclair group is in fake the wolf in sheep’s clothing. So attack the mainstream news media mad dogs and when you get done, straw everywhere, all you have left is fake news.

That is where we are right now with an ignorant and dangerously narcissistic man in charge of the country, the swamp (see Pruitt) rapidly expanding, and the mad dogs attacking everything that might help. But what might give us hope is that maybe we are not seeing the forest for the trees. There just may be a giant, but unspoken, rebellion against the mad dogs. November will tell. Otherwise we will continue to trash ourselves as a nation.

Who Said It Best Today: Marcos Breton

Our political discussions today are not about two competing sets of ideas with equal merit. They are generally about correcting falsehoods and outright lies. There really aren’t two sets of facts for most of our issues, and if we could just set the record straight, the way forward is simple. This morning I picked up my local paper (Sacramento Bee) and there was a wonderful column by Marcos Breton (Reality Trumped by Perception) laying out how the perceived problem really no longer exists, yet our politics are about arguing about solving a problem that isn’t a problem. Here is an exert:

The issue of illegal immigration has been wildly distorted to the point where public perception and reality are two different things. Decades of wedge politics have made the illegal immigration issue a larger indictment of people from Mexico…People scream about fortifying the border when the Border Patrol has doubled in size in recent years. They rue the invasion of immigrants from Mexico when demographers agree that the 40-year migration from Mexico is over. They cite the social costs of undocumented immigrants while omitting the economic benefits created by all immigrants.

Instead of supporting laws that would reduce the number of illegal immigrants, we support laws that punish the immigrants – laws that don’t address the core issues and are almost always ruled unconstitutional.

Mr. Breton also points out that the most compassionate president in terms of policy was Ronald Reagan (amnesty) and the president who has been toughest on immigrants in terms of mass deportations is Barack Obama. Mr. Breton does not mention that almost 50% of the illegal immigration problem is the result of people entering the country legally and then overstaying their visa’s. So our politics are about border security, who would be tougher on illegals, and those illegal aliens taking our jobs, and none of these are even close to true. As Mr. Breton so elegantly points out, reality really is trumped by perception and that extends to healthcare and our economy. All of our problems are fairly simply solved if we could all just get on the same page of what the real facts are. Death panels anyone?

Note: Mr Breton is also making the point that the issue really isn’t fear of illegal aliens, but fear of the Hispanic population since illegal alien and Hispanic (Mexican) are conflated in our politics.