Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I Had No Idea

I’ve been sitting on this article for a few days. Please read it now.

Okay. It’s something that every adult knows – the importance of history. But were you ever taught about this in school? Did you know there was an illegal alien problem in the '50s that Eisenhower solved? I sure didn't. I didn't have a clue. It's like unhistory - somebody sat in a room and cut out all the references to it in all the books. But the good news is that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel. It’s already invented, and even if we’ve forgotten how to make them, it’s just a matter of applying our diligence to reacquire the skill. It’s not like there haven’t been dark ages before. Renaissances come not when civilization is re-invented, but when it is remembered – re-discovered. Somebody opens up the old books and picks up where they left off - because, mostly, the books are still there, not burned, not cut up.

When I was a little boy struggling with my reading, sometime in the mid ’60s, I was told – or maybe I read – a story I still remember. This is it: Once upon a time the rains did not come and the land was dry and dead. Nothing would grow, and the people were hungry. In order to preserve as much food as they could, they decided that all the old people would be sent away – to die in the wilderness, although that part went unspoken. This was done, but still there was not enough food.

When all the seed for flour was gone, and all the cattle had been sold or eaten, the people decided to eat the seed grain – the seed that was set aside for next year’s crop. They knew that this was unwise, because they would have no harvest, but better to starve later than to starve now. In this manner they lasted through the winter. And when it came time to plant the fields for the new crop, there was nothing to sow. And a great weeping filled the land.

One faithful man, however, had not sent his father away. He and his wife hid the old man, and fed him from their meager share. Somehow they all managed to survive. When all the food was gone and the husband and wife were weeping, the old man asked what was wrong. “All the seed has been eaten, and we have nothing to sow.” And the old man wept, too.

But late in the night he awoke with a start, and rushed to his son. “I have remembered something! When I was a small boy, there also was a famine, and the planting seed was eaten. But the parents took the thatch off the roofs of our huts, and threshed it, and got enough seed from it to plant, and enough to eat as well.”

And so the land was saved.

The End

There aren’t too many problems that haven’t been faced before. The illegal immigration problem was AS SEVERE in the early fifties as it is now. Worse, in fact, given the so- much- smaller population of the US. But the problem was fixed. Utterly fixed.

Can’t do it today? Maybe, but that certainly doesn’t mean we can’t try. Our respect for the rule of law and for the sovereignty of our borders is no less than that of our parents and grandparents. The ACLU can fuss and fume, but we have a Supreme Court that is not utterly insane, so this is no real objection. The rioters will no doubt think that we can be cowed into silence and submission. But we do have a police force, and it is not those men who are afraid, but the narrow-shouldered males who sit behind desks – and the thing they fear more than being unpopular with the special interests and community activists slash race-hustlers, is being in trouble with the boss. They are males under authority, and a commander in chief should know this.

We had one once - such a Commander - and not so very many years ago, who did know about law, and authority, and who knew that what is most special about the American spirit is its beautiful balance between respect for law, and respect for liberty. Courage is not a commodity, however, that can be purchased on demand. It is bought at the price of sacrifice, and that is too great a cost for many. But we must, we must protect what is ours. Not out of greed, but necessity. We store up treasures in this world not that we might take it with us into the next, but that our children will have a better life than we have. Without a country, however, we have no property, and if that is so, we condemn our posterity to a life no better than that which the invaders think they are leaving behind. If we don’t stop them, they will bring their country with them. And theirs is a country of famine. If it weren’t, why do they leave it?

What of the human cost? What of the poor illegal immigrant who is deported? Indeed, this is a high human cost. But consider that they have already uprooted themselves, and came here. To uproot them again and return them to their native land is nothing more than what they first volunteered to undertake for themselves. The difference is that this time they are returning home. Going home is not such a bad thing, is it? Is that really such a high human cost? - especially since they have for some years already enjoyed the blessings of this land? Perhaps they will act as cultural missionaries, and save their own land from its culture of corruption and poverty by imparting to it something of what they learned from us.

Of course there’s more to say – more complexities, more objections. I will ignore them all, and refer everyone once again to the simple fact that this is a country of law, and without respect for it … well, we’d be eating up our seed corn, and leaving nothing for the future. I really don’t have anything more to say on the matter.

But maybe I'll bother to learn more about wise old Eisenhower. I had no idea.


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