Yes, we discuss that phrase, but no, we don’t say the word. Instead, we do a deep dive on immigration with two of the sharpest minds on the issue: the Center for Immigration Studies’s Mark Krikorian and our good pal Mickey Kaus. Dig in.

Music from this week’s podcast: Dreamer by Super Tramp

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There are 144 comments.

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  1. Contributor

    One thing I should have mentioned at the time, but didn’t, was the context of the Coolidge quote Mark brought up: “America must remain American.” We can understand that today to mean its essential Constitutional values must be preserved, and an American civic identity maintained. At the time, though, it could just as easily have been interpreted to mean America must remain WASP, since Coolidge made the statement when he signed the Immigration Act of 1924, a bill that restricted Southern & Eastern-Europe immigration (and, IIRC, blocked what we now call chain migration.)

    The sentiment may have a more noble meaning today than it did at the time.

    • #1
    • January 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm
    • 3 likes
  2. Contributor

    Just to be additionally tendentious: when I said that some regard “diversity” as a prima facie good does not mean I think it’s the opposite; I meant that it’s a term so imprecise as to be meaningless, and is often used as a platitudinous shorthand to discredit any opposition.

    • #2
    • January 12, 2018 at 1:03 pm
    • 4 likes
  3. Member

    A number of my ancestors emigrated from s***hole countries like Germany, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Just throwing that out there. Bye-bye!

    • #3
    • January 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm
    • 4 likes
  4. Member

    My first reaction upon walking into my local tavern and seeing this controversy (or, perhaps more accurately, “controversy”) splashed across CNN – with its obligatory panel of furious experts and scolding activists saying the sorts of things they are supposed to say before a solemn Anderson Cooper – was to start laughing hysterically. I really couldn’t stop. I… couldn’t help it. It made me feel dirty; but I couldn’t help it. In this way, my affection for President Trump is much like my affection for a certain fallen lady: you don’t *want* to be drawn toward her, but you are despite your better judgement.

    • #4
    • January 12, 2018 at 1:53 pm
    • 5 likes
  5. Member

    I was surprised to hear James Lileks attack Norwegieans like that.

    Truth is, James is right. The Haitians I have met have been incredibly caring and hard working people. But come to think of it, those are only the ones I met, mostly at a college. Your mileage may vary.

    • #5
    • January 12, 2018 at 2:17 pm
    • 2 likes
  6. Thatcher

    James was approaching what I was thinking that the Democrats love for immigration is for the purpose of electing a new people since the old ones refuse to go along with leftist ideas. They really really hate those flyover normals who don’t know what’s best for them.

    • #6
    • January 12, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    • 9 likes
  7. Member

    Justin Hertog (View Comment):
    I fully agree with Peter that vulgar language should not be used in the Oval Office.

    How about on Ricochet-sponsored podcasts? Asking for a friend.

    • #7
    • January 12, 2018 at 2:26 pm
    • 10 likes
  8. Member

    Trump breaks the PC barrier, but he doesn’t talk about the issue. But what are you waiting for? How about taking the top 2-3 countries of origin for illegals or lottery winners, those Trump might describe too colorfully. Discuss those countries’ culture, system of government, levels of literacy and what it means to welcome millions of their citizens to our country. Maybe most at Ricochet know a lot of that already but this is your platform. Is there a guest to invite on who can talk about assimilation? History of, vs. today? Any new initiatives? What were education results of children of immigrants 50 yrs ago vs today? Arm us with some statistics. I’d like someone to explain the argument that the US requires legal immigration to prosper. Is it just a numbers game? Can you give examples? How is the success affected by mass illegal immigration from those countries mentioned above? Et cetera.

    • #8
    • January 12, 2018 at 2:30 pm
    • 8 likes
  9. Admin

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Justin Hertog (View Comment):
    I fully agree with Peter that vulgar language should not be used in the Oval Office.

    How about on Ricochet-sponsored podcasts? Asking for a friend.

    I was waiting for a comment like this. There’s a clean version here. Tell your friend.

    • #9
    • January 12, 2018 at 3:06 pm
    • 4 likes
  10. Member

    Bravo to Peter Robinson for pointing out the change wrought in California by illegal immigration, and for saying that no one voted for that. He has put the focus on the essential questions: 1. “Do the citizens of the US have a right to determine who comes to the country?” and 2. Does the US have an obligation to protect and defend its citizens?”

    The Democrats really, really, hate us, and they are determined to displace us by importing an unskilled, uneducated underclass who will give them the power they need to finally destroy America as it was founded.

    • #10
    • January 12, 2018 at 3:08 pm
    • 17 likes
  11. Thatcher

    So, here we sit, holier than thou, expressing what language should or should not be used in the Oval. Give me a break. While we’re at it, how many of us have ever been in that office in the last 200 or so years and might come away amazed by the four letter words heard therein. The problem is not the language but the pathetic goody-two shoes who eagerly report anything to a press only too happy to make a mountain out of a mole hill of all things Trump.

    • #11
    • January 12, 2018 at 3:18 pm
    • 17 likes
  12. Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Justin Hertog (View Comment):
    I fully agree with Peter that vulgar language should not be used in the Oval Office.

    How about on Ricochet-sponsored podcasts? Asking for a friend.

    I was waiting for a comment like this. There’s a clean version here. Tell your friend.

    Glad to oblige.

    • #12
    • January 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm
    • Like
  13. Contributor

    GFHandle (View Comment):
    I was surprised to hear James Lileks attack Norwegieans like that.

    Well, someone has to. ;)

    I am from, and live in, a culture heavily influenced by Scandanavians; inasmuch as I have “a people,” they’re mine. (I’m an American mongrel when it comes to who-came-from-where, and that would seem to matter about .01% when compared to the culture in which I was raised.) There’s a lot to admire about Scandanavian nations.

    As I think I said, the “Norway” example the President used wasn’t shorthand for “people who will more readily adapt to American society” but meant “white.” If that’s the basis for your view of the world, then you don’t see a Nigerian immigrant as “Christian entrepreneur,” but “a guy from a bleephole country,” and the post-religious collectivist is somehow automatically better because . . . because . . . oh, it’ll come to me.

    • #13
    • January 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Thatcher

    Mrs. Ink (View Comment):
    The Democrats really, really, hate us, and they are determined to displace us by importing an unskilled, uneducated underclass who will give them the power they need to finally destroy America as it was founded.

    The percentage of white people in this country, including Hispanics who identify as white, is 77.35%. 75% of the people in this country identify as Christians along with 1.4% who identify as Jews. What is wrong with wanting to preserve our culture? Mankind is tribal, always has been, always will be. Lest you feel guilty about that, read this article in Psychology Today.

    • #14
    • January 12, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    • 7 likes
  15. Member

    Did you know, @jameslileks, that the President had met with a Norwegian delegation shortly before the meeting where he said these things? Is it not possible he said Norway due to that? I don’t think President Trump meant we need fewer brown and black immigrants.

    • #15
    • January 12, 2018 at 5:41 pm
    • 10 likes
  16. Contributor

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):
    Did you know, @jameslileks, that the President had met with a Norwegian delegation shortly before the meeting where he said these things? Is it not possible he said Norway due to that? I don’t think President Trump meant we need fewer brown and black immigrants.

    That’s a charitable interpretation, but it’s not an unlikely one.

    • #16
    • January 12, 2018 at 6:11 pm
    • 1 like
  17. Coolidge

    “Donald Jeb Trump.”

    Love it!

    • #17
    • January 12, 2018 at 6:46 pm
    • 2 likes
  18. Member

    “Is India a bleep hole?” asked James, and Peter gave a pretty good response touching on it’s growing middle class.

    There’s a piece (and a podcast) about that called “India’s Missing Middle Class” at The Economist this week. Sample:

    “The top 1% of Indian adults, a rich enclave of 8m inhabitants making at least $20,000 a year, equates to roughly Hong Kong in terms of population and average income. The next 9% is akin to central Europe, in the middle of the global wealth pack. The next 40% of India’s population neatly mirrors its combined South Asian poor neighbours, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The remaining half-billion or so are on a par with the most destitute bits of Africa.”

    Also: “Only 3% of Indians have ever been on an aeroplane; only one in 45 owns a car or lorry. If nearly 300m Indians count as “middle class”, as HSBC has proclaimed, some of them make around $3 a day.”

    So that, in addition to the legendary levels of corruption, the poor education system, the lack of proper toilets (which leads to abductions and gang rapes of girls returning in the middle of the night from their, um, bleep holes in the farm fields), etc, has me thinking that a good chunk of India qualifies as a bleep hole.

    • #18
    • January 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm
    • 4 likes
  19. Member

    Here’s a story about some other sh** hole countries:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/un-jerusalem-vote-latest-updates-list-countries-voted-against-us-israel-capital-nikki-haley-general-a8124136.html

    • #19
    • January 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm
    • 2 likes
  20. Member

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    So, here we sit, holier than thou, expressing what language should or should not be used in the Oval. Give me a break. While we’re at it, how many of us have ever been in that office in the last 200 or so years and might come away amazed by the four letter words heard therein. The problem is not the language but the pathetic goody-two shoes who eagerly report anything to a press only too happy to make a mountain out of a mole hill of all things Trump.

    Agree wholeheartedly. My only observation is that past presidents making these types of comments wouldn’t have made them around opposition politicians.

    • #20
    • January 12, 2018 at 9:16 pm
    • 3 likes
  21. Contributor

    J Ro (View Comment):
    I’m thinking that a good chunk of India qualifies as a bleep hole.

    Statistically, you could say it’s bleepholey, but I asked the question because it seems patently absurd to suggest it is. Yes, immense poverty and class chasms, but bleepholes don’t have space programs or dynamic tech sectors. If you made the case it’s a bleephole based on its structural poverty and craptacular infrastructure, and hence immigrants from India should be discouraged in favor of, say, those lazy Finns (kidding) you’d be denying the US some fine folk.

    • #21
    • January 12, 2018 at 9:40 pm
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    @jameslileks, I don’t know what Mark was saying, I thought all the segues were great.

    Mark’s comment after the interruption segue was: “The least that the Republicans and the President can accept, I don’t think that the Democrats can approach that. Because they are more than happy to throw the Dreamers, or the DACAs, under the bus, in order to preserve chain migration. I think that’s pretty clear. And you know the Dream Act, in its original form, which Congress has rejected a couple of times, was never intended to pass. It was always a marketing gimmick for amnesty for everybody else. In other words, they would say ‘Look, here’s this young Juan, he’s lived here since he was 8 months old. He’s valedictorian, he wants to join the Marine Corps and kill America’s enemies, therefore all 12 million illegal aliens need to have amnesty.’ That was the point of the Dream Act.”

    So they’re being used as pawns by Democrats. Would love to see President Trump say this openly and repeatedly. It would surely be more productive than spending his time characterizing lesser developed countries.

    • #22
    • January 12, 2018 at 9:54 pm
    • 5 likes
  23. Member

    For the record, El Salvador is not a nice country. MS-13 has pretty much free rein, all those narcotrafficing dollars (they use our dollar as currency) pay cops and gubmint officials to turn a blind eye to the gangsterism if not to participate in it outright.

    Young men who decline to join the gangs are murdered para animar a los demás.

    That’s why all those kids rode the top of the train up to our border: parents were sending their boys away from the gangs to save their very lives.

    With narcotic-fueled mafiosos in charge of the country, the people cannot in any way work to improve things, so it’s silly of us to imagine how nice it would be if they did. I guess we Spoiled Americans assume that citizens of other countries have the same palanca that we do when in fact they do not.

    • #23
    • January 12, 2018 at 9:54 pm
    • 2 likes
  24. Contributor

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    The percentage of white people in this country, including Hispanics who identify as white, is 77.35%. 75% of the people in this country identify as Christians along with 1.4% who identify as Jews. What is wrong with wanting to preserve our culture?

    Nothing, except:

    A. While there is a distinctive American culture, it has many regional variants, often influenced by other cultures. There is no “white” culture that hasn’t been shaped and changed by interaction with non-white cultures, and profited from it; that’s the beauty of America.

    B. The Christian identification indicates a contemporary solidarity that wasn’t always evident. Previous generations opposed immigration on the grounds that the newcomers were the wrong kind of Christians, and would advance rank Popery into the body politic.

    Mankind is tribal, always has been, always will be.

    This is antithetical to the American Experiment. We are supposed to reject tribe, blood, clan in favor of a civic identity that recognizes transcendent values. The Right’s response to the Left’s retreat to blood and color cannot be “okay, well, they started it” and go full white identity. That torches the entire endeavor.

    The difficulty lies in incorporating and accommodating the tribal instinct into something greater, something cohesive. To fall back on evolutionary justifications for social grouping is to say we’re just apes.

    • #24
    • January 12, 2018 at 10:04 pm
    • 4 likes
  25. Member

    James Golden (View Comment):
    “Donald Jeb Trump.”

    Love it!

    Closer than you might think. ¡JEB! is John Ellis Bush and the J in Trump’s name is also John.

    • #25
    • January 12, 2018 at 10:48 pm
    • Like
  26. Member

    James,

    You gave me a lot of laughs on this one. Loved the reference to Rob’s unexpurgated comments in GLoP in the Ricochet commercial. I also have no idea what Mark was talking about on the segue. That one was a beauty. But even if Mark was way off the Mark on that, don’t push him over the rail. We need him too much in this country.

    @peterrobinson ? Where are you? James is deep in the comments here. Where’s his back up?

    • #26
    • January 12, 2018 at 11:00 pm
    • Like
  27. Member

    Marythefifth (View Comment):
    Discuss those countries’ culture, system of government, levels of literacy and what it means to welcome millions of their citizens to our country.

    We are living this in Minnesota. Minnesota is notorious for immigrants from one country. We also have a a ton of immigrants from the country right next to it. The immigrants from this country are not notorious. They are good citizens. The difference is the very different cultural and civic lives in those places. I had this explained to me in great detail on a long taxi ride.

    If we don’t set the rate of immigration based on this we are committing national suicide. This rate can be adjusted by an individual’s skills, him having excess capital, or English fluency.

    Look at everything Victor Davis Hansen says about this. What is he wrong about?

    Google: “Mises and nationalism” and get back to me, too. Decades of being overly idealistic about this stuff means you are going to get Ann Coulter and Donald Trump good and hard. Ugh.

    • #27
    • January 13, 2018 at 4:08 am
    • 3 likes
  28. Member

    Mises.Org is right about everything. So is Angelo Codivilla. And David Stockman. Deirdre McCloskey. David Horowitz.

    Google “Mises and nationalism.” This is a tricky subject and I think it gets handled very well, here.

    Seriously, I wish the Republican Liberty Caucus would make a special project of this.

    • #28
    • January 13, 2018 at 4:19 am
    • 1 like
  29. Member

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    Mankind is tribal, always has been, always will be. Lest you feel guilty about that, read this article in Psychology Today.

    Google “Mises and nationalism.” This is a tricky subject and I think it gets handled very well, here.

    IMO, more broadly prosperous libertarian economies can handle looser immigration and having multiculturalism shoved down it’s throat better. Victor Davis Hansen is very convincing on this.

    • #29
    • January 13, 2018 at 4:38 am
    • 1 like
  30. Member

    Peter just said what I believe at the 10:00 mark. The originating culture, education, skills, English proficiency, how much capital they bring in. Those are the issues that matter.

    Also, I have no idea how the average citizen figures out who to believe on how much welfare etc. these guys consume and social problems they cause vs. their economic output, generally.

    • #30
    • January 13, 2018 at 4:54 am
    • 1 like
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