THOUGHTS ON IMMIGRATION: Boy, it's been a long time since I agreed with Mitch Berg on anything.
Mitch and I go way, way back... as a matter of fact, he was one of the original voices that inspired me to start blogging (which means, of course, that his blog is even older than mine, which certainly makes it one of the very oldest on the Internetz). At that time, immediately post-9/11, he was one of the brave conservative voices speaking out to help pull our country together against a common enemy (he also was, and still is, an accomplished historian and not too bad of a music writer, as well as being a fellow guitarist). Mitch, Michele Catalano, and Charles Johnson were daily reads for me. Charles has morphed into an angry leftist. I have no idea what Michele is doing these days, but I don't think she's blogging. And Mitch? When the GOP went off the deep end, Mitch went right along with 'em. Hell, he was even willing to support Scott Walker for president. I still read Mitch's blog out of a probably misplaced sense of duty, and because I think it's good to read people you don't necessarily agree with. But mostly, it's painful--especially if you read the comments, an endless circle jerk among alt-rightists and gun freaks. Or when Mitch bemoans the fact that he lives in librul Minnesota and not Walker-GOP-throttled Wisconsin (I've noticed that he hasn't moved across the river, though, even if he could live in Hudson, WI and still commute to his job in St. Paul if he was the true believer he paints himself as).
So there's your introduction.
Mitch has long had an alter-ego on his blog called "Joe Doakes from Como Park," who e-mails him daily with pithy (and usually lengthy) comments. Let's just say that if Joe Doakes isn't Mitch, he's his long-lost brother from another mother.
The other day, Joe Doakes e-mailed this.
I don't agree with everything "Joe" says, but I agree with most of it.
Let's start by saying that I am not as upset as many liberals are by President Trump's order that halts immigration from countries that are known hotbeds for Islamic terrorism (although it pisses me off that Saudi Arabia, the country that nurtured the terrorists that brought us 9/11, is conspicuously absent--OIL cough cough cough). Why in the hell do we want these people here? For what? If any of these countries had a long and reliable history of producing patriotic Americans (like the Irish, the Italians, the Poles, and many other once-despised immigrant groups), I might reconsider. But what we're getting is terrorists and people who hate our culture and our way of life. I'm perfectly aware that some immigrants from these countries may make perfectly fine Americans. It's the rest who worry me.
Folks, we can't be letting folks from these hostile nations into our country until we have a very thorough idea of exactly who they are and what they stand for. That is our RIGHT as a sovereign nation. We are under NO obligation to grant citizenship or permanent-resident status to people who hate the United States of America, or those who have no intention of respecting our laws and culture.
I feel more kindly toward the Mexicans, who for the most part are able and willing to integrate into American society. But I don't want any Mexican gangsters here, and I don't want Mexicans here who feel that we are obligated to speak Spanish and overhaul our culture to accommodate theirs. If I was to emigrate to Canada or Poland (just picking out two nations that I admire), my first order of business would be to remake myself into the very best Canadian or Pole I could possibly be. Yes, I would probably seek out the company of other American emigres because we would have so much in common. But I would never forget my debt to my host country, and it would certainly never occur to me to insist that native Canadians or Poles remake themselves in my image.
All I am asking is this: If you want to come to America, you should be ready to become an American. If you want to be a Somali or a Mexican who has an American address but no respect for our culture, please stay home. And, as Mitch would say, that is all.
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