February 12, 2008
I’ve written here several times on the best way to convey the case for limiting immigration into the U.S., both illegal and legal. I’ve striven, perhaps imperfectly, to convey why patriotic Americans of every ethnic background ought to be drawn to a policy which is in our national interest for a wide variety of reasons—economic, social, cultural and environmental. Indeed, there are so many solid arguments against the current policy of importing over a million low-skilled workers (a high percentage of them high-school or grade school dropouts) into a country that is hemorrhaging manufacturing and service jobs, that politicians of both parties ought rightly to be crowding each other out in their efforts to position themselves as advocates of serious immigration reform. Indeed, the single most powerful tool of the small and unpopular but well-funded open-borders lobby is the charge of “intolerance.” It’s mostly bull-hockey of course, but it works, and it’s important for us to counter it by presenting our case correctly.
Now someone has. In response to the latest palaver of pious abuse aimed at Burkean conservatives by Bush’s former pharisee-in-chief Michael Gerson, my good friend and sometime collaborator the filmmaker Ronald F. Maxwell—we’ve worked on several projects together, including a bang-up script I wrote for him that deals with immigration and Islamist terror which we’re still trying to get funded—has written an extraordinary, eloquent piece. It articulates with sober honesty and genuine compassion the reasons why millions of decent, tolerant, patriotic Americans are worried about the implications of mass immigration in today’s economic and ecological context—and in doing so, undercuts all the cheap, dishonest rhetoric employed by the cynics who support the status quo.
Having seen Ron’s work up close (I was lucky enough to lunch with Robert Duvall on the set of Gods & Generals, still uniformed as General Lee, and to view the never released 6-hour version of that powerful film), I’m not surprised. How many Hollywood directors, when they pick you up at the airport, have to remove The Correspondence of Edmund Burke from their car’s front seat? Not nearly enough, if you ask me.
Perhaps best of all, Maxwell’s impassioned column appeared in the Huffington Post—where it might help shake the consciences of genuine lefties who have somehow convinced themselves that they’re helping America’s poor by driving down their wages. I hope it makes an impact, and look forward to the completion of the potent documentary he’s finishing on the subject. Get a preview (including video interviews from the work-in-process) here.
Go get ‘em Ron—not every charge will end up like General Pickett’s!