11A141 Raise the Drawbridge! by Jim Davies, 11/6/2011    

Just as, yesterday, I reviewed the best of Ron Paul's campaign issues - the superb one about Homeschooling - today I must unfortunately offer remarks about the worst of them, on Immigration. It has almost no redeeming features, and - like the almost equally dreadful one about Abortion - reveals Ron Paul as still firmly stuck inside the Statist "Box."

His page starts with "A nation without borders is no nation at all" and goes downhill from there. Quite true, of course; a nation does need borders. A border is a line on a map demarking the area over which a government claims to have dominion, and a "nation" is the set of people inside it, subjected to its rule. Very cleverly, many governments engender in "their" subject populations a feeling of tribal loyalty, comparable to the mindless (though harmless) fanaticism in favor of this or that football team. This national loyalty is far from harmless; it has led, again and again and again, to the slaughter of war. Incredibly, governments have masqueraded as "protectors" of their peoples, even while marshaling them to protect the very governments provoking the cross-border carnage! - for government leaders do not generally lead from the front. In the case of America, here's the resulting list of war dead. So far. Nations are a truly dreadful institution, yet here is Ron Paul - a champion of freedom, no less - arguing that this one needs to be preserved and protected by its border.

Following fast upon that opening phrase comes a second disaster: "It just doesn’t make sense to fight terrorists abroad while leaving our front door unlocked." Yes, indeed, it is senseless to fight wars absent credible and unprovoked threats from abroad, but the massive non sequitur here is that "terrorists" would enter America and work mischief unless the border is locked tight. Malefactors don't go anywhere without a motive, and if the motive is strong they will get round any and all "locks" that government is capable of putting in place; there are 7,458 miles of border and 12,479 of coastline and they are incurably permeable. The correct defense against foreign hostility is to remove the motive, by ending the FedGov's aggressive foreign policy. But perversely, this page is not about war and defense at all, but about immigration! Ron Paul is proposing to seal the national border to immigrants, while comparing them to terrorists!

An "immigrant" is a person who wants to live and/or work in some area over which some government claims the right to rule; and such claims are always totally without foundation. He or she has no hostile intention. He simply sees an opportunity and wishes to take it; perhaps he has skills that bring low reward where he is, and believes they will bring a higher one where he wants to go. This is the true "right to work" and is a fundamental part of human freedom. Yet Ron Paul, champion of freedom, wants to deny or limit that right - to those granted a government permit, like a Nazi ausweis! Little could be more plainly or more repulsively Statist.

Under "Common Sense Reforms" on his web page, Ron Paul names five things he'll try to do, as President. The first of them is "Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates." Cetainly, no policing of the world - but equally, no policing of US borders! Notice that first word, "Enforce." I can hardly believe it, but here is a supposed champion of liberty, promising to enforce something against harmless people. To enforce a border means walls, machine guns, radar, thugs, fences, the works. Ronald Reagan gained fame by asking "Mr Gorbachov, tear down this wall!" - to allow more freedom, between East and West Europe. He got his way (because the Soviets had imploded, and had no choice) but here is his protegé Ronald Paul, calling for the erection of a wall and for its enforcement, to prohibit more freedom. For shame!

His web page does have one redeeming feature, a quote by Milton Friedman: "you can’t have open borders and a welfare state." No, indeed. So which is to go; the open borders or the welfare state? I had thought Ron Paul opposes the welfare state, but his page suggests I was wrong.

I don't know the context in which Professor Friedman spoke, nor what else he said about borders; but am quite sure he knew well that welfare is not the primary reason immigrants wish to live here. Of the eleven million undocumented alients presently among us there may well be some who snuck across the border for that reason, but the primary one is to seek work, as above. And therein lies the dirty little secret, to which Ron Paul has lent his good name; the bigotry against immigrants is at core a protectionist sentiment, a bid to reduce labor competition. Some people get here, from some country of origin, and soon afterwards bellyache for the drawbridge to be raised behind them, so that fresh work-seekers can not enter and compete for jobs. Their hypocrisy stinks, yet Ron Paul, champion of freedom, has endorsed it.

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