Cats In A Bag

There was a bit of a ruction today in the White House press room, between Trump adviser Stephen Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta. Acosta was taking the Trump administration to task for proposed immigration restrictions, in particular the frightful idea that an English-speaking nation might give preference to immigrants who can speak English. (Before I go on, let me make clear how refreshing it is to have an administration in place that would even consider such a thing. Establishing an immigration policy that actually puts the interests of the existing American nation first is what Donald Trump was elected for.)

The exchange followed the usual course for such things: leftist accuses someone slightly to his right of being racist, whereupon the man so accused splutters with indignation and vigorously denies the charge.

The climax went as follows:

Acosta: “It sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy.”

Miller: “Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant , and foolish things you’ve ever said…”

What’s worth noting about this exchange is that both appeared to agree, entirely reflexively, that actually to give a care about the demographic composition of the United States, which was simple common sense until 1965, would now be grossly, even unthinkably, immoral. (It’s worth pointing out that even in 1965, the ruinous Hart-Cellar Act was passed only after lavish promises from Ted Kennedy that it would not affect the nation’s composition to any significant degree.)

What we have here, then, is a “disparate impact” argument: Acosta suggested that favoring English speakers would effectively limit immigration to England and Australia (which would, by implication, be a national catastrophe). Miller was cut to the quick by the hurtfulness of this remark, and provided some crocodile tears for the camera. It was all very trite and tiresome.

Mixed in amongst all of this was what Steve Sailer has called The Zeroth Amendment, namely Emma Lazarus’s mawkish poem “The New Colossus”. Mr. Acosta invoked the poem, as of of course he was bound to do, believing it to foreclose upon all further argument; Mr. Miller tacitly acknowledged its power by mistakenly, and irrelevantly, insisting that it was grafted onto the Statue of Liberty as an afterthought. (It was actually written to help raise money for the statue’s pedestal. It was, however, written by a woman whose deepest allegiance was arguably not to the United States, but to the Jewish diaspora and to Zionism; I rather doubt that she would have invited all the world’s “huddled masses” to her own proposed ethnic homeland.)

Politics in America, 2017. How uplifting it is to be back to watching the news.

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8 Comments

  1. Whitewall says

    From The Federalist:
    “CNN’s Jim Acosta Read The Statue Of Liberty Poem, Had A Meltdown When Someone Suggested Immigrants Be Able To Read It, Too.”

    Posted August 2, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink
  2. mysphit says

    I’m speechless.

    An English speaking nation might try to restrict their immigrant quota to English speakers but the fact is that most English people wouldn’t go near the USA right now. They’re better off where they are.

    You might find your current administration “refreshing” but the rest of the world does not agree. I know that you don’t care. America First! Maybe you should consider that the hegemony of the USA in world affairs depends to a large extent on its ability to carry the smaller western powers with it, in full agreement, solidarity and trust.

    In electing Trump, asserting your exceptionalism, you’ve shown us that you’re not. Your best hope is a buffoon of the highest order.

    You would be better off taking in a few non-English speakers and giving them time to learn the language, which they can do given a bit of time.

    Posted August 3, 2017 at 2:26 am | Permalink
  3. Whitewall says

    English people and English speakers are not always one and the same. “You would be better off taking in a few non-English speakers and giving them time to learn the language, which they can do given a bit of time.” We used to do that. It was called assimilation. The process was healthy for the new immigrant as well as the citizens who were already here. Unassimilated foreigners can have uses for some people or groups but they will always exist on the edges where they will eventually become resentful and thus politically useful for destructive forces in our society. This is what is happening in Western Europe.

    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink
  4. Magus says

    Explicit racial quotas is a bridge too far now. But you de facto accomplish this to a great degree by English language, job requirement, abolishing diversity lottery, etc.

    The bill’s items poll massively positively and accomplish a lot of our goals. It’s a no-brainer.

    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Mysphit,

    ….the rest of the world does not agree. I know that you don’t care.

    Have you ever flown on an airliner, and listened to the little safety lecture? They instruct you, in case of emergency, to put your own oxygen mask on first, then help others around you.

    So yes, I don’t care what the world thinks. We needed, with mortal urgency, to get those damned Progressives away from the levers of power for a minute, so that we could try to right the aircraft. The alarm was already buzzing in our ears: “TERRAIN!! PULL UP!!”

    …the fact is that most English people wouldn’t go near the USA right now. They’re better off where they are.

    That’s fine! They’re welcome to do as they like. We already have a third of a billion people here; we’ll muddle along somehow.

    Maybe you should consider that the hegemony of the USA in world affairs depends to a large extent on its ability to carry the smaller western powers with it, in full agreement, solidarity and trust.

    And why, pray, should I care about hegemony? All I want is a well-functioning nation, under a sensible and light-handed government that puts the interests of its citizens first — as was intended by our founders.

    I should remind you also that our carrying of the small western powers “in full agreement, solidarity and trust” was mainly due to our rebuilding them after the war, infecting them with the same Progressive, universalist, cultural-immunodeficiency virus that is now killing them all, and to our subsidizing their mild socialism and generous welfare states by underwriting their military security, at enormous cost to the U.S. fisc.

    This was all quite unsustainable. To quote perhaps the wisest thing ever said:

    “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

    Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  6. JK says

    Mysphit?

    Studying your grammar with its tendency toward hyperbole, I’m speechless (thereafter, four paragraphs) suggests to me I’ve seen your like recently.

    I suspect we may be in for some entertainment.

    Posted August 3, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink
  7. Mysphit says

    I’ve been reading for quite a while JK. It seems to me that you are the last person who should pick up anybody on their grammar.

    I find you very entertaining as well.

    Ummm, thinking about it some more and being pedantic, maybe you could tell me what grammar, if anything at all, has to do with hyperbole?

    Posted August 4, 2017 at 2:56 am | Permalink
  8. JK says

    Well Mysphit, the Greek had a word (hyperbolikos) which, as you’d followed your being speechless with four paragraphs I figgered, fit.

    True my own grammar is – and will remain in blogdom at any rate – subject. Serves me two purposes though, “the regulars” will always know thisun’s the real JK and, heps me camouflage. No small things.

    Far as “picking on” goes … me’n at least a couple others visits here quite recently endured a little bit of a tribulation so, I figgered it opportune to elicit a positive [or not] ID.

    Worked looks like.

    Posted August 4, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink