Littleton, Colorado native and presidential long-shot Tom Tancredo has seen the future. In a new ad, the long time member of the House of Representatives, whose get-tough-on-illegal-immigration stance is the centerpiece of his campaign, has ratcheted up the rhetoric as to why we must hermetically seal our borders. Simply put, terrorists and illegal immigrants all look the same. You see, they're either stealing your jobs, or they're blowing up your shopping malls.
Littleton, Colorado... now why does that town ring a bell? Ah yes. Columbine High School, site of the nation's most horrific school shooting. It must seem odd to Tancredo that the incident in his hometown didn't involve a Mexican or a jihadist. Given Mr. Tancredo's preventative approach to government, you might be tempted to think that he confronted the topic of guns in schools with a similar zeal to the way he rails against our porous borders. It's a question of public safety, after all. But, of course, you'd be wrong. The man who exhorts his followers "It's your country. Take it back!" is nothing if not a master at riding waves of hysteria. After returning NRA donations in the wake of the Columbine shooting, he resumed taking their money when all the fuss had died down. Now there's a profile in courage.
This new ad harks back to Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy", but in a much more insidious fashion. For some in the Republican party, it's a twofer of fear, linking the issues that most inspire irrational ranting. In fact, you could argue that with the steroid-injected plea to the American people, Tancredo is making a bid to dislodge Rudy Giuliani from atop of the fear-monger pedestal Rudy has occupied for so long.
If Tancredo had it his way, we'd immediately begin deporting those 20 million (Tancredo's figure) illegal workers who pick our vegetables, staff our restaurants, meat-packing plants, build our houses, clean our schools and office buildings, take care of our children, etc. We'd build a big fence along every inch of our northern and southern borders. We'd dot boats along the coasts and scan the skies. All this from the man who portrays himself as a proponent of small government.
If we don't do all this, you see, if we don't WAKE UP and elect Tom Tancredo as the next president of the United States there may yet be a backpack exploding in a shopping mall. The choice is yours.
UPDATE: After reading through many of your comments, I realize that some may be confused as to the nature of what a blog is, exactly. To those who accuse me or AOL of media bias, my defense is simple: A blog is nothing more than an opinion piece. Mine is just one such opinion, and it doesn't represent the views of AOL as a whole. Yesterday, I wrote about Hillary Clinton, and many complained that AOL was, once again, spouting right-wing propaganda.
As to those who take issue with my brief remarks on illegal immigration, I do think I should have made a stronger case for why I think Mr. Tancredo's coupling of terrorism and illegal immigration is misplaced. First off, many experts believe that a border fence won't work to curb illegal immigration, so why should we think it will stop terrorists? Is it cost effective? But assume, for a moment, that building a fence to encase the entire United States (we have caught terrorists trying to enter the U.S. from Canada, after all) was built, and that we further deported the estimated 12 million illegal workers from our country. From an economic standpoint, this would be suicide. Many of you who have left comments have said that you have no problem with legal immigration, and claim that illegal immigration is harming our economy. The best study on this subject that I've read comes from the Council on Foreign Relations. It concludes that,
"There is little evidence that legal immigration is economically preferable to illegal immigration. In fact, illegal immigration responds to market forces in ways that legal immigration does not. Illegal migrants tend to arrive in larger numbers when the U.S. economy is booming (relative to Mexico and the Central American countries that are the source of most illegal immigration to the United States) and move to regions where job growth is strong. Legal immigration, in contrast, is subject to arbitrary selection criteria and bureaucracy delays, which tend to disassociate legal inflows from U.S. labor-market conditions."
Lastly, thank you to all of you who have left comments on this thread. -D.K.
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