It's a compelling argument, if this is all the information one has to draw a conclusion. I don't have time to pick it all apart, but his comparison between immigration in the 1960s and today are misleading. In 1960 we didn't abort a million future citizen workers every year. If one compared complaints about immigration (most of it undocumented) in the 1880s from China one would see many parallels to arguments today against Mexicans. The Chinese didn't assimilate to American culture, refused to learn English, committed crimes and stole jobs. If one compared the historical peak of immigration (most of it undocumented or barely so) in the 1910s the numbers dwarf today as a percentage of population.
Huntington's notion that America is an alchemical melting pot which transmogrifies immigrants into white protestants is trailer park sophistry. This country is a hod-podge of little Italys, and China towns along with white suburbs. Immigrants have changed the culture and have been changed by American culture. It has usually not been the immigrants who have acculturated, but their children who merged with American norms. We see this with the children of illegals today.
Illegal immigration has been happening since the founding of America. Mexicans have crossed our southern border without permission since we took CA and TX from them. To read Huntington one would come to the conclusion that there are no positive aspects to the influx of hispanic immigration. How can he offer solutions with out an understanding of the pressures and payoffs that have allowed illegal immigration to become preferable to legal immigration for politicians, government, employers, and voters?...and before you try to contradict that point, see if you can name a popular politician that has won on an anti-immigration platform in the last 50 years. You will be hard pressed to find a leader for your side that has won statewide office much less been considered a national figure.
The difference today is Government now has the ability to monitor all the US workers. Some people think that's a good idea. I don't. What has remained the same is the natural human distrust of people who are different, rather than trust in human culture that all of God's creations share. Love of God, family, and home. Nationalism comes later.
For me Huntington's article was more of what I've previously read and dismissed. His incomplete research is biased, and his conclusions are flawed.
posted on 04/04/2006 12:33:15 AM PDT
(Beware conservatives whose political consistency dictates all Presidents must be impeached.)
"For me Huntington's article was more of what I've previously read and dismissed. His incomplete research is biased, and his conclusions are flawed."
Sez you. You'll have to forgive me for sticking with the redoubtable Huntington, and others like Toynbee, who understand how cultures are destroyed.
I'm glad the majority of American people seem to understand the inane simplism of this "we-are-a-nation-of-immigrants" argument. And that degree of clarity will only improve as this crisis escalates.
posted on 05/08/2006 10:46:49 AM PDT
To: Once-Ler; All
You have oversimplified the situation that led up to Polk's little war: but probably not from any rhetorical malice as has been seen in a recent documentary about same.
If the war was a lopsided one because of the poor standard of equipment of the Mexican Army, so too was that documentary's portrayal of the border dispute that predicated the conflict.
It may have been true that most Mexicans believed the lands in question belonged to Mexico but it was also true that from the moment of her Independence Texas had claimed such foreign lands as El Paso and the lower Rio Grande. This dispute naturally migrated with Texas when she joined the Union.
But is it really the fault of either Texas or the United States that the relative quality of armaments used by the Mexican Army had fallen so far in the decades since the Texas Revolution?
In both conflicts the Mexican Army had proved to be disciplined and motivated so really the whole question of their poor standard of equipment comes down to the almost inbred incompetence and corruption that had plagued Mexico City for years before either conflict.
That the war that erupted from a legitimate border dispute was lopsided is hardly important. A rhetorical concern played out in the memories of those attached to chivalric ideas and others who probably regret everything since Plymouth Rock.
Then there is the Mexican economy. Has anyone faulted the ability of the Mexican people to work or their intelligence (well, aside from bigots we don't really need to consider....)?
The inability of the Mexican leadership, their elites, to maintain an army is of a piece with the economic malaise of their nation throughout the years. Did we really steal away their manifest destiny?
Or would a Mexico that somehow controlled everything west of the Mississippi and south of Canadaand still had the same bunch in Mexico Citysimply be a much larger nation filled with poor peasants and even poorer indians?
Whatever faults you may have with Huntington's opinions are you really ready to argue that the alchemical mix that is America and the alchemical mix that is Mexico would have produced similar results throughout the southwest and west?
There is a certain sentimentality on both sides of the dispute; however, this much IS true: when the Mexican government enjoins its people to cross our borders on their own terms and even harbors the rhetoric of Reconquest it is really teaching themyet againthat laws they don't agree with or feel to be an inconvenience are laws they don't have to obey.
Thus the debate about immigration is being set not by the citizens of this nation but by those who impose themselves on us.
Where is the justice in that?
posted on 12/26/2006 3:53:29 PM PST
Good summary and I share your observations. I was rather disappointed, because I had liked some of Huntington's other work. But this seemed grossly a-historical, a bit hysterical and weirdly aimed at proving that the only "good" American is a white Protestant one. As someone who lives in the oldest town in the US, founded by the Spanish (gasp!) in 1565, I also thought that for a historian he had strange gaps in his history.
posted on 12/26/2006 4:02:55 PM PST
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson