North American Union?
Over at JasonPye.com, one of their more conservative (i.e. less libertarian) bloggers, Larry Stanley, is railing against immigration, highlighting this quote by Tom Tancredo (R-CO) (emphasis added by Larry, which I will continue here):
“People have to understand what we’re talking about here. The president of the United States is an internationalist. He is going to do what he can to create a place where the idea of America is just that – it’s an idea. It’s not an actual place defined by borders. I mean this is where this guy is really going.”
America is a place defined by borders, but it is much more than that. A year and a half ago, I argued specifically that America is an ideal, and that this nation is an approximation of that ideal:
I love America, but I don’t consider myself a “nationalist”. America, to me, is not simply a nation. America doesn’t start or end at our borders. America is an idea.
“The American Dream” is more than three little words. It is the idea that if you put your mind to something, the only thing that will cause your success or failure is the strength of your idea and your work. The government, ‘the man’, isn’t going to keep you down. The American Dream is an expression of the triumph of human potential. It is, in three little words, the idea that you can be all that you desire and more.
When you read the words of many of the idealists who founded our nation, they didn’t believe our birthright of liberty came as a result of being born in America, they believed these rights to be inherent in all of humanity. They were determined to set up a nation based upon those rights, and thus America was born. But the rights came first, and the nation came later.
The worry of these folks is that we will one day be a de facto North American Union, where most of the barriers between the US and Mexico will be as easily-traversable as France to Germany. It is a call for little more than protectionism, to deny those who aren’t already here from the chance to join in the American ideal. They are afraid that if we respect the rights of new entrants to our nation, it will somehow diminish their rights. But that’s not how it works.
William Allen White said it best: “Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you give it to others.” These folks are asking that other people, stuck in horrible third-world countries where the rule of law and property rights are not even fathomable, much less respected, just accept it. Their position is that because these people were not born here in the United States, they are not deserving of the blessings of liberty. It may be easy to tell someone in a nation where tyranny is enforced by jackbooted thugs with automatic weapons that it is their responsibility to win their freedom. But it downright cruel to turn them away when they escape those nations to live the dream of freedom here.
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