Forward to next post: Greetings from the melting pot
“Securing our borders” is a worthless fraud. It conflates foreign terrorists with illegal immigrants who are only here for economic reasons. It implies that there’s something newly insecure about our borders, which is absolutely untrue. And I’m deeply, deeply suspicious about the sudden upwelling of loony-right hysteria about how the usual individuals and small groups coming over the border constitutes an invasion and a threat to our national sovreignty.
…in coordination with governors, up to 6,000 [national] guard members will be deployed to our southern border. The Border Patrol will remain in the lead. The guard will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems, analyzing intelligence, installing fences and vehicle barriers, building patrol roads, and providing training.
And why are people suddenly professing to be worried about what MEChA says? They never were before; and MEChA’s been around, chanting SI SE PUEDE and making Large Statements about Aztlan, since grandma was a sprat. And the use of Reconquista? It was more than half a joke. How come all of a sudden nobody knows that?
Our border with Mexico is nearly two thousand miles long, and it runs through a lot of rough, empty country. What are we going to do, build the Great Wall of Immigration? Even if we were that insanely stupid, it wouldn’t stop illegal immigration. The U.S.-Mexican border is the most-crossed international border in the world. Vast numbers of Mexicans cross it legally each day. We’d do weird and awful things to the border economy if we tried to stop them. This just doesn’t make sense.
Here’s what worries me: go back to that description of what George is going to have the National Guard do. I don’t like it at all. Infrastructure that will keep immigrants from coming in over the borders will keep us from going out over them. I find I don’t want to see that power in the hands of George Bush and his successors and cronies.
The Bush Administration has no use for democracy. They don’t count votes. They use the national intelligence apparatus to conduct domestic spying operations on U.S. citizens. They’re spying on journalists, not for national security but to intimidate and suppress criticism. They arrest people and hold them indefinitely without charging them, and they deny them access to counsel. They operate secret prisons. They set up isolated “free speech zones” for protesters, hoping we’ll forget that this entire country used to be a free speech zone. They don’t consider themselves accountable to us; for example, they took us into war by blatantly lying to us about the danger posed by the weapons of mass destruction Iraq turned out not to have.
As I said in 2000, when out-of-state Republican campaign workers attacked and suppressed a Florida vote recount operation, these people aim to never go out of power. Too much of what they do is indefensible under basic U.S. law. They’d never misbehave so blatantly if they thought there was any chance that their opponents might come into power.
That alone is enough to tell you they’re not on the side of freedom and democracy. In a democratic system of government, no elected individual or political party can ever be certain that they won’t be turfed out in the next election. It’s an inherent property of democracy. A political organization that’s staked everything on the assumption that they’ll never fall out of power or be called to account for their misdeeds is one that doesn’t support democratic systems of government, howevermuch lip service they pay to our free and independent political institutions.
I don’t want them to be able to close the border. It’s too easy to scare people into silence when they know they can’t get out.
I still resent the way this administration makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist. But dammit, that’s how I feel.