Trump’s Immigration Patriotism, His High-Concept Campaign, Pascal’s Wager: Peter Brimelow Talks To Alan Colmes
VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow writes: British Prime Minister Harold Wilson famously said that a week is a long time in politics, and in the four days since I talked with Fox’s Alan Colmes (August 30) the world has been transformed—Donald Trump has dramatically reclaimed the patriotic immigration reform issue in an extraordinary speech (something I must humbly say I anticipated below) and is now ahead in some national polls. But my conversation with Colmes ranges far wider. For example, does the U.S. Constitution really require immigration? Does it prohibit a religious test? Do whites have rights? And what is Pascal’s Wager and how does it apply to this Presidential campaign?
It’s really jolly decent of Colmes to invite me on—I’m not sure his listeners approve! My thanks to all involved,
Alan Colmes: Is it fair to say that you are part of the Alt Right movement, Peter?
Colmes: Well, that’s pretty old! [Laughter] We had Jared Taylor on last night and he didn’t like the phrase, “White Nationalist.” I know he doesn’t like to be called a White Supremacist. What’s a fair way to describe you?
Brimelow: Well, we had a debate on VDARE.com between Jared and Steve Sailer a few years ago. Jared, at that point, hadn’t given up on the term, “White Nationalist.” I think he calls himself an “identitarian” now, doesn’t he?
- September18, 2005: The Color Of Crime And The New Orleans Nightmare: George W. Bush vs. Jared Taylor
- September 29, 2005: Taylor vs. Sailer—Survival v. “Citizenism”
- October 8, 2005: Sailer vs. Taylor, Round II—”Citizenism” vs. White Nationalism
- November 8, 2005: “Citizenism” vs. White Nationalism: A Second Reply to Steve Sailer
- November 20, 2005: “Citizenism” vs. White Nationalism (II): Sailer Sums Up
Colmes: He said a white advocate.
Brimelow: Steve argued what he called “citizenism” which is really American nationalism, it doesn’t have a racial definition at all. That’s where my heart is.
Colmes: So, you’re a white nationalist?
Brimelow: No; I’m a citizenist.
Colmes: A citizenist?
Brimelow: Jared felt that in the end, political identity derived from race. Steve thought no, that he was arguing for civic nationalism. I’m personally a civic nationalist.
But VDARE.com is a forum site. We allow anybody on it: left, right, any color or creed, who contributes to our critique of the 1965 Immigration Act—
Colmes: But you are promoting the white race. It’s a white site.
Colmes: Would you say that you are a white supremacist?
Brimelow: No. I’m obviously not a “white supremacist” and neither is Jared. What he is doing derives from the IQ work that was summarized in THE BELL CURVE and that work seems to suggest some other races are more intelligent than whites on average, doesn’t it?
Colmes: Well, it’s interesting to call yourself a citizenist given that, and I’m sure you have heard this many times, you were born in Britain, right? [VDARE.com: Many times = 366 results in Google for “Brimelow” and “immigrant himself” dating back 20 years to abusive reviews of Alien Nation in the New York Times and New York Magazine. ]
Now actually, I don’t think the U.S. is a Proposition Nation. I think there is an ethnic core to the U.S. And one of the problems with immigration is that, over time, it erodes that ethnic core. It brings in different cultural values and introduces various forms of conflict, and so on. That’s why you have to be careful—
Colmes: But, you, like Jared Taylor, I’m guessing, would prefer immigration, if there is to be any immigration, to be from white nations, not people with darker skin, right?
Brimelow: It’s not simply the skin. You can get around that by getting at education level. But in general, you want to have people who assimilate more easily. And race is certainly a proxy for that.
Colmes: But, basically you are talking about preserving a white nation, right?
So, when you have a situation like you have now with the 1965 Immigration Act, where the government is essentially Electing A New People, importing a whole new cast of characters, who are going to drive the whites into a minority by 2040—
Colmes: But why didn’t our forefathers put “white” in our Constitution?
Colmes: But it’s not in our Constitution.
Brimelow: As I said, it’s in the First Citizenship Act. They just took it for granted in the Constitution.[What the Founders Really Thought About Race , by Jared Taylor, The National Policy Institute, January 17, 2015 ] Now, over time that has changed. But, until the 1960s, it was universally agreed that basically there shouldn’t be non-white immigration into the U.S.
Colmes: So do you think that only whites should live here?
Brimelow: First of all, there is a black minority here, which of course is a legacy. It has been here forever. So obviously, no, America’s not only white. And secondly, I do think you can get around cultural differences and so on by keeping the numbers relatively low and by keeping education levels relatively high—neither of which were done by the 1965 Act.
Colmes: What would you like to hear Donald Trump say tomorrow in his immigration speech?
Brimelow: [Laughs] Well, I’m curious to know what exactly he is going to address! All the focus is on how he is going to handle the stock of illegals who are in the country, but of course, the immigration issue is much wider than that. And his proposals that he made in his position paper last year are much wider than that. [Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again, The three core principles of Donald J. Trump’s immigration plan (PDF)]
For example, he is against birthright citizenship. I think he is quite right about that. Most common law jurisdictions have given up birthright citizenship precisely because of the problem of illegal immigrants coming in and having children. Those children are citizens, it becomes impossible to deport them. So, we want him to stick with that.
About the stock of illegal aliens here—the fact is the laws are already on the books. The Main Stream Media claims to think that there are really two choices: mass deportation in cattle cars, or Hillary’s Amnesty. Well, that’s nonsense of course. There’s a wide spectrum of ways to handle this problem between deportation, on the one hand, and Amnesty on the other. We just need to enforce the laws, and over time that stock of illegals will erode.
Colmes: But Trump spoke of a deportation force. I know we have ICE, but he talked about a more aggressive force that would round up and get out of the country those who are not here with documentation. Is that what you want to see?
Brimelow: I think we should simply enforce the laws. Now, this certainly does mean deporting more people.
Colmes: How would you find them?
Brimelow: You know, it’s not difficult, is it? You go to any Democratic convention and you can find them. [Laughter][Right, rare illegal valedictorian Isabel Castillo participates in a public demonstration in front of banner saying “undocumented…unafraid.”]
Colmes: So, just go to any Democratic convention and deport any on the podium and you’ve started the process of getting rid of the people who don’t belong here?
Brimelow: Yes, that’s what we call Strategic Deportation.
Colmes: That’s a joke, right? Going to the Democratic convention?
Brimelow: Of course it isn’t. [Illegal immigrants take stage to address Democratic convention, By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times, July 25, 2016].
Colmes: So you shouldn’t be able to demonstrate? Anybody?
Brimelow: All I’m saying is that it’s a good way to find illegal immigrants. When people commit crimes, just ask them what their citizenship/legal status is.
Colmes: Here’s what’s troubling. You said actually going to the Democratic convention or people who are protesting. So if you’re exercising your First Amendment rights in this country and you are then…
Brimelow: They don’t have First Amendment rights, because they came here illegally.
Colmes: No, they do. No, you’re wrong.
Brimelow: You can only have First Amendment rights if you’re here legally–
Colmes: First of all, here’s the problem. You don’t know that they’re here illegally. Number two, the Constitution pertains to persons, not just to citizens.
Brimelow: I don’t think that’s right. In any case, if they’re here illegally, they can be deported.
Colmes: But how do you find them? You go to demonstrations and if you are demonstrating and protesting, you then are suspect and should be questioned about whether or not you are here legally?
Brimelow: Well, one thing to do is to systematically deport people who are in violation of the law. If they can’t show that they are here legally, then they should be deported.
Colmes: We are already doing that. If you commit a crime…
Colmes: But you’re talking about a small percentage of people who commit crimes who may be here undocumented.
Brimelow: Let me ask you this: When President Eisenhower started Operation Wetback, more than 1.5 million people left this country. Do you know how many were actually deported?
Colmes: Well, Operation Wetback was something that we have apologized for. [The Federal Government hasn’t apologized for Operation Wetback. The Government of California did apologize for its part in the Mexican Repatriation during the Depression.]
Brimelow: Well, we shouldn’t apologize for it! It was a thoroughly good thing! But, the point is, how many people were actually deported in Operation Wetback?
Colmes: Well, you may have the number; I don’t have the number in front of me.
Brimelow: Well, you should have the number!—because here you are talking about the subject! The answer is that only about 2-300,000 were actually deported. All of the rest left under their own steam. They self-deported. And that is what we will see here. They will get the message.
Colmes: Now, Mr. Brimelow, you are not going to get people to self-deport. Mitt Romney used that as part of his platform four years ago and it failed. You are not going to get people to do that. How are you going to get people to do that?
Brimelow: As I just pointed out, what happened in Operation Wetback was that when people realized that the Americans were serious about enforcing their laws, they left. So we have every reason to suppose that will happen again.
And what Romney called for was what is normally called by immigration patriots “attrition through enforcement.” If you systematically enforce the law, for example if you actually pass E-Verify and make it impossible for illegal immigrants to work here, then they will not have jobs and they will leave, because there is no economic reason for them to stay.
Similarly, you could do what the Israelis do and make it impossible for people to remit money out of the country if they can’t prove that they are here legally. That would break the back of the economics of illegal immigration.
Brimelow: No, I don’t accept that. It’s just a nickname.
Colmes: No, it’s not a nickname. It’s a disparaging term.
Brimelow: One thing about the Alt Right is that it doesn’t believe in Political Correctness. So, no, I don’t accept that.
Colmes: Well, people in the Alt Right movement beat their chest and brag about not being Politically Correct, but words that have meanings. That’s an insulting word to people who are in this country, working—
Brimelow: Well, my advice is get used to it.
Colmes: But that’s not going to happen.
Brimelow: Well, if they don’t like hearing that, then they should leave.
Colmes: But they are not going to leave—
Brimelow: Of course they are going to leave. They leave all the time. There’s constant back and forth with illegal immigrants.
And I have to say, this is only part of the issue, Alan. The real important part is legal immigration. That’s what I’m really concerned with Trump—
Colmes: You want to stop legal immigration too?
Brimelow: Trump has never actually called for an immigration moratorium, which is what we think there should be. But he has said that he wants to make sure that immigration is of a kind and a quantity that leaves American workers’ incomes and job opportunities intact—
Colmes: You would like to keep Muslims out of the country too?
Brimelow: I don’t see any point in Muslim immigration.
Colmes: So you would stop all Muslims from coming into the country?
Brimelow: What do you mean, “coming into the country”? Obviously, business people can come in, tourists can come in. But immigrants stay here. There’s a big difference. I don’t see the point of allowing Muslim enclaves to develop here.
Brimelow: And then the 1920s cut-off. There was a 50-year period where there was no immigration, which allowed assimilation to take place. The point is that we need another cut-off like that. We need another time-out.
Colmes: So, let me be clear, you believe there should be no immigration, right? You don’t want anybody coming into the country right now?
Brimelow: Right now, no. In general, I think immigration is useful in small numbers, it does provide a sort of leavening. It helps in various ways. But since 1965, we have had an immigration binge, it’s been going on too long. We need a moratorium for 15-20 years at least.
Colmes: And other than those who are here illegally, is there anybody else who you think should leave the United States who may be here legally?
Brimelow: No. I guess that hasn’t really occurred to me. I suppose where you have Muslims legal immigrants I’m sort of unhappy about that, and so I’m against making any concessions to them in terms of dress rules and so on. But it’s not something I think the federal government should take on.
Colmes: So, you wouldn’t get rid of the Muslims who are in the country legally?
Colmes: Well, a lot of Muslims who are not fundamentalist Muslims live in the U.S. and…
Brimelow: So they will assimilate.
Colmes: There is also the Constitution, which you have cited, which of course says there’s no religious test, so—
Brimelow: I don’t know that that’s what the Constitution says. The Americans can do anything they want in terms of who they let into the country—
Colmes: No, no, no. You are welcome here regardless of your faith, according to our Founders.
Brimelow: The Constitution does not say that at all! The Americans can have any kind of bar they want to—
Colmes: Where does it say that?
Brimelow: When they get here. they have to be treated equally in various ways, but Americans don’t necessarily have to let them in.
Colmes: But you said you would like Muslims who are here to leave.
Brimelow: Well, what I am saying is that I don’t think we should make concessions to keep fundamentalist Muslims here. If they go around demanding that women should wear burkinis and stuff like that—
Colmes: Well, they choose to not wear certain clothing. They dress a certain way. How is that any different than a native American dressing a certain way?
Brimelow: They can do that. But, the question is “Are they going to harass women on the street if they dress a certain way—?“
Colmes: Let me clear here. Are you saying the Muslims should not be able to dress a certain way?
Brimelow: No. I said the problem is if they start to hassle people in the host community because they don’t think they dress properly. Then that becomes an issue. That’s what happens in Europe, where there are substantial Muslim enclaves. They start to persecute women who wear short skirts, and that sort of thing.
Colmes: Well, that’s not happened in this country. Where are there Muslims in America persecuting women for wearing short skirts?
Brimelow: Well, it hasn’t reached a critical mass yet here. But I think there actually are problems with Muslims in this country, according to my email. I see people complaining about difficulties they’ve had…
Colmes: Well, people who email you are likely to think that way. But
Brimelow: Maybe that’s because they see the truth.
Colmes: So if there were enough Muslims in the U.S, people who were not Muslim and dressed a certain way would be harassed by Muslims?
Brimelow: That is the experience of Europe.
Colmes: Ok. Let’s go to Mike in Madison, WI.
Mike: Hi. How long has our guest been living in America?
Brimelow: Oh, 46 years.
Mike: Ok, so what you were saying earlier is that you didn’t have a problem as long as people assimilated to the culture, but you don’t think anybody else should be let in. But why should we allow anybody to stay that can’t assimilate to an American accent after 46 years?
Brimelow: What a stupid question. I have five children. All of them speak with an American accent.
Colmes: Let’s go to Scott in Houston.
Scott: Hi, gentlemen. I’m in Texas and I know a lot of people here who are Hispanic and whose parents or grandparents were illegal. Many of them don’t even speak Spanish and they have light skin like the Italians I knew on the East Coast. Yet I understand they qualify for Affirmative Action. That makes my blood boil because it seems to me that they are not oppressed and they have no reason why they should be favored in any way.
Colmes: I don’t even know who you are talking about who is calling for Affirmative Action—
Brimelow: Well, he’s right, of course. They are members of the so-called Protected Classes, the Hispanics. So he’s definitely correct. Immigrants generally qualify for Affirmative Action. The weird thing about the Ivy League, for example, is that their quotas for blacks are filled up with the children of African princes and that sort of thing.
Colmes: If Donald Trump in his speech on Wednesday talks about a path to citizenship for the undocumented, will you stop supporting him?
Brimelow: Well, it depends precisely when it is supposed to go into force. For example, if he was to actually enforce immigration law for the entirety of his first term, then I would expect the numbers of illegals in the country to diminish very dramatically. And after that, maybe you could think about it.
So it really depends on the details. I think it is foolish of his advisors to think they will get any credit for appearing to soften—
Colmes: What if he does not agree to start deporting people to a greater extent with a deportation force, as he originally said. He originally said that he would deport all undocumented illegal immigrants. What if he backs off that plan?
Brimelow: He always said that maybe we’ll let some of them back in. It was always very vague—.
Colmes: What if he says that we are not going to deport them all now anyway?
Brimelow: Well, I will get increasingly less happy. But the things that really concern me is, not so much the stock of illegals, but what interior enforcement is going to be like, what enforcement at the border is going to be like, and how we handle legal immigration, which is actually just as important of an issue as illegal immigration.
As long as he continues to say, and he has been saying in his speeches recently, which for some reason aren’t reported, that he is going to organize immigration policy to benefit American workers, and as long as he does that, I think he’ll be OK
Colmes: How can you believe, given the fact that he said there is going to be a softening then a hardening, he’s gone back and forth, how can you believe anything that he says in the first place?
Brimelow: You mean more so than any other politician?
Colmes: Yes. Much more so. On everything.
Brimelow: Well the thing about Trump is that this is a very high concept campaign. People don’t give him credit—
Colmes: What is the concept?
Brimelow: He has very broad, sweeping ideas, for example we shouldn’t get involved in foreign wars. He’s laying down these ideas—
Colmes: No, he has flip-flopped on almost everything.
Brimelow: I just don’t see that. He certainly has not flip-flopped on immigration. Not in the campaign.
Colmes: He was pro-choice until recently.
Brimelow: Not in the campaign. And that’s traditional for Republicans, look at Romney.
Colmes: He has lied about his support for the Iraq War, he was for and against going into Afghanistan—
Brimelow: Not in the campaign. He’s sharply broken with the Republican consensus on intervention—
Colmes: He’s lied about his medical records. He’s lied about tax records. I don’t know about the medical records, but I mean, he’s lied about a number of things, and you do not have a problem with any of this, right?
Brimelow: You mean you don’t like him?
Colmes: I don’t like him, but I also think he is a liar.
Brimelow: Well, compared to Hillary—
Colmes: No, no, no. There is no comparison; there is no equivalency.
Brimelow: Well, what he’s done, though, is he’s raised subjects that have not been in politics for many years—for example he’s broken with the bipartisan consensus that we should fight foreign wars in the Middle East all the time; he’s against that. Now the details, which war, how often, that’s a different matter. But he did break with the consensus.
And he’s similarly announced that immigration policy should be run in the interests of Americans. That’s is a radical departure from what both the Democrats and the business wing of Republican Party want to do—
Colmes: Let’s go to Sal in North Carolina.
Sal: What attracted you to America that you weren’t getting in your own country?
Brimelow: It was the height of the Cold War. I really did think that there was a good chance that the Soviet Union would overrun Europe. I saw America as the last best hope of all mankind. And I still basically think that.
The other thing is, when I came to the U.S., the Immigration Act of 1965 had just begun to kick in. The government had only just begun to Elect A New People. It was a very different society.
Colmes: Becky, from Arizona, hello.
Becky: I just find it interesting that this is a civic nationalist who says he is a citizen advocate and now you want to define who the citizens should be–which is all the white people! I don’t understand, Peter, how you can come to America and then decide America should be all white—.
Brimelow: Well, if you don’t like immigrants telling you what to do, maybe you should stop immigration, because that’s what is going to happen soon.
Of course, I did not say America should be white, I specifically said that there’s always been a population of blacks—
Colmes: But you do want to maintain a majority of white—
Brimelow: And that’s exactly what Teddy Kennedy said at the time of the 1965 Act. He said it will not change the racial balance of the country. But it did. I think we should go back to what Teddy Kennedy said.
Colmes: Do you think whites are better than people of other races?
Brimelow: In what respect?
Colmes: In any respect.
Brimelow: Well, I think they have different characteristics.
Colmes: Do you think they are smarter than other races?
Brimelow: No. If you go off of IQ, it appears that East Asians are smarter.
Colmes: That’s pretty much what we heard last night from Jared Taylor.
Brimelow: Well, that’s what the data suggest.
Colmes: Do you think whites are better people to have in your culture because of the way they live?
Brimelow: You know, I personally like living in a white society and I think I should be allowed to say that.
Colmes: Well we have free speech so you can.
Brimelow: Now, is it objectively better in some sense? I don’t know.
Colmes: Why do you prefer to live in a white society?
Brimelow: Well, I think for one thing, it is much safer. The civilization levels are much higher.
Colmes: Is that an issue of race or of poverty?
Brimelow: I think it’s ultimately an issue of race.
Brimelow: I think that’s what the evidence seems to suggest. Some immigrants have relatively low crime levels, again the East Asians. Some, like the Haitians, have very high crime levels. It does seem to be correlated with race.
Colmes: Let’s go to Adam in Orlando.
Adam: I’m wondering about the environmental effects of mass immigration—specifically the water supply. The High Plains aquifer was 3% depleted in 1960, now it’s 33% depleted. If we get another 80 million people in the next 35 years, what will that do?
Brimelow: Well, that’s exactly right. One of the interesting things that I have found about VDARE.com, which we run as a forum site, is that we have environmentalists that write for us who raise exactly this question: If we drive the population up, where are they all going to go? Americans of all races have brought down their family sizes. If it wasn’t for immigration, the population would already have stabilized.
And this has nothing to do with race. This is question of the numbers. The numbers are very high.
Exactly the same thing with wages. Immigration is quite clearly a factor behind the stagnation of American wages over 30 years. If you increase the supply of labor, you drive down its price. Again, that has nothing to do with race.
Colmes: Let’s go to Daniel in Washington, D.C.
Daniel: To the guest, if he had children that dated a black individual, would he have a problem with it?
Brimelow: I’m far too much of a liberal wimp to object to that. I would hope it was a good black person and they loved each other.
And I guess I would be sad if I didn’t have grandchildren who looked like my grandparents–
Colmes: You would be sad if you didn’t have white grandchildren?
Brimelow: I think it would cross my mind, just as it does with Jewish parents if their children are dating non-Jews, doesn’t it?
Colmes: Let’s go to Jenny in Madison, WI.
Jenny: I’m sorry, this guy just thinks that he is better than everyone else. I just want to know why all the people who are against immigration are from Europe. The indigenous people got the raw end of the deal here. I just want to know why he thinks he is better than everyone else.
Brimelow: Well, maybe the indigenous Americans should have been more careful about their immigration policy. They simply found themselves out-voted, which is going to happen to us if we are not careful.
And secondly, I think the Americans built a very successful society here and I think they did it because they were careful with the people they let in. If they thought the wrong people were coming in, they acted. And that’s what we should do now.
Colmes:Let’s not forget that blacks were brought here in chains to build that society.
Brimelow: Right—haven’t I said that repeatedly tonight? Obviously they’re a special case.
I don’t like Affirmative Action. But if were up to me, I would restrict it to blacks. I don’t see why immigrants—and I mean by that, Hispanics, they’re a minority that was almost entirely created by the 1965 Act—should get it.
Colmes: You know that Trump has almost no chance to win the presidency, right?
Brimelow: Oh, who the hell knows? Everybody said that in the primaries.
But the thing is, at least he’s not Jeb Bush. It’s so much more interesting to have Trump.
We’ve always stipulated on VDARE.com that we have no idea what Trump will do when he gets into power. I don’t think he knows what he will do. But we did know what Jeb Bush would have done.
Colmes: How do you support someone if you have no idea what he’s going to do?
Brimelow: Desperation! I think the country is going over a cliff and Bush and Marco Rubio would have taken it over much faster.
It’s called Pascal’s Wager. We do know what Bush and Rubio would do. So I would gamble on Trump.
Colmes: Thank you, Mr. Brimelow for coming on the program tonight.