Wall Street Journal : Independence Day Means Immigration!

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VDARE: It Means Independence!

Four score and seven years after the Declaration
of Independence
, the first Republican president
made a speech
in which he stated that the forefathers of America had
dedicated it to a proposition: that all men are
created equal.

(Maybe the origin of the “Proposition
Nation”
that you hear so much about.)

In a metaphysical sense,
this statement is perfectly true. St. Paul said it in
Galatians 3:28.

Of course, the signers didn`t mean that everyone
had equal talents. It would be no news to any of them
that some people are taller than others or brighter,
or even that some nations had different
characteristics than others. They were talking about
equal justice before the law, and equality before God.

However, the proposition behind the Declaration was
different from, and simpler than that. It was that the
American people had a right to govern themselves, and
not to be governed by foreigners.

Their "decent respect for the opinions of
mankind" meant only that they wanted to explain
themselves, not that they were offering the world in
general a veto on their actions. (Not everyone has a
"decent respect" for the opinions of
foreigners. When Eddie
Condon
met a French jazz critic, he asked, “Who
does that Frog think he is to come over here and try
to tell us how to play? We don`t go over there and
tell them how to jump on a grape.”)

You frequently hear nowadays about loss of
sovereignty to supranational organizations such as the
UN, WTO, or European Union. In 1776 there was a large,
supranational organization that claimed the right to
control the lives of Americans. It was called the
British Empire.

No one liked it. The Ministry in London was
arrogant, stupid, and useless as their modern
counterparts in Brussels or The Hague, and Americans
wanted to be independent
of that, to run their own lives.

Governments were said to “derive their just
powers from the consent of the governed.” This
consent was based on a basic idea of community – that
everyone was part of the same nation.

Here are some of the things that people today think
should be done in the name of being created equal:

  • Taxes.
    The rich should be taxed for the benefit of the poor,
    and thus the productive for the unproductive. It
    isn`t fair
    that people earn unequal amounts of money.

  • Land
    reform
    . It isn`t fair
    that people have unequal amounts of land.

  • More
    immigration
    .  It isn`t fair that
    some people have to live outside the US.

Which of those forms of “Creating Equal” do you
think Jefferson would have voted for?

Which brings me back to my VDARE-specific point.
Self-determination, it`s called. Lincoln thought of
it as “Government of the People, by the People.”
At least, he said
he thought of it that way. Mencken was dubious:

Concerning Lincoln`s Gettysburg Address, it is
generally stupendous. But let us not forget that it is
poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the
argument in it. Put it into the cold words of
everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union
soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives
to the cause of self-determination – `that government
of the people, by the people, for the people,` should
not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine
anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that
battle actually fought against self-determination; it
was the Confederates who fought for the right of their
people to govern themselves. What was the practical
effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the
destruction of the old sovereignty of the states,
i.e., of the people of the States?

H.L.
Mencken, 1920
 

Just as the Americans wanted to run their own
country, without a lot of interference from the
British, the people of the Southern states wanted to
govern themselves, and not be governed by Northerners.
During reconstruction, they showed a marked lack of
enthusiasm for being governed by freedmen.

During the debates
over the Chinese
Exclusion
Act in the
nineteenth century, Charles
Sumner
, who had
made himself so unpopular in the South during
Reconstruction, once again appealed to the
Declaration`s statement that all men were created
equal, to justify the importation of Chinese labor. Cecil
Chesterton
, in
his History Of
The United States
, points out how ludicrous this
is. The Chinese were certainly equal in humanity,
rights, dignity, et cetera. But that was in China,
where they lived. In America, which had a completely
different civilization, they were dangerous.

But the one of the main currents driving the debate
was a desire not to offend China. American immigration
policy has frequently been affected by foreign policy.
And foreign policy affected by immigration.

Self-government in a nation means that it runs
itself, without having to kowtow to the UN (or its Human
Rights Commission
.)

When the UN becomes really intolerable, perhaps the
American people will remember George the Third and warn
them … of attempts by their legislature to extend an
unwarrantable jurisdiction over us
, remind…
them of the circumstances of our emigration and
settlement here
. and dissolve
the political bands.

Perhaps they will do the same to Mexico.

That will be Fourth of July to remember. 

July 3, 2001