Ever-Greater Sophistication Among Commenters At NATIONAL REVIEW Online


Writing at National Review Online on August 14, 2014, Yuval Levin and Reihan Salam had a well-stated but largely wrongheaded piece with a self-explanatory title, The Immigration Middle Ground.

VDARE.com’s James Fulford and James Kirkpatrick have remarked on the piece, here and here, respectively.  (And I’ve had a cordial private email exchange with Levin.)

In overwhelming proportions, the commenters at the Levin/Salam article aren’t buying what the authors are selling.  I haven’t scanned all 300+ entries that are there as I write this, early on August 15 (Eastern Time), but some of these comments are well-informed and highly articulate.

So I’ll simply copy and paste, in its entirety, a finely-crafted example of the genre by a commenter named “cloud-buster,” adding a couple of remarks of my own at the end.  In what follows, the back and forth are exactly as arranged by cloud_buster, including the italics representing excerpts from the Levin/Salam article:

“But, as ever, the effort ran into trouble with populist critics…”

Also known as “the bulk of the U.S. population.”

“Their numbers overwhelmed the Border Patrol, and efforts to provide them
with humane temporary shelter and to decide how to deal with them in
the longer term quickly became a high-profile controversy.”

This is an incorrect explanation of the “controversy.” What the bulk of the U.S.
population is angry about is that Obama encouraged them to come and is not turning them away at the border and leaving it to Mexico to deal with them.

“It is impossible to say whether or to what degree the policy in fact contributed to the border crisis,…”

Pfft. Right. And I have a bridge in Manhattan to sell you.

“…with support for legalization declining…”

There was never support for legalization outside of the beltway elites and corporate lobbyists such as the Chamber of Commerce, and La Raza and fellow travelers.

“First, we now have a large population of unauthorized immigrants, the vast majority of whom we will not (and should not) deport.”

I reject your assertion that we “should not” deport them. We don’t have to go house to house looking for them, but anytime one becomes visible to law enforcement, he or she should immediately be deported (or imprisoned for whatever crime led to the visibility and then deported).

“…America’s traditional openness to immigration…”

This is a fable. The U.S. has had long periods — most recently from the 20s through 60s — of little or no immigration. There’s nothing un-American or unusual about restricting immigration when it is in the national interest to do so.

“And decades of polling has consistently found that only a small minority of Americans favor increasing the overall level of immigration…”

See? Right there, your facts contradict your earlier assertions about support for legalization declining — it was never there in the first place — and of “America’s traditional openness to immigration.”

“…we should instead find middle ground by offering this population permanent legal residence without citizenship.”

I knew this is what you’d propose. This is fantastically stupid. Permanent legal residence is the brass ring. Most could care less about citizenship, and, in any case, all those permanent legal residents would be breeding generations of birthright citizens who would be natural Democratic voters intent on increasing the socialization and move toward fascism in our nation. This is handing over our nation to mass illegal immigration in every meaningful respect. It’s another amnesty and like the last one, it will just encourage more illegal immigration to follow.

Idiocy. Absolute, total, self-annihilating idiocy.

“Border and visa enforcement would not be part of this compromise, but would instead have to precede it.”

It has been demonstrated over a period of decades that our government, whether run by Democrats or Republicans, has no interest in border enforcement. We need to elect a new government before they elect a new people.

That’s nearly 500 words with nary a typo.  It’s bluntly stated but in language that would be perfectly acceptable in a family newspaper.  Accordingly, cloud_buster’s entry has netted 41 “up” votes in the 17 hours since it was posted.

The comment also contains what might be echoes of VDARE.com, especially the part at the end making Peter Brimelow’s oft-stated point about electing a new people.  So perhaps cloud_buster is a VDARE.com reader!  In any event, he or she has splendidly illustrated what well-informed VDARE.com readers can be doing all across the internet.