In his famous essay Politics and the English Language (1946), the English author Eric Blair (pen name: “George Orwell”) wrote, “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. … Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
For example, the straightforward word “alien,” which appears hundreds of times throughout the U.S. Code (and simply means “any person not a citizen or national of the United States“) is being dispatched to Blair’s/Orwell’s memory hole by some genius(es) high up at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to Ryan Lovelace at National Review Online [Have the Feds Dumped the Phrase ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’?, July 3, 2014].
(One disgusted commenter at the Lovelace article wrote, “Alien, Alien, Alien! There, 3 times, fed word police! They are trespassing germ bombs and Obama is distributing them all over the nation! I’m sure calling them something more PC will help.”)
So it’s entirely refreshing to hear fifth-term Congressman Louie Gohmert’s [R-TX] June 30 interview on Sean Hannity’s radio program, because Gohmert minces no words. Gohmert’s and Hannity’s discussion of the Central American poverty-army’s mass arrival, informed by the congressman’s recent trip to the Rio Grande, runs from about 20:20 to 28:50 in the recording [link].
The eight-minute segment is worth listening to in full. Several notable points:
From 22:05 to 22:30, Gohmert recounts that the motive he heard from those arriving was “not to escape murder, mayhem. The lady says, ‘Because we wanted these kids to get a good education.’”
From 24:45 to 25:40, Gohmert and Hannity discuss the tops-in-the-universe hypocrisy of Mexican officialdom.
From 27:25 to 27:55, Gohmert quotes off-the-record conversations with Border Patrol agents who remember that, when there was a sudden influx of illegal aliens from Brazil some years ago, once our authorities sent several families right back, the influx promptly stopped. Deterrence!
For me, though, the interview’s highlight was from 22:40 to 23:40, when Gohmert said:
You cannot bring hundreds of thousands of people into this country without destroying the country. Then there’s no place people can dream about coming.
It’s always been such an irony, though, that people would flee a country that’s got graft, drug cartels, people that ignore the law or bribe people, look the other way — so they come to the United States, because we have mostly been a nation of laws, where the rule of law matters, but once they’re here, they say “Now we want you to ignore the rule of law” [i.e. ignore their own immigration-lawbreaking], which, ironically, makes us like the country they came from.
Either we’re going to enforce our law and remain strong economically and otherwise, or we ignore the rule of law and go to being a Third-World nation …
That’s a great off-the-cuff statement of a central truth. Legendary U.S. diplomat and historian George F. Kennan had written similar truths down in 1993 in his characteristically elegant prose:
It is obviously easier, for the short run, to draw cheap labor from adjacent pools of poverty, such as North Africa or Central America, than to find it among one’s own people. And to the millions of such prospective immigrants from poverty to prosperity, there is, rightly or wrongly, no place that looks more attractive than the United States. Given its head, and subject to no restrictions, this pressure will find its termination only when the levels of overpopulation and poverty in the United States are equal to those of the countries from which these people are now anxious to escape.
There will be those who will say, “Oh, it is our duty to receive as many as possible of these people and to share our prosperity with them, as we have so long been doing.” But suppose there are limits to our capacity to absorb. Suppose the effect of such a policy is to create, in the end, conditions within this country no better than those of the places the masses of immigrants have left: the same poverty, the same distress. What we shall then have accomplished is not to have appreciably improved conditions in the Third World (for even the maximum numbers we could conceivably take would be only a drop from the bucket of the planet’s overpopulation) but to make this country itself a part of the Third World (as certain parts of it already are), thus depriving the planet of one of the few great regions that might have continued, as it now does, to be helpful to much of the remainder of the world by its relatively high standard of civilization, by its quality as example, by its ability to shed insight on the problems of the others and to help them find their answers to their own problems.
What did Kennan mean that some of the U.S. is already part of the Third World? Probably he was thinking of — and surely Congressman Gohmert would be well aware of — the shantytowns or “colonias“ sprinkled across the southwest borderlands from Texas to California. Indeed, life in a Texas colonia that’s not actually at the border was the subject of a recent New York Times article that VDARE.com’s Steve Sailer discussed here and here.