Yesterday I offered a few brief quotes from one of my favorite writers - Eric Hoffer, the "Longshoreman Philosopher." One of those quotes was this:
"It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it."
When Hoffer wrote these words in 1973, they were true. Today, I'm not so sure.
It is undeniably true that Americans are our own worst critics. They demonstrate against whatever administration is in power, file lawsuits over proposed legislation, denounce foreign and domestic policies, and generally give the impression that they'd rather live almost anywhere else. New immigrants, on the other hand, have historically recognized what native Americans have not: that this country offers economic and social opportunities, security, and a general freedom virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world. The new immigrants vote with their feet, and they vote for America.
After all, ask yourself if such marvelous garden spots as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Burma (okay, Myanmar), and Mexico have a serious problem with illegal immigration.
But nowadays, the new immigrants don't love America as they have in the past. Many don't come here seeking the freedoms and opportunities they were denied at home, or in search of some mythical "American dream" - they come only for short-term economic benefit, in flagrant and shameless violation of the laws that set this country apart from all others. The outrageous demonstrations in favor of rights for illegal immigrants which feature protesters carrying Mexican flags are an insult to the nation from which they demand that which they have not earned.
Large numbers of Muslim immigrants arrive in a country which prides itself on equality of opportunity...and insist on keeping women as the second-class citizens they were at home - wrapped, robed, and hidden away under medievally twisted concepts of "honor" and protection. We see in America "honor killings" and other disgusting examples of barbaric behavior that previous generations of immigrants came here to escape...now, they bring it with them and insist in our courts on the freedom to pursue it.
To paraphrase the words of the old TV detective Theo Kojak, "Who loves who, baby?"
If you're not concerned at some of the changes taking place around you, or if you're stuck in the rut of reflexively denouncing America for all the ills of the world...well, you might be happier somewhere else. After all, pretty soon there should be plenty of space in all the countries whose populations leave for America because they see what we all too often don't.
And what we all too often don't try to protect.
Think about it. It's our future, after all.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.