Real solutions require internal change

Mother of Exiles
Photo by melanzane1013

When I read Ann Coulter’s endorsement of Trump I knew I couldn’t stay silent any more. I shouldn’t have been surprised that she might endorse Trump, after all, Ann has never been one to shy away from a confrontational approach on issues she cares about (although she spends more time being right on the issues she speaks about than Trump does) so his style shouldn’t be a huge negative in her eyes. The only reason I read her article was that the title was intriguing (“I was hoping for a taller honest man”) and I wanted to know her reasons for deciding to hold her nose and choose Trump. When her message was a complaint that people either dislike him or feel they have to hold their noses to vote for him combined with an emphasis on his approach to immigration I knew it was time to speak out about how the GOP at large is missing the mark on immigration –¬†which is why the childish plan from Trump’s imagination (“Mr. Putin, we’re going to build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it to boot.“) has so much appeal among party members.

As I was preparing to write about the wrongheaded attitude on immigration within the GOP I happened to see Matt Walsh’s post about how we have nobody to blame but ourselves for the mess we’re in and I found that he was sharing the same core idea I wanted to share – just applied to a different topic. That core idea is this: we can’t look outside at “them” to lay blame for our problems nor can we hope that controlling or fixing “them” will actually be a solution to whatever problem we hope to solve. This is exactly why the common thoughts on immigration within the GOP are wrong. The focus is on blaming the immigrants for problems that are ours and the proposed solutions center on controlling the immigrants.

The reality is that immigrants aren’t our problem – although some of them are a symptom stemming from some of our problems:

  • If we have too many illegal immigrants it is because we have a broken immigration problem.
  • If immigrants are taking too many jobs at the expense of American workers it is because:
    • too many American workers aren’t willing to take jobs they see as beneath them.
    • Americans are too cheap to pay enough for goods and services to be able to employ Americans for those jobs.
    • American workers aren’t willing to train or retrain for the jobs available.
  • If people are sneaking across the border and selling drugs it is because Americans are buying the drugs.
  • If people are trying to get into our country to attack us it is because of the ways we as a nation talk and act towards them.

If we want to solve our immigration problem we need to be addressing whichever of those internal problems we see as causing the problem – otherwise we are like medieval doctors bleeding our patients to cure diseases we don’t understand and if the patients get well again it is in spite of our treatments, not because of them.

Trump proposes to “make America great again” by closing our borders and bullying other nations into doing what we want. He is proposing to double down on the very things that have hampered our greatness while ignoring the fact that what made us great was that we were open to all who sought to better their lives. Those who believe that Trump is right should propose to send the Statue of Liberty back to France.

I propose that we focus on solving our actual problems. Doing so would discourage some immigrants (generally the ones who aren’t contributing to the society they live in) while encouraging and benefiting from those who probably understand more about what makes America great than many Americans seem to.