Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rebooting America, part 1

One mistake that permeates our public discourse is the jump to discussing policies without discussing the underlying principles involved.  So before offering any "prescriptions" for what I believe ails America on different fronts, I will endeavor to provide the philosophical/Constitutional rationale for such.

The first issue to address is that of sovereignty, on multiple levels.  There are those who advocate globalist approaches to the issues of the day, and seem willing--even eager--to bind the policy and destiny of our nation to that of others whose ideas and agendas may well be the antithesis of our own.  Often, these "citizens of the world" claim a moral high ground, as though they and like-minded travelers have somehow 'evolved' beyond the idea of a nation.  They envision a system of global governance, idealizing some utopian utilitarianism of such.

The trouble is, such approaches confuse nation with government.  The latter should indeed serve the former, but the two are not synonymous.  A 'nation' is best defined as a people with common culture, heritage, values and aspirations.  Geography and legal boundaries are not the best definition of this (See: most of Africa, the Kurdish people, the Basques and Catalonians, etc).  There are few (if any) governments that can successfully minister to more than one 'nation' or 'people group' (See: Austro-Hungarian Empire).  To think a global government can benignly address the aspirations of all the worlds' peoples is, well, arrogant presumption to say the least.  Nothing in history supports such a proposition.

So then, short of the globalist nirvana, we are left with a patchwork of nation-states.  Some trace a clear lineage, others were cobbled together (rather recklessly) by departing colonial powers.  The latter tend to be unstable and subject to change.  The former tend to be stable and more highly developed.

The question then becomes: do nations in the first group have the right to control access by outsiders, particularly those seeking to resettle among them, regardless where they hail from?  This is the first major issue upon which Americans have lost consensus.  We are idealistic almost to a fault, and it is easy to appeal to a sense of fairness or to the "city on a hill" view of America to argue we should never deny entry to the "poor, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free."

What isn't asked often enough though, is do those masses share the same idea of "freedom" as those already resident here?  Have they committed to adapting to their new home, or do they expect that home to adapt to them?  We hear plenty about the "ugly American" syndrome, where travelers abroad refuse to conform to local customs and norms.  What about the reverse?  Literal millions have immigrated into Europe and North America from lands with very different daily lives.  The sheer volume of this migration has lessened the pressures to "do as the Romans do."

Does the alleged "human right" of 'free movement' trump the right of people to preserve the way of life handed down by their ancestors?

This is not idle philosophizing.  If national sovereignty exists, it follows that the first duty of any government is to protect the sovereignty of its people.  And yet we have, by orders of magnitude, more U.S. forces patrolling the borders of foreign nations than we do in securing our own. 

If national sovereignty is a thing of the past, than this is a moot point... but one that I'm sure would surprise most Americans (not to mention the peoples of many other countries).  Despite the propagandizing of globalists, national identities still exist -- even here in the U.S. 

Therefore, step one of rebooting America must, by necessity, be: SECURING THE BORDER and EFFECTIVELY CONTROLLING ACCESS TO THE COUNTRY.

(...to be continued...)

1 comment:

Jim said...

Can you say Joe Arpaio! Seriously, I know of what you speak -- I've been on foot patrols in Iraq and Afghanistan and I can tell you the people never looked at me as a liberator! On one hand I completely understood their intolerance -- still I had lives to take care of at the time. I'm thankful I'm home now and in a different line of work.

As to our borders -- living here in PHX I see first hand what our failed policies have delivered.

As always -- thank you.

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