Do you know the origin of the handshake? It was to show the other person you weren’t holding a weapon. Forget that. It’s unimportant. You don’t need it.
Do you know why so many otherwise reasonable people think Arizona is absolutely awful for its new immigration law? This is very important. America needs it big time.
Just as President Obama dumps a lot of blame on George W. Bush, I blame the late Adolf Hitler for the rather serious perversion that it’s racist to enforce this law. Even those who have no memory of World War II, and never saw Peter Lorre in a movie, still hold a soul-memory of a jackbooted bad guy looming up before a terrified innocent refugee and demanding, “Vere are your papers?” Even though your typical Arizona cop is no Nazi, and an alien, if illegal, is no innocent refugee, the mindset of a civilized people recoils from the whole scene. We should congratulate ourselves for our instinct, and then get over it.
One of the clichés of that war was the 8-year-old girl from Czechoslovakia making it safely with her family to America and running screaming to her mother at the sight of an Irish cop on the streets of Brooklyn. Law enforcement wasn’t good news in the old country. A good feeling was had by all when the mother explained and the cop picked up the little girl and gave her a hug.
Apparently, an ounce of instinct is worth a pound of rational thought. No, an ounce of instinct outweighs a ton of rational thought. How dare we let an idea as intrinsically worthy as identification papers lose out to folk-disgust based on comparisons barely excusable in an 8-year-old?
I rejoice in the spectacle of not bad humans, but bad ideas crumbling and falling when hit by silver bullets of intellect. There was such a moment on CNN in mid-May when the irrepressible James Carville got repressed, but good, by radio talk host and former Reagan Cabinet member Bill Bennett on this very issue. The question was, “Is it really important to round up and deport illegal aliens?” Carville offered forth the good old party line about most illegals doing nothing in America but working hard and trying to make a decent life for themselves and their families. Bennett quietly invited Carville to talk to police chiefs across the state of Arizona and ask them what kind of problems, if any, the illegals presented. “No,” Bennett concluded. “To say illegal aliens aren’t a dire threat to America is stupid.”
So, you who view life from the campus, the pulpit, the union hall and the Oval Office reject the notion of American law enforcement asking likely suspects to show their ID in 2010 because uniformed Nazis did that same thing to suspected Jews and others in the 1930s and 1940s. How smart is that? The respect I’d accumulated for Mikhail Gorbachev for being such a failure as a Communist dictator was washed away when he taunted Americans for talking about building a fence along the Mexican border. He chided Americans on how distasteful we found the old Soviet Iron Curtain. A lot of Americans fell for that taunt despite its glaring, screaming infirmity. “Fences! Don’t you see? Bad!” The eye-rollingly hypocritical Gorbachev knew most of us would be too dumb to harpoon that charge with the elementary observation that the Iron Curtain was designed to keep Communist subjects in; whereas the purpose of a Mexican border fence would be to keep unauthorized people out.
I even blame Hitler for our drug problem. If there’d never been a Nazi era and drug addiction had advanced to where we were, say, in the late 1950s, I believe members of Congress would have proposed we concentrate the addicts apart from the population to keep them from recruiting more addicts in order to support their habits. We could concentrate them together in camps. Maybe we could call them “concentration camps.” And those proposals would have come from liberals. The conservatives would have said, “Let’s try something else. Camps cost too much money.”
The notion of concentrating people together in camps is not likely in any decent country until history pushes “reset” and starts all over again. And if you think these notions of Hitler still exerting this kind of historical paralysis on our policy-making are frivolous, ask any scientist whatever happened, after the surrender of Nazi Germany, to the science of eugenics, improving the breed among humans. Don’t even bring it up. That’s what Hitler did.
Finally, there’s something racist about opposing the Arizona law. How dare you assume those likely to be in violation belong to any particular race?
Be thankful bad ideas, and oil leaks, eventually end. So far there’s been no organized protest against stopping at red lights and going on green.
I mean, good God, man; don’t you realize that’s what they did in Nazi Germany?