I am proud of America.
Though we have long dangled the promise of the American Dream in front of the world, we have more recently too often used our nation’s promise to taunt others. In a world of economic struggle, in no small part created by policies pushed by big business through our government onto the globe, millions have come to see America as an oasis of bread and water amidst strife. It may be a mirage, as poverty within America is growing, but still, millions come to America looking for sustenance and salvation, only to be condemned and told to get in the back of a line that has been far too long and far too broken for far too long.
For some time now, American businesses have actively subverted our nation’s laws in order to lure low-wage immigrant workers and increase their corporate bottom line. But those on the Right don’t attack big business for this dynamic, they blame those poor and desperate enough to follow the trail of crumbs the businesses set. Somehow, immigrant workers who are picking our fruit and cleaning our homes are stealing from America, but millionaires and billionaires who pay lower taxes than the rest of us are just keeping what they earned. It strikes me as profoundly hypocritical that conservatives who repeatedly proclaim themselves the defenders of patriotism and American history so blatantly lionize our nation’s kings but vilify its immigrants. King George III gained his wealth and power through entirely legal means and was the rightful leader of the American colonies, while Christopher Columbus was an undocumented immigrant. But American history firmly sides with the latter.
Of course, with President Obama’s executive order to halt deportations of young, undocumented immigrants and students, we’re not even talking about the hardworking mothers and fathers who came to our great country looking for hope and possibility. We’re talking about their kids, who were brought here when they were two years old, three years old, maybe 10 or 11, for whom America is all they have ever known. These are the so-called easy cases, the most sympathetic immigrants among our nation’s undocumented, the kids who only speak English and want to be able to go to college to become doctors or teachers or entrepreneurs. But still, those on the Right attack these young Americans as law breaking criminals who steal jobs from rightful Americans. Wall Street executives who drained billions in wealth from middle class families? Model citizens. Young Americans who want the same opportunities my great-grandparents sought? “Illegals” we should lock up and deport. Policy disagreements aside, the sort of inhumanity with which the Right wing talks about undocumented immigrants in America reflects a deep nastiness that darkens the heart of our nation.
Apparently, conservatives think the free market should not be free and open to everyone. Apparently, conservatives think that economic opportunity should be doled out according to a first-come, first served policy, not hard work. Apparently, they think wealth is not a zero-sum game when it comes to taxing the rich but jobs and opportunity are finite when it comes to the poor. Apparently, they think that more people working hard doesn’t multiply opportunity but somehow depletes it.
Economic opportunity is indeed elusive in America. But somehow, many feeling that insecurity take comfort in or at least overlook the notion of a growing class of robber barons yet are deeply threatened by Latino/a immigrants coming to America to work for less than the minimum wage. Over the last several decades, productivity in America has risen while real wages have declined. That is simply not the fault of immigrants. But perhaps blaming immigrants is easier than blaming our entire economic system, which is increasingly designed to bilk working class and middle class families for the benefit of the very rich. But I can’t help but wonder… if conservatives were right, if all the undocumented immigrants left the United States tomorrow and unemployed Americans took all those mostly-crappy, low-paying jobs, so that the already-profound gap between high income and low-income earners were to yawn even wider and the wealth gap increase, is that the Right’s idea of a solution? Sounds infinitely worse to me than treating our fellow human beings with basic decency and extending them the opportunity that we have so long held out for the world’s awe.
President Obama did the right thing. I wish he’d done it sooner. Providing a path to citizenship for America’s undocumented immigrants was supported by President George W. Bush and, incidentally, last enacted by President Ronald Reagan. So at the very least, I hope that conservative vitriol against undocumented immigrants has more to do with President Obama supporting them than any inherent, inhuman nastiness. I hope… Regardless, I am very proud of America and very proud to share her promise more broadly.
My thoughts on Obama calling GOP bluff on debt, crumbling of Democratic liberalism, Immelt and Chamber of Commerce whining about “certainty” and Cisco firing people to grow profits >> If you want to receive my adVantage Points every weekday morning in your inbox, email email@example.com
Debt Talks Display Crumbling Of Democratic Liberalism
Raising the debt ceiling has absolutely nothing to do with future spending. In fact, in a sputtering economy where the private sector is sitting on record profits and capital reserves but not creating jobs, government spending that creates jobs rebuilding infrastructure and educating the next generation is the solution, not the problem. That Democrats are helping kill government investment, instead of defending it, is a nod to the long-term victory of conservative ideology over liberalism.
Obama Should Call Republicans’ Bluff – story
If Republicans refuse to raise taxes even modestly on the couple hundred Americans who are faring damn well in this economy, Obama should call their bluff and use his Constitutional power to honor our nation’s debts anyway — and impeaching the Republican leadership for violating their oath of office to uphold the Constitution.
Jobs vs. Profits: Cisco Considering Layoffs To Boost Earnings - story
These are the CEOs who need more tax breaks! Conservatives heralding the allegedly-free market as the fabled savior of both millionaires and working stiffs should take note that big business, left to its own devices, will very often chose profits over people. But hey, I’m sure that with real unemployment at 20%, those Cisco employees will have no problem finding new jobs — maybe making parts for corporate jets?
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