Restoring America’s Assimilation Apparatus

If the goal of immigration reform is to preserve American culture and prosperity, then the question would-be reformers would do well to ask is what strategies will have a chance at success.

Heated rhetoric about hordes of gangbangers and birth tourists overrunning our border will work, maybe, with about 40 percent of American voters. Cryptic escalatory references to how “the Second Amendment will save us” are futile jabberings. If it had to, the American government would deploy swarms of slap drones and other high-tech counter-insurgency gadgetry that would neutralize America’s rebel “militias” in hours. These are impossible options.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. American culture and prosperity can be preserved.

Immigration policy can move to a merit-based system, where admittance is based on applicants having valuable job skills, English language proficiency, good health, and cultural compatibility. There is a way to build a consensus among American voters that demands these reforms. The question is where to look.

As Henry Olsen explained in these pages recently, the Trump coalition has a tenuous hold on power—at best. “Whether it is regaining a portion of . . . RINOs or a winning a much larger share of Hispanic or African-American votes,” Olsen wrote, the president and the MAGA movement “need more supporters to succeed.”

How? Here it is necessary to consider the art of the possible. Are RINOs or liberals ever going to support immigration policies that preserve American culture and prosperity? Probably not. Those voters—mostly members of the upper middle class—love to virtue signal their aversion to any border policy that might invite even hints of “racism,” at the same time as they love the cheap labor that immigrants provide to clean their floors and cut their grass. They will be the last to be convinced.

What about “people of color,” those voters who constitute the other half of the Democratic bloc? Why should Trump Republicans settle for 10 percent, or even 40 percent, of their votes? What would it take for these voters, most of whom are either immigrants or have immigrant parents, to embrace American culture as passionately as the Irish and German immigrants of a century ago, and want to defend it?

The answer is simple: Attack and permanently discredit the forces in America that are doing everything they can to prevent assimilation. There are three critical fronts in this war.

University Campuses and K-12 Public Education
The degree to which the extreme Left now dominates university campuses in America defies brief description. America’s universities are training ethnic and racial minorities to despise traditional American culture and to believe they will experience lifelong discrimination in a hostile culture steeped in “white privilege.” But the programs that enable these seditious actions can be challenged in court, because they are discriminatory, they violate academic freedom, they undermine the economic value of an expensive college degree, and, in public universities, they waste taxpayers money.

Examples include the Orwellian diversity statements that applicants now have to submit to be considered for faculty positions. The discriminatory affirmative action plans. The segregation of “safe spaces.” The expensive, divisive, and economically useless ethnic and gender studies. The incredibly expensive “inclusion” and “diversity” bureaucracy. The abuse of Title IX by opportunistic bureaucrats and trial lawyers. Not only can court rulings destroy many of these programs, but people of color could be persuaded to reject such nonsense. Because the degrees they’re earning through them are worthless.

Rescuing America’s public elementary and secondary schools is equally important. There is no reason young people today cannot embrace America’s proud heritage regardless of their national origin.

But instead of receiving a balanced education that highlights America’s unique contributions to universal equality of opportunity, there is an inexorable shift towards textbooks that disparage the nation and its origins. Among the central figures in this growing movement to turn America’s youth against their own country is the late Howard Zinn. His hopelessly biased bestselling history text is designed to fill impressionable, rebellious youth with cynical resentment against everything that’s made America great: capitalism, private property, Christianity, democracy, meritocracy, the Protestant work ethic, and Western Civilization itself.

Fighting the leftist influence in K-12 schools starts with providing alternatives. Charter schools. Vouchers. Continuing to attack the Leftist agenda of the powerful teachers unions. These fights can play out in the courts, but they can also be fought at the grassroots. Because Leftist controlled public K-12 schools are failing to educate students. And the students who are the most negatively affected by Leftist mismanagement are those who live in low income, immigrant communities.

Exposing the Environmentalist Attack on the West
Nobody denies the urgency of many environmental challenges. Asian trawlers strip mining the oceans for protein. African poachers slaughtering critically endangered species. Chinese power plants belching so much soot they spread toxic clouds across half a continent. Rapid, unsustainable population growth across most of the planet’s equatorial regions.

The trajectory of all attempts to mitigate these genuine challenges is fatally slowed in deference to a corporate, fascistic imperative: Fighting “climate change.”

One may stop just short of declaring the entire climate change movement to be nothing more than a despicable hoax, inspired by globalist dreams of absolute profit and power. Humans can alter climate, probably more through land use than through CO2 emissions, but these impacts need to be honestly studied in order to consider practical options.

Instead, the climate alarmists demand that humans phase out all use of fossil fuel within a few decades. This is patently, ridiculously impossible. Moreover, even if it were possible, according to their own “scientific” projections, it’s already too late. So what’s really going on?

What the climate alarmists are creating, some of them consciously, others as unwitting accomplices, is artificial scarcity of virtually all critical resources; land, homes, electricity, gas and oil, water, transportation. This enriches wealthy elites who own the means of production. They eliminate competition, drive up prices, and collect higher returns. Throughout the Western World they have boxed in cities, supposedly to preserve “open space,” they’ve shut down power plants, they’ve prevented construction of dams and desalination plants, they’ve prevented projects to widen and upgrade roads. The solutions they’ve offered punish low-income communities most of all. High-density, high-rise apartments with sky-high rents. Expensive electricity and expensive gasoline. Water that’s rationed yet still costs more every year. Roads crammed beyond capacity, causing the most harm to those commuters who must live far from their jobs in order to afford their rent.

Why isn’t this an attack on immigrants? Why isn’t this an attack on people of color? Why should they continue to vote for people who used to allow land development to lower the price of land and housing, but now require everyone to cram into the existing footprints of legacy cities?

Why should they vote for people who reject the cost-effective solution of installing scrubbers on smokestacks to enable clean use of fossil fuel, and instead sell subsidized solar rooftop systems to the wealthy, which forces everyone else pay higher utility rates to fund the grid upgrades necessary to accommodate distributed power?

Why should they vote for people who, instead of just building a few dams and permitting desalination plants to supply water to coastal cities, impose water rationing and charge higher rates? Why should they vote for people who could widen the freeways, but instead pour hundreds of billions into mass transit solutions that are impractical and always end up underutilized?

It isn’t difficult to make this case. It takes courage more than money. Courage to be called a “denier.” But if enough people insist on a rational response to climate change alarm, “denier” will lose its power to silence. And the people who are the most negatively affected by leftist climate alarm policies are those who live in low income, immigrant communities.

Meeting Big Money with Big Money
Saving America’s culture and prosperity is tough, because most wealthy people don’t consider preserving America’s culture and prosperity as a high priority.

Their moral argument goes like this: We will shift people and capital to wherever we find the greatest return on investment, because if all of us maximize our returns, collectively we will foster more rapid global economic growth. That’s a comforting argument, especially when you’re disenfranchising an entire nation.

Alas, the argument has a fatal flaw.

American culture—and Western culture generally—is the engine that gave birth to individual rights, capitalist entrepreneurship, democratic republics, the rule of law, a sizable middle class, and the prosperity, adaptability, and stability that enabled their wealth. Not only do the ordinary people who are the inheritors and carriers of this culture deserve better but if their culture is destroyed, the security that wealthy people enjoy will also be destroyed. Hardcore leftists know this. The wealthy RINOs, including leftist and libertarian oligarchs, often do not. They are naïve.

In the November 2018 election, leftist oligarchs and NeverTrump billionaires vastly outspent the Republicans. Pierre Omidyar, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Tom Steyer, and George Soros, to name a few, spent hundreds of millions to elect Democrats and push left-wing policies. Usually reliable right-leaning oligarchs, such as the Koch Brothers, not only failed to match the torrent of funding from the left, but they were selective in their support, abandoning Republicans who were too “Trumpian.”

Not only were Republicans outspent in 2018 but the Democrats were smarter with their money. Billionaire Tom Steyer, who poured $123 million overall into 2018 midterms, funneled $3.8 million for targeted youth voter registration, voter contact, and get-out-the-vote efforts just in California, and just in toss-up congressional districts.

Democratic operatives collected individual voter data from online and offline sources, testing thousands of online ads, which allowed them to pinpoint which individual voters in pure Republican households were most receptive to crossing party lines. They recruited an army of amateur opposition researchers to “read every line of every document” of targeted Republicans’ lives, voting records, and disclosure reports.

Anti-MAGA billionaires did everything right. Their upgraded tactics, and their unprecedented funding, are here to stay. Who will counter their efforts?

There are 565 billionaires in the United States. Most of them are globalists; some are left-wing; some are libertarian. But not all of them. It would only take a determined effort by two or three of them, using their money as strategically as the Democrats and RINOs just did, to change the game. It’s time for some of them to step up. Because as it is, in the United States there are well established, well organized networks of think tanks and super PACs on the Left and the Right. But neither of these networks embrace a vision of American greatness that puts Americans first.

Understanding Who’s On Your Side
The battle to reform immigration laws and assimilate newcomers is not racial; it is cultural. The enemies of assimilation, for the most part, are globalist oligarchs and their mostly white liberal pawns.

There exists a vision of compassionate nationalism, however, that makes an uncompromising commitment to the interests of the American people, but does so in recognition that only a strong America—a very strong America—can help midwife the eventual emergence of a global civilization that embraces Western values.

The great independent voting bloc are those millions of Americans—nearly 25 percent of the population—who either have recently arrived in America, or are first-generation Americans. Many of them are intermarrying with whites, especially Asians and Latinos. These voters are up for grabs for a host of reasons.

To generalize, Asians resent being held back by affirmative action. Latinos resent being displaced by more recent immigrants. It’s the same story with blacks. And all people of color are increasingly receptive to the argument that Democrats have done nothing to help their communities. Welfare has failed. Unions have ruined public education. College courses in ethnic and gender studies are a joke. And as anyone with a smile and an open heart immediately learns, America is not a racist nation. We are the friendliest people on earth.

Americans are right to fear unchecked immigration. But their enemy is not the immigrants themselves. It is the liberal totalism that robs everyone of opportunities who is not already wealthy. It is leftist hatred that trains immigrants to dislike America and Americans. As the truth about the leftist elites is exposed, as they are accurately revealed as plutocratic, manipulative profiteers who are indifferent to the plight of ordinary Americans, people of color will join the MAGA movement. And with their participation, many white RINOs and moderate liberals will at last feel comfortable also joining.

Resistance to #TheResistance is not futile. With a positive, welcoming attitude, combined with a well-funded, winning national strategy, America’s new immigrants will be assimilated. And that will be a wonderful thing.

Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images

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About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is also is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. Ring is the author of Fixing California: Abundance, Pragmatism, Optimism (2021) and The Abundance Choice: Our Fight for More Water in California (2022).