How he learned to stop worrying and love the <i>Volk</i>

When people think of the anti-immigration movement today, we think of conservatives. Sure, Cesar Chavez and his union brethren were and are just as opposed to immigration as the next guy, but the movement is dominated by scared old white people. The types who get indignant when they see Spanish written anywhere. The types whose Arizona branches think that the best use of their time is to sit on lawn chairs in the desert waiting for 21st century Pilgrims to nab. The types who don't want to speak with a tech support Indian even if he's perfectly intelligible.

Perhaps I'm being a little harsh, but this faction of the anti-immigration movement is enormous, organized, and the slightly more academically acceptable faction knows better than to leave it by the wayside. They know which side their bread is buttered on.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to me to know that the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies—real closed-door types—were founded or cofounded by "a self-described progressive, ex-Sierra Club member, Planned Parenthood supporter and harsh critic of neoclassical economists."

Dr. John Tanton was a devoted conservationist who got swept up by the bad science and worse economics of the Population Bomb scare. He eventually determined that the best way to keep the population under control was to curb immigration. He tried for several years to get environmental groups behind the effort, but with no success.

Tanton recognized this situation was untenable. Notes from a 1982 FAIR board meeting report that Tanton was “very concerned that FAIR has acquired only 4,000 real members in three years, and believes it is time to change our methods.” Crisscrossing the country, Tanton found little interest in his conservation-based arguments for reduced immigration, but kept hearing the same complaint. “‘I tell you what pisses me off,’” Tanton recalls people saying. “‘It’s going into a ballot box and finding a ballot in a language I can’t read.’ So it became clear that the language question had a lot more emotional power than the immigration question.”
Tanton tried to persuade FAIR to harness this “emotional power,” but the board declined. So in 1983, Tanton sent out a fundraising letter on behalf of a new group he created called U.S. English. Typically, Tanton says, direct mail garners a contribution from around 1 percent of recipients. “The very first mailing we ever did for U.S. English got almost a 10 percent return,” he says. “That’s unheard of.” John Tanton had discovered the power of the culture war.
The success of U.S. English taught Tanton a crucial lesson. If the immigration restriction movement was to succeed, it would have to be rooted in an emotional appeal to those who felt that their country, their language, their very identity was under assault. “Feelings,” Tanton says in a tone reminiscent of Spock sharing some hard-won insight on human behavior, “trump facts.”

This is what politics does. It makes its participants twisted and cynical, and lands them in bed with all kinds of weirdos. Tanton, the gentle country liberal, now runs a publishing company supported by surly nativists and plain old-fashioned racists.

Share this

I'm going to put this as

I'm going to put this as simply as I can so even an ignorant leftist can understand:


Yeah, those Catallarchy guys

Yeah, those Catallarchy guys sure are some dyed-in-the-wool leftists.



Well in that case ... and since you shouted it out so clearly ...

Are you saying that they should just make all immigration legal? It seems that would follow from the statement taht you are not oppposed to immigration. Somehow, I don't think that's what you mean. I get the impression (call me crazy!) that you are pro-government-controlled immigration, which is a far, far, far cry from "not being opposed to immigration." Assuming I am correct in my interpretation, I recommend the following restatement:


It really nails your point a lot better, I THINK!

Read the blog that Fait

Read the blog that Fait linked. Change a few words. Sounds like something written in Germany 6 decades ago. Good job making Randall's points for him so effectively.

And now for your daily dose

And now for your daily dose of crazy ...
After spending a good deal of time on sites where people exercise reason and logic, it's important to be reminded that there are some seriously fucked up folks out there. If there is a better, more concise way to describe these fellow inhabitants of ...

Those people are simplt

Those people are simplt morons.... Maye we should have started controlling immigration centuries ago! Oh how well that would have worked...(Yes, that was sarcasm)

"we" think all that junk in

"we" think all that junk in the first paragraph because that is how the media portrays it. constantly.

Wait, the first post wasn't

Wait, the first post wasn't satire???

I wish - I found this on his

I wish - I found this on his site:

"The idea that there are 'moderate' Muslims is a lie; there is none, no not one."

Yikes. Apparently, all muslims are secretly terrorists in waiting. I didn't realize!

Neal, What part of

What part of "illegal immigration" don't you understand?

"Immigration" means permanently moving from one place to another.

"Illegal" means in violation of the law.

There is a difference between "legal immigration" and "illegal immigration". Need I explain that to you also?

Your suggestion makes no sense whatsoever. What is "open immigration"? Maybe you meant to say "orange immigration" or "dry immigration". (There's sarcasm for you, Stephan. Nope, sorry, that was riducule.)

By the way, is not a blog. It's a conservative site that publishes and republishes essays, commentary and news articles among other things. Not everything published there necessarily represents my thoughts.

By the way, Neal, read the Koran after you read the Bible for the first time. You'll see where the former was written by Satan and the latter by men inspired by God. (Yes, I know it is difficult for leftist dogooders (dogodors?) to understand the reality of God, but please try.

If there's anything else you ignorant leftists need explained, please don't hesitate to ask me.