How to Destroy America and How, Perhaps, to Save It

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Dr. Ben Carson’s speech to CPAC.  Dr. Carson is a pediatric neurosurgeon, who performed the first successful separation of conjoined twins joined at the back of the head in 1987.  With the aid of his mother who believed in him, he rose from dire poverty in the slums of Detroit.  His is the epitome of the American success story.

He told Obama some hard truths about ObamaCare at the National Prayer Breakfast this year:

Go here to read a post my co-blogger Paul Zummo wrote about that appearance.

 

At CPAC Dr. Carson talked about how he would destroy America if he were an enemy of the country.

1. Create division among the people.

2. Encourage a culture of ridicule for basic moral principles.

3. Undermine the nation’s financial stability with crushing government debt.

4. Weaken the morale and funding of the military.

“It appears, coincidentally, that those are the very things happening right now,” Carson noted ruefully, although he went on to say it would be a mistake to pin this entirely on Barack Obama, or any other individual.

Go here to read the rest at Breitbart.  Carson may run for President in 2016.   If he does we will see if he is as good at running for office as he was at being a neurosurgeon.  Politics is a fairly complicated business and newcomers often fall on their face.  However, I find Dr. Carson very impressive.  He is a man with a message and he has plenty of time to sharpen it and hone his political skills for a run in 2016.  With Senator Levin of Michigan not running for re-election, a campaign for that Senate seat would be an excellent way for him to test the political waters.  Michigan has been tilting more Republican lately, and I think Dr. Carson would stand an excellent chance of being elected.

I would warn him however that the nightmare of the Left in this country is a brilliant, charismatic, conservative Black man running for President, and that he and his family will receive every piece of hate mongering that the forces of tolerance can bring to bear against him if he does run for that office in 2016.  It would take a very big man to withstand all that.  Carson might be such a man.

 

 

 

 

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39 Comments

  1. Personally, I would hope that if he is really serious about running for office, that he sets his immediate goals more modestly than the presidency. Can anyone say, Alan Keyes?

    In fact, I would say only someone who has actually gpverned should run for POTUS. And no, being 1/100 or 1/400+ of one half of our legislature is governing.

  2. I think executive experience is overrated Greg before being President. Lincoln had zip executive experience before 1861, while Grant commanded the Union armies before making a complete hash out of his Presidency. The Presidency is like no other office and we have had good and bad presidents with varying types of experience prior to the Oval Office, and I think those prior experiences usually gave little hint as to just how they would do as Chief Executive.

    In regard to Keyes, other than minor diplomatic experience, he had done little prior to embarking on his career as a perennial unsuccessful candidate.

  3. Well, Lincoln is an exception. Being a military officer, even a high ranking general, does not provide anything like the kind of executive experience needed to be president. You know that Donald.

    Carson has proven himself on the field of medicine and speaks eloquently and has a great story, but that does not make him presidential timber.

    Conservatives who are fawning over Rubio as a possible presidential candidate are not lookin for another Lincoln, unfortunately, they are looking for a conservative Barack Obama. And that would be a mistake, a fatal one at that. Ryan, it seems is too beholden to the GOP establishment when push really comes to shove.

    As I see it right now, the top three ought to be Jindal, Walker, and Kasich, or maybe Gov. Pence of Indiana. If Jindal can improve his communication skills, he’d be a lock in my book.

  4. “Being a military officer, even a high ranking general, does not provide anything like the kind of executive experience needed to be president.”

    Oh? Tell that to Washington or Eisenhower. I think pre-presidential experience Greg tells us very little about whether a President will be a success or failure in the office.

    Jindal, maybe, although I find him inconsistant in effectiveness. I like Walker. Kaisich I think has been largely a disaster in Ohio and helped lose the Buckeye State last year. I have always liked Pence, although I am curious to see how he does as governor.

  5. George Washington was not only another exception, the U.S. of his day was a fledgling upstart country that was rather insignificant on the world stage. That is a far far cry from where we are today. I’m surprised you brought him up. Ike was a decent president who was more of an administrator and a politician in uniform than he was a warrior.

    Romney deserves the blame for Ohio, not Kasich. If you have a bad candidate, which Romney was, there’s not much anybody else can do for you.

    In any event, there are sitting governors who ought to be given serious consideration before Rubio or Ryan, to say nothing of Dr Carson, as needed a voice in the conservative movement as he is becoming, even get so much of a look see.

    Unfortunately, conservatives are a little too caught up in the whole cult of personality mindset. That only works for the left. We had better shake it or it will be political suicide.

  6. “George Washington was not only another exception, the U.S. of his day was a fledgling upstart country that was rather insignificant on the world stage. That is a far far cry from where we are today.”

    The challenges confronting Washington make those confronting Obama pale into insignificance.

    “Ike was a decent president who was more of an administrator and a politician in uniform than he was a warrior.”

    Which basically sums up most flag rank officers above two stars since World War I, Patton being very much an exception.

    “Unfortunately, conservatives are a little too caught up in the whole cult of personality mindset.”

    Considering the fact that the Party’s nominees in the last two races were John McCain and Mitt Romney I’d say that conservatives are as far away from a cult of personality as it is possible to be. Our problem in the past two elections is that too many conservative politicians shied away from the presidential race and left it to no hopers to get into the race and divide the conservative vote. Any of the governors you named could have gotten into the race in 2012 and chose not to. The one alleged non-no hoper candidate who got into the race was Rick Perry who proved to be a dud as a candidate. It does no good for a party to have alleged great candidates who never enter the field, and it also helps if the alleged great candidates also have personalities that attract rather than repel. Nixon should have taught us that in 1968 when his essential weirdness almost allowed Humphrey to lead a deeply divided Democrat party to victory.

  7. What sunk Rick Perry had nothing to do with him being governor, it had to do with him being a lousy presidential candidate. I certainly didn’t say governing experience was ALL a presidential candidate needed, but that it is a plus. Given all the fawning over Rubio, who is still unproven, yeah I would say there is a cult of personality problem amongst conservatives.

  8. I think executive experience is overrated Greg before being President. Lincoln had zip executive experience before 1861,

    I will register a dissent on that point. I think Lincoln was an outlier on several different measures. Admittedly, the samples are too small to reliably generalize, and the nature of the office changes from era to era, but look at the era from 1933 (when contemporary functions of the presidency began to congeal) and 1969 (a satisfactory distance in time to take stock) and from 1969 to the present (with regard to which judgments might be more tentative) and what do you see:

    Antecedent executive experience: Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower
    Little or none: Kennedy, Johnson

    Antecedent executive experience: Carter, Reagan, Bush-pere, Clinton, Bush-fils
    Little or none: Nixon, Ford, Obama

    The picture among our experienced executives is mixed. I think it will take a generation to sort out the good, bad and ugly about George W. Bush and his administration; Clinton assaulted the dignity of the office with his mendacity, overactive genitalia, and tackiness, but did not make systematically bad policy decisions on certain matters of import; Carter followed bad monetary policies (though not out of the academic mainstream of that time) and severely mismanaged public diplomacy vis a vis Iran, did not have the people skills to work Congress, but otherwise was one of our better chief executives. The performance of the other executives was much closer to satisfactory.

    If the performance of the experienced executives was mixed, those without was worse. Some of the Nixon Administration’s diplomacy was impressive, but that aside it is hard to think of one thing that crew got right. You read memoirs of the Administration and you see the pathologies introduced by the gaps in Nixon’s background interacting with his character and personality problems. Kennedy made the right calls in October of 1962 and perhaps nothing else matters; otherwise he temporized for two and a half years, blessed with having inherited a good macroeconomic situation (and a press corps compliant enough not to report he banged anything that did not have four legs and corrupted the Secret Service in the process). Lyndon Johnson’s administration is certainly the most thoroughgoing disaster of the last 80 years and has only two or three competitors for the title of supreme mess generator of the post-reconstruction era. Obama is too depressing to contemplate and not amusing enough to mock. Gerald Ford is the outlier here. He made some good decisions on macroeconomic matters; however, as his press secretary has reported subsequently, internal administration therein was messy messy.

    The tentative conclusion: executive experience is a modest advantage, but not a strong influence toward better performance; it is something you should have but something that will not suffice.

  9. Given all the fawning over Rubio, who is still unproven

    Rubio as a public office-holder has been a pure legislator (and demonstrated political skills within caucuses). That aside, he has maintained fitfully a solo law practice in South Florida. Mark Krikorian has been making the case that Democratic congressional staff successfully snookered him in negotiations over this ‘immigration reform’ package, something that they should not be able to do to an experienced legislator with a South Florida law practice.

  10. Unfortunately, conservatives are a little too caught up in the whole cult of personality mindset. That only works for the left. We had better shake it or it will be political suicide.

    Pat Robertson, Patrick J. Buchanan, Alan Keyes, and Ron Paul all had niche constituencies. Robertson and Paul are more disconcerting than inspiring to those who did not drink the Kool-Aid. George Bush the Elder and Mitt Romney are political opportunists; Robert Dole was a Capitol Hill apparatchik and Newt Gingrich certainly a Capitol Hill fixture; George W. Bush had leadership qualities conjoined to a disposition on policy resembling most David Gergen of PBS; Bush won considerable loyalty mainly because his opponents were so witlessly vitriolic (see Shea, Mark P.). John McCain ca. 2000 did garner support from people attracted to his personal qualities and history, but most notable among them were Mike Wallace and Michael Kelly, neither of whom in their careers in journalism evinced a strong political alignment. That leaves you Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Steve Forbes. Does the term ‘cult of personality’ really describe the disposition of supporters of these three men?

  11. no disrespect to the guy but all this 2016 talk is too much. he is not someone whose message speaks to anyone but already-committed conservatives, a fact that doesn’t have to do with leftist smears or what have you. of course he’s free to show otherwise but so far he hasn’t.

    the important thing in 2016 is Stop Huntsman and Stop Rubio AFAIC

  12. “he is not someone whose message speaks to anyone but already-committed conservatives”

    Completely disagree. His criticism of ObamaCare will ring true far beyond the ranks of ObamaCare as it kicks in next year, and his life story will resonate with most Americans.

    “the important thing in 2016 is Stop Huntsman and Stop Rubio AFAIC”

    Huntsman is dead as far as the GOP is concerned. Why are you opposed to Rubio who I think quite highly of?

  13. To all those who are in gaga mode over Rubio, I pose one simple question: What has he accomplished that makes him presidential timber? He’s a good speaker although his response to the State of the Union show was less than stellar. I know, I know Barack Obama took a drink of water during a public speech too and the MSM gave him a pass. Okay, the MSM is not gonna give conservatives a fair shake. That’s been a no-sh@#ter for decades. We need to quit whining about it and find ways to beat them. But it was a mistake for Rubio to do in that format.

    Beyond that, I thought Rubio’s response was another example of the failrure of our side to understand that TV is a visual medium and therefore need to paint a visiual picture of our message. For example, Reagan’s use of charts (Again, I know we shouldn’t expect anyone to be another Reagan. But you don’t have to be Reagan to do what some of what Reagan did). For one, I would like to see guys like Rubio, Ryan, etc., point out the disparity between what we spend on entitlement programs and what actually gets to the intended recipient (about 35 cents of every dollar spent on these programs actually gets to the recipient).

    We need to start vetting our guys a little harder. Rubio basically got a pass on his immigration proposal from conservative talk radio hosts like Rush and Mark Levin, and Bill Bennett for something at least the first two rightly rake John McCain over the coals for. By the way, John McCain was a fellow “gang of eight” cohort with Rubio.

    Now Dr. Ben Carson, who up until a few months ago was practically unheard of, bursts onto the scene and now you have people talking about him as a potential presidential candidate. Huh? I think we need to calm down and take a breath and take a more sober view of these things.

  14. “Why are you opposed to Rubio who I think quite highly of?”

    he’s the same Republican politician wrapped up in an “inspirational” package. who apparently the only misstep the GOP made was not being pro-amnesty. same surface-level analysis we’ve seen from, i dunno, every single member of GOPunditocracy since Romney lost.

    as far as “life story” — look i think this is important, Romney’s “out-of-touchness” was important to why he lost, but it’s not everything. if you have a guy who’s essentially saying the same thing as every talk radio host (minus the aggression of the more out-there ones) him being an inspiring success story does not change this. as far as minority outreach specifically i really think people misunderstand Obama’s appeal in this regard. it’s not simply race-based, that’s just an element. you can’t just put up a black conservative politician and expect him to reach non-Republican voters if he’s not saying much different from your usual.

  15. Where o where will we find A Republican messiah – who, when found, will be seen by Democrats to be satan…. (demonized)
    The opposite image of the Democrats’
    messiah…seen by Republicans to be satan.

    It would be nice to be able to be just a bit apolitical. To be more plainly practical, less driven by partisan thinking . We’ve just totally bought into a dialectic schemata.

    and now Some Republicans want us to also buy into the idea that God can be separated out.

  16. “he’s the same Republican politician wrapped up in an “inspirational” package. who apparently the only misstep the GOP made was not being pro-amnesty. same surface-level analysis we’ve seen from, i dunno, every single member of GOPunditocracy since Romney lost.”

    That badly misunderstands him. He has not and has never been for amnesty and he does not view immigration reform as a silver bullet for the GOP. What he does understand, and many others do not, is that plunging demographics in Mexico and Latin America largely make the fight over illegal immigration an issue of the past.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/illegal-immigration-drops-us-economy-demographics-reshape-landscape-924433#

    The issue of the future is how the GOP appeals to Hispanics and removing this issue off the table through a lengthy process of legalization makes sense in order to remove an irritant between Republicans and Hispanics. Of course some Republicans view Hispanics as irretrievably a part of the Democrat coalition and oppose any legalization and that is the main reason they dislike Rubio. I think that view is short sighted and self defeating.

  17. “Democrats to be satan…. (demonized)”

    Actually that is what the Democrats did quite successfully to Bush, helped along by the fact that Bush, other than the Surge, apparently decided to sleep through his second term.

  18. what we spend on entitlement programs and what actually gets to the intended recipient (about 35 cents of every dollar spent on these programs actually gets to the recipient).

    I think someone gave you some bad data.

  19. “the important thing in 2016 is Stop Huntsman and Stop Rubio AFAIC”

    What you been smokin’, JDP? You only get one chance to make a 1st impression, and the 1st impression Mr. Huntsman elected to leave was that he has a supercilious attitude toward the GOP electorate.

    “Why are you opposed to Rubio who I think quite highly of?”

    Wrong sort of preparation. I think if you assemble a pool of Republican pols with the following characteristics, you might find a passable candidate therein:

    1. Born during the years running from 1944 through 1959;
    2. Has spent at least a decade at some endeavour other than electoral or non-electoral politics;
    3a. Past federal cabinet or sub-cabinet officer with a history in elected office as well; or
    3b. Past or present member of Congress with a history as a state or local executive as well; or
    3c. State governor

    As for personal qualities, suggest one listen to Thomas Sowell: someone with a thick hide with nothing of the social climber in him, i.e. someone who does not care what tastemakers think of him (and, while we are at it, someone who cannot be led around by the nose by his peri-adolescent children).

  20. Okay Art, what is the ratio of what we spend on entitlement programs and what actually gets to the recipient? Given that the fact that we spend boatloads of money on these programs, they burdensomely bureaucratic, the recipients are in hard financial straits, it seems that the bulk of what is spent goes to bankroll the bureaucracy than to aid the recipients.

  21. “Entitlement programs” refer to those elements of the federal budget (bar debt interest) for which annual expenditures are driven by demographic and economic phenomena which determine eligibility standards. Social Security is an entitlement program. The doings of the National Park Service are not. Generally, redistribution of cash or scrip is a low-overhead activity. Public housing has steep administrative costs, but it is not an entitlement program at any level (and a good deal less common than was once the case).

    The principal entitlements are Social Security and Medicare. Perhaps there is considerable creative accounting in the Office of Management and Budget’s reports, but as far as I can see, the Social Security Administration distributes about $800 bn in funds and incurs administrative costs of $12 bn, mostly in the course of assessing disability applications (of which advocate McClarey says they make a hash). That would be 1.5% overhead.

    With regard to Medicare, what the client receives is services, and I am not sure what you could mean when you say beneficiaries only receive $0.35 on the dollar. The reported administrative expenses of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services runs to about $5.5 bn.; they also report distributing about $4.5 bn in grants to various state, local, and academic patronage recipients; there are, however, $1.1 tn paid into various trust funds or distributed to state governments. Of course, there are the administrative expenses of state governments and providers. These aside, any kind of service provision has costs in labor and plant and equipment. Value added by an enterprise is invariably a fraction of total sales (the ratio of gross value added to gross output in this economy is about 0.55).

  22. “What he does understand, and many others do not, is that plunging demographics in Mexico and Latin America largely make the fight over illegal immigration an issue of the past.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/illegal-immigration-drops-us-economy-demographics-reshape-landscape-924433#

    Assuming the article is correct (the article is based on an assumption as the author admits) the problem of illegal immigration will rear its ugly head with renewed fervor once the economy improves…if it ever improves. Rubio fails to understand a fundamental element of this issue and that is what is most needed at this moment is not new legislation, but the will to secure the border. Then we can talk about things like a guest worker program, Dream Act etc. I am not against either two in principle. And yes, its a form of amnesty at least in spirit. But securing that border is the first priority. And yes, it can be done. The border here in the San Diego sector is pretty well secure. I remember less than twenty years ago, seeing hordes of illegal aliens, not undocumented immigrants (anyone, especailly a conservative, who uses that term deserves all the ridicule he gets and then some) running along the median on Interstate 5, as well as packs of them on street corners. Other than seeing a few hanging out around a nearby Home Depot. From what I gather the Texas border is pretty well secured too. The only problem is the Tucson sector in AZ. And that’s a real problem because the Feds lack the will to do their job which prompted SB 1070.

    Border security is a, pardon the pun, a security issue more than it is an economic one. Tied up with the illegal immigration issue is the issue of drug and gang trafficing. An open southern border is an attractive invitation to terrorists. On that later point, back in the mid 90s I considered joining the Border Patrol. In fact, I had started the application process. I had an initial applicant interview at the San Diego sector head quaters. And while there, a few senor agents were telling me that there were a lot of Middle Easterners coming into the U.S. illegally through Mexico. That was in a pre-9/11 world. Given the fact that many get through is chlling.

    If Rubio understands that this issue is one that is a “thing of the past” why did he jump into it the way he did? It would be politically smart to just say nothing and let it die on the vine. Why did he allow himself to be aligned with some of the worst elements of both parties, as the Gang of Eight is?

    The fact of the matter is that as long as a fully developed nation like the U.S. shares a border with a Third World country like Mexico (if I am not mistaken its the only place in the world where such a situation exists) an unsecure border will always be a problem and the problem of illegal immigration will never be a thing of the past.

  23. Art Deco: i was saying no on Huntsman yeah? he’s gonna run again. i doubt he’ll win the primary but there is gonna be pressure in some quarters to pick him as the new face of GOP moderation.

    McClarey: i’m not denying that immigration is in issue between Republicans and Hispanics. but they’re not gonna gain by matching the Dems on it while keeping the way they frame economic issues the same, which by all indications Rubio would do.

    and yes he’s pro-amnesty. which you know, fine, but let’s not dance around it.

  24. “McClarey: i’m not denying that immigration is in issue between Republicans and Hispanics. but they’re not gonna gain by matching the Dems on it while keeping the way they frame economic issues the same, which by all indications Rubio would do.”

    It removes an irritant that no longer needs to be there if we are no longer going to experience the massive influx of illegals that we saw from 1995-2007. Ironically, along with Demographics, we can thank the pathetic Obama economy for that. As for framing the economic issue, I think it will have a great deal of resonance indeed in 2016 after 4 more years of Obamanomics.

    In regard to Amnesty, 1986 was amnesty with granting three million illegals legal status over night. Rubio would put them on a path to citizenship. Eight years is a number I have heard tossed around. That strikes me as reasonable with the current level of illegal immigration which I believe last year was about 300,000 with most of it coming from Asia instead of Latin America. In a country of 330,000,000 that is a manageable situation, assuming that illegal immigration stays at that level, and looking at the demographics, I think it probably will.

  25. “The fact of the matter is that as long as a fully developed nation like the U.S. shares a border with a Third World country like Mexico (if I am not mistaken its the only place in the world where such a situation exists) an unsecure border will always be a problem and the problem of illegal immigration will never be a thing of the past.”

    The Mexican birthrate Greg is now barely above replacement. The number of Mexican illegals in this country fell from an estimated seven million in 2007 to an estimated six million in 2011. Absent a war in Mexico we are simply not going to see the waves of illegals as in the past. Dealing with the illegals here is an issue that needs to be addressed and I think Rubio is wise to do so, but the issue of mass illegal immigration from Mexico is one that I believe is ending.

  26. Art Deco: i was saying no on Huntsman yeah? he’s gonna run again. i doubt he’ll win the primary but there is gonna be pressure in some quarters to pick him as the new face of GOP moderation.

    The man is notable for never having held the lead during the most recent Republican donnybrook (in the surveys taken or in actual ballots taken), something managed at times by Dr. Gingrich, Gov. Perry, and Herman (“nine, nine, nine”) Cain; neither did he win actual contests or much in the way of delegates, which the cash-poor Sen. Santorum did.

    The only second acts of the sort that you posit that have occurred during the post-war period in the realm of presidential politics were those of Robert Dole (1988, 1996) and Jerry Brown (1992), and even these are imprecise analogies as Dole was a consequential and prominent figure in federal politics for 25 years non stop and Brown had run an interesting and vigorous campaign for the presidency (1976) as well as a useless one (1980).

    “The face of GOP moderation”? The last time someone won the Republican presidential nomination peddling himself as the face of moderation was in 1976. The last time someone did this from some perch other than the White House Rose Garden was in 1952. It would certainly be a tour-de-force if Mr. Huntsman could manage it. As for what he does and who pressures who, who cares and who cares? If he wishes to waste his time and his millions, his business, not mine. (He is currently being promoted by the poseurs at The American Conservative, which is as passable an indication as any that he is dead inventory).

  27. (He is currently being promoted by the poseurs at The American Conservative, which is as passable an indication as any that he is dead inventory).

    I don’t know Art. They are still waiting for all the Buchanan votes to come in from the 1992 New Hampshire primary. 🙂

  28. (if I am not mistaken its the only place in the world where such a situation exists)

    There are several places where you see large disjuctions in standards of living:
    Chile v. Bolivia, Chile v. Peru, Costa Rica v. Nicaragua, Paraguay v. Argentina, Paraguay v. Brazil, Greece v. Turkey, Poland v. Germany, Moldova v. Roumania, Bulgaria v. Greece, Albania v. Greece, Macedonia v. Greece, Mauretania v. Morocco, Mauretania v. Algeria, N. Korea v. S. Korea, N. Korea v. China, &c. You see 1st world cheek-by-jowl with 3d world on the border separating Israel from each of its Arab neighbors. Israel, unlike the Immigration and Naturalization Service and successor agencies, does not suffer from learned helplessness.

  29. I don’t know Art. They are still waiting for all the Buchanan votes to come in from the 1992 New Hampshire primary

    I suspect out of misplaced loyalty, Buchanan still pens articles for his bastard child. The editorial line and the sensibility of the publication now bears little resemblance to his.

  30. Hey Art, Poland isn’t as bad off as you may think compared to Germany.

    Since November I have tuned out politics, for the most part. As for Kasich, he did not lose Ohio. Obumbler carpetbombed the state with anti Romney ads. The auto bailouts saved GM jobs in Ohio…a LOT of them.

    The GOP must stop it with the Washington insiders who gave us McCain and Romney.

  31. “The editorial line and the sensibility of the publication now bears little resemblance to his.”

    general (sometimes conspiratorial) disdain for Israel and opposition to any form of intervention abroad is the common thread

  32. “The GOP must stop it with the Washington insiders who gave us McCain and Romney.”

    i am not absolving Romney for his mistakes but this criticism is not valid for the last go around. if there had been a better field and Romney still won out, sure.

    actually i don’t even know that this criticism is valid for 2008 either, although i guess you could argue that…Romney could’ve done better than McCain in that election

  33. Art

    There’s nothing like the disparity between the U,S. and Mexico ithose other places. And I would bet in those other places, the border is not as porous as ours is.

    Don:

    I agree that the problem of illegal immigration needs to be dealt with. It’s just that what Rubio proposed and how he went about it is not the solution. Anytime you join forces with the likes of Chuck the Schuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, Dick Turbin Durbin, Juan Miquen, and Lindsey Grahanesty, you have to know you are on the wrong path. Despite plunging demographics in Mexico, illegal immigration will always be a problem as long as that border is as porous as it is.

  34. The problem with the border between Mexico and the US is the same as we have with Canada in many respects. It is long, covers sparsely populated terrain in some places and densely populated terrain in others, runs through semi-autonomous reservations and through national parks, has a huge number of legitimate points of economic symbiosis and flow, and have an ocean on either side of it. The greatest point of dissimilarity is in how we perceive the borders. The second greatest point of dissimilarity is in how cooperative the government partners on the other side of the border are.

    “Securing the border” is an unimaginably complex matter, affecting commerce, societies, families, religions, politics, the environment, etc. I am turned off by talk of securing the border because none of the proposals amount to more than restricting commerce and using Border Patrol as a political football.

    A “solution” will remain illusive until an administration restores the relationship to our North American partners to its proper place ahead of our relationship to bigger trading partners like China.

  35. There’s nothing like the disparity between the U,S. and Mexico ithose other places. And I would bet in those other places, the border is not as porous as ours is.

    The disparities in per capita income (measured at purchasing power parity) are as follows:

    3.3 to 1 United States v. Mexico

    5.0 to 1 Israel v. Egypt
    1.9 to 1 Germany v. Poland
    4.0 to 1 Roumania v. Moldova
    3.7 to 1 Chile v. Bolivia
    2.4 to 1 Morocco v. Mauritania
    7.5 to 1 Thailand v. Burma

    It may be that the borders are not so porous.

  36. “Securing the border” is an unimaginably complex matter, affecting commerce, societies, families, religions, politics, the environment, etc. I am turned off by talk of securing the border because none of the proposals amount to more than restricting commerce and using Border Patrol as a political football.

    Ptaah. This country managed over a period of 38 years to build 47,000 miles worth of Inter-state Highways. In the 36 years illegal immigration has been a matter of controversy, we somehow cannot construct a 2,000 mile long cement wall topped with razor wire. The Social Security Administration can send to any resident of this country who has held a job in the post-war period a statement delineating their earnings history. Yet, somehow, in an age when information technology grows noticeably more sophisticated each year, the immigration authorities cannot construct and maintain a database to track entry into and exit from the United States on the part of those issued visas, in spite of a long-standing Congressional mandate to do this. The agency whose mission it is to track down and deport those overstaying their visas coast-to-coast is about a third larger than the Chicago Police Department (policing 1% of this country) and has a mess of other duties (regarding money laundering, the drug trade, fraud schemes, smuggling of art and antiquities, &c). It is called learned helplessness. People who think (or fail to think) like Jeb Bush are in charge in this country, and you can see the results.

  37. There have always been people who have imagined conspiracies were at work in the undoing of much of civilization, going back as early as the French Revolution. Conspiracy theories that account for the change say that people must undo the present order before constructing a new one, and some say such plans aim at incremental change while others claim revolts are fomented. Many writers have pointed to secret plans behind political retrogression, arguing that the planners mistake it for progress. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a grain of truth to this.

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