At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture


“Conservative” Talk Radio and Amnesty

posted by Jack Kerwick

Radio talk show host Mike Gallagher is the latest “conservative” media personality to endorse amnesty.  Since he revealed his Road to Damascus conversion on this topic a few days ago, Gallagher has been skewered by one-time fans.

Perhaps they should cease the skewering by ceasing to listen to Gallagher—or any other talk radio figure who favors amnesty.

More so than the substance of their position, it is the bad faith and condescension with which these “conservative” hosts argue for their position that justifies this move.

Those of us who affirm American sovereignty and the rule of law have long recognized that a government that wouldn’t lift a finger to prevent millions of immigrants from flooding into the country illegally certainly isn’t going to now round up and deport them all.  So those who insist that this is the only alternative to amnesty set up what logicians call a false dichotomy—one of the logical fallacies identified by Aristotle.

Gallagher and his ilk attribute to their opponents a position that the latter do not hold.  Worse, their enemies assign to respecters of the rule of law a position that is a species of wishful thinking, and one that the resisters of amnesty have always known, and known better than anyone, is wishful thinking.

Those who ache for America to remain a sovereign nation of laws have always maintained that it is primarily through self-deportation that the illegal immigration issue can be mitigated, though never solved.

This brings us to another point.

Pro-amnesty “conservative” personalities and politicians—along with such accomplices as Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano, and La Raza—talk about the need for a “solution” to this problem of our “broken” system.  But genuinely conservative (and, for that matter, Christian) thinkers have always known that in life, there are no solutions.  As Thomas Sowell has said, there are only “trade-offs.”

Amnesty, regardless of how it is packaged, is no more a solution to our problems than is the status quo.  It isn’t even a more effective response to our situation.  However, even if it was, this would not make it a solution, for it will give way to still more problems in the future—like an increase in illegal immigration, something that, according to border agents, is happening now as a result of all of the talk of amnesty!

For amnesty’s apologists to accuse their opponents of “doing nothing” is more dishonesty, more bad faith, on their part.

First, even if it was true that those who resist amnesty favored letting things be entirely as they are, this is still not a matter of doing nothing. It just could be the case—it undoubtedly is the case—that here, the problem is less of a problem than is the proposed “solution.”

Second, no one wants for things to remain as they are. Those who resist amnesty want for illegal immigrants to be denied all welfare entitlements, social services, employment opportunities, and voting and driving privileges.  This way, they will deport themselves.  Also, they want for the government to satisfy its job description and secure the country’s borders—an obligation that has never been subject to conditions.

Gallagher and his colleagues obviously believe that their listeners are stupid. Why else would they expect them to believe that although in the past the government has not managed to secure the borders and deprive illegal immigrants of all the benefits of citizenship—i.e. enforce its own laws–it will do so now?

And it is hard not to think that Gallagher and company aren’t themselves a bit dense.  They won’t endorse any bill, they insist, unless it promises to secure the border.  Even in the midst of all of these government scandals, and despite all of their “limited government” rhetoric, they are still going to accept the government’s “promise” to fulfill its constitutional duty—though it hasn’t done this in nearly half-a-century.

On second’s thought, maybe it is the substance of their position favoring amnesty that calls for turning off these “conservative” media personalities—at least until they wise up some.  



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