The Democratic Party has struggled since 2010 in building critical mass consensus among voters, save for the blue-hued metro regions. One reason: Special-interest voting blocs demand demonstrative fanatic fidelity.
Any politically correct, entitlement-ordained, protester-driven stimuli now produces a Pavlovian response: Democratic mouthpieces are spurred to antagonistic salivation.
If synergy produces a result that is greater than the sum of its parts, this new leftist doctrine--uncivil extremism is no vice in the defense of special interest causes--does the opposite. It produces a dissection, each part taking away disproportionately from a common-coalition sum.
Tax-cut legislation: swift and slavering denunciation. The fact that a great many middle-income earners were appreciative of higher take-home pay amounted, literally, to discarded crumbs at the unholy feast of opposition furor. Supreme Court nominee: slobbering smears and slander. The 11th commandment of abortion-at-will reigns absolutely supreme, over senatorial repute as well as constitutional qualification.
The latest grail to be hoisted low is the iteration du jour on immigration. Mentioning the phrase "migrant caravan"--like the proverbial metronome in Pavlov's lab--unleashes prodigious secretions of slobbering support for its hordes. What rational person would ever mindlessly endorse such an indeterminate mob en masse?
Within its total number, which the UN semi-officially estimated to be some 7,000 or so, the fact is there are many individuals that no normal American wants in this country.
Cross-sectioning any average group of 7,000 Americans would produce a number of ne'er-do-wells. Nationally, among 7,000 U.S. residents selected at random there would be 193 criminals, including 27 violent offenders. There would also be more than 875 marijuana users, and just as many rehabbers from cocaine use at some point.
If we drill down to an average selection of 7,000 Arkansans, the crime numbers go up to more than 252 criminals, of which 39 are violent.
Take 7,000 from certain major metro areas--Detroit or St. Louis, for example--and it gets scarier: more than 140 violent thugs, plus nearly 350 garden-variety thieves and vandals.
And these are First World American samples, with our advantages of education, civilization, government stability, public safety and general prosperity.
The countries of origin for the caravan--mainly Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala--have none of those advantages shaping their populations. Indeed, they are overrun with gangs, violence, drugs, crime and corruption at rates we can barely imagine.
Latin America contains only 8 percent of the world's population, but criminals there commit more than a third of all global homicides. In some Latin American cities, the murder rate is 30 to 40 times higher than the U.S. rate.
"People here kill people like they're nothing more than chickens," quipped one Honduras mortician.
There is so little rule of law in Latin America that the concept is all but abandoned on the masses, and it's anybody's wildest guess how many lawless, malevolent marauders are caravaning toward us.
Most folks have a bipartisan aversion to those types coming to America, and most also prefer to not import more drug addicts, prostitutes or vice lawbreakers. The problem, of course, is that while many and maybe most of the caravan's members might be good, decent people, we can't tell which is which by looking out over the swarm. In the mass of moving bodies, criminal miscreants are indistinguishable from liberty-loving saints.
That's why we have an immigration process. Its rules and procedures help us identify immigrants who will become valuable citizens; those are the ones we want. For foreigners actively persecuted by their government, we also have humanitarian asylum policies, which self-serving immigrants are happy to dishonestly abuse.
A petty El Salvadoran drug dealer who is "persecuted" by a cruel kingpin may genuinely fear for his family's safety; "flight from fright" is a common Latin American theme. But he does not deserve an asylum spot ahead of truly innocent refugees suffering persecution because of their religion or race.
Our American integrity requires that we exercise due diligence in order to rightly award asylum. That's why it's both puzzling and shocking to see how many liberal politicians are so willing to turn an entirely blind eye to the trampling of fairness by immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally.
Those immigrants most deserving of our national compassion, appreciation and devotion are the ones who scrupulously and patiently comply with our application process and laws. Newly minted citizenship that starts with doing the right thing is infinitely and inherently more precious to the republic.
This caravan was launched in crime-ridden Honduras, and in interviews various members have candidly explained their dubious exodus. One caravaner admitted to being previously deported from the U.S., but said he misses his video games.
By law, any deportee who re-enters illegally is permanently barred from any chance of legal American citizenship. The gamer migrant doesn't respect that law. And chances are, when other American laws conflict with his personal desires, he won't respect those either.
Likewise, logic suggests that the immigrant who sacrifices to obey our laws, before he even gains his citizenship, is likely afterward to remain lawful and respectful of legal authority.
Shhh. The metronome clicks, again.
Dana D. Kelley is a freelance writer from Jonesboro.
Editorial on 10/26/2018
Print Headline: Pavlov-style politics