Come to the country

In my quest to discover how wrong I am about US politics, I’ve stumbled across the ‘immigration issue.’ If, as I think, we live in a culturally de-fused, monolithically administered technocracy, then there should be no ‘issue.’ The US needs more immigrants – lots more immigrants – now.  The apparatchiks know full well: both the size of their economic machine, and the velocity of money within it, must increase to offset those over-ballyhooed multiple ‘deficits’ which threaten every morning. Boosting the population of low-wage workers is absolutely the best way to accomplish this.

And yet, I have learned, there is opposition. It seems, after all, the ‘man on the street’ matters, and he doesn’t like strangers. I pause, trying to recollect. I have some memory of bigotry. I grew up in a divided town where the white kids didn’t like the ‘Mexicans.’ I observed some ugly skirmishes and pervasive general nastiness, and I learned a few things. People feel better about their own kind. Outsiders just stir up trouble. And there were these dirty little contradictions, like maybe you needed ‘them’ to pick your strawberries, but wouldn’t trust your daughter around one for a second (thank God, she knew to stay away from their kind on her own).

You know, it’s hard to make your way in a world where you’re despised for just being alive. The good white people take advantage of you. They get to kick you around. You keep your job if you keep your head down, and learn to take it. This is a million true American tales. I’m surprised it doesn’t show up in the news.

But the bigots are the real political story. They march up and down the border, keeping the outsiders out. For some reason, they’re better voters. Or maybe their votes just count for more. For some reason, sense, sensibility, and the entire United States government collapse at the dinner tables of these parochial xenophobes, and we all have to acknowledge, well, yes, some of us really are – under the law – just better than others.

I want to believe individuals still matter. It feels odd to see how they do, in this instance; how millions of individuals whose hate stands at odds to all economic and political sense yet – stands. I hope to live to be so stalwart – for good.

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