Over the next seven months viewers in the central part of North America will be treated to the rare spectacle of two colliding fantasies: immigration policy and the Project for the New American Century! Fantasy #1: Our problem with illegal immigrants could be solved if only the laws were enforced. If enforcing the law isn't enough, we can make laws and that will fix everything. Fantasy #2: Talk radio’s message to low and medium income white, fundamentalist Americans who have marched to every call from the Reagan Revolution to "the contract with America" to the Clinton impeachment to Saddam-was-behind-911 to the War on Christmas. This group has voted against their own interests all in the hopes of becoming accepted into the Republican Party and sharing the eventual spoils.
US immigration policy from the first act to restrict foreign workers has been a wink-wink, nod-nod, nudge-nudge affair...and that's the way we like it.
It hasn't worked out too badly for the US. It's generally been a good deal for Americans that want cheap labor drawn from the most ambitious of foreign labor pools and it's generally been good for those that have not paid with their lives for the voyage over desert and ocean and air. And "generally" has been...generally...all the "good" we've been interested in. That's the reality. The fantasy comes in when somebody pipes-up that "all this is against the law!" Well, of course, it is. It always has been.
So what's wrong all of a sudden? Apparently, someone wants to wake us up. Whoever that is would do well to remember that it is dangerous to wake Americans from a fantasy.
We were sleepily, dreamily, revering in the cozy comfort of incredibly cheap labor that could be threatened with being turned into the police at the first complaint about anything. Anything. From patting the maid on the ass to out-and-out non-payment of factory wages. And if the threat didn't work you could always drop the dime for real.
Who's complaining? No complaints from the traditional small-business base of the Republicans...nor the big-business base. The Democrats with their traditional base of old and new immigrants have welcomed these new arrivals and have fully expected their eventual votes. Illegal workers very occasionally speak up against the blackmail, hardship and mistreatment but they certainly don't complain about themselves being here.Who could it be then?
White, fundamentalist, voters of the lowest Republican income-brackets have been feasted on God, guns, and gay-bashing. Finger-lickin' good distractions as their jobs and sometimes whole factories were sent overseas, their sons and daughters to war, their treasury into the pockets of profiteers and speculators, their legal protections into the shredder. Even as their incomes shrank they were exhorted to spend lest the terrorists win, fattening the credit card companies that eventually took away even the hope of bankruptcy.
Long suckered into believing that they made enough money to be Republicans, there is the creeping realization that someone has made off with the till and they will be much poorer than when love was new. The sense of betrayal is rising. First to sense trouble in the herd is their long time leadership: talk radio.
The masses smell the poor house, the talk radio leadership smells the political orphanage. Talk radio knows their shock troops well. If the enlisted ranks were content with racist gruel, the grail of the generals is still the prospect of getting as fat as Limbaugh's contract and membership in the "real" Republican Party. Without the minions they are nothing. Short of a Dolchstoss, it's once more into the breach. Broadcast 24/7 all across your AM dial, "Enforce our laws, secure our borders, save our jobs!", the fantasy continues in full throat.