Thursday, July 10, 2008
This Land Was Made for Me and Me
I don't know if this says more about my shifting political ideologies or his descent in to madness, but I swear I used to be able to read Cal Thomas editorials and actually see and even agree with his points. These days? Not so much. Usually I'd ignore it, but I read yesterday's editorial with a combination of shock, outrage, and amusement. See, he was defending the U.S./Mexico border wall on the basis that illegal Mexican immigrants don't assimilate in to American culture, offering the claim that the war on illegal immigration is a war to preserve the "unique culture" of America. He then took a step further and added the arguments of Mark Krikorian* to his own, namely that America needs to stop all immigration and teach the ones who are here already all about that uniquely American culture. Actually, now that I think about it, that would be awesome. Let's re-set America to a time before immigrants came and teach everyone about the values and culture of the real America. As a pretend internet historian and something of a smart ass, I feel I'm uniquely qualified to figure out exactly when that should be. So let's go back in time, back before the Bush Administration (both!), back before World War II, back before the whole annexation of Texas thing, back before Cortez, back even before the first time Dick Clark broadcast New Year's Rockin' Eve. Back a few tens of millions of years ago the land mass that would become the Americas declared independence from the supercontinent of Pangaea. Up in the area that we now know as Nova Scotia and the British Isles (much thanks to David Morgan-Mar over at Irregular Webcomic for this fascinating discussion of plate tectonics) a sauropod named Seamus woke up after a three-day toxic honey bender and discovered that all his buddies were drifting away and took a running leap over the infant trickle of the Atlantic Ocean, only to be beat to death by his supposed buddies who were jealous over the fact that all the girls swooned at the sound of Seamus's accent and he got laid a lot in spite of the fact that he was really lazy. This marked both the first American persecution of the Irish** and the last attempt at immigration for a really, really long time. By the time the first immigrants showed up in America that group of sauropods was long extinct due to the fact that the females mysteriously stopped having children shortly after Seamus's death. There were plenty of other animals, however, including the smiling mastodon with a name tag that read "Welcome to Ur-Merica, my name is Bob" who met the collection strange, two-legged creatures at the end of the Bering Strait land bridge. He handed them each a pamphlet entitled, "Tips for Non-Tourists: How to Be a Ur-Merican if You're Not Just Planning to Leave Your Money and Go Back to Outer Crapistan or Wherever..." Inside was a bulleted list: 1. We speak English here. 2. Everywhere else is defined by three things: Communism, general crappiness, and hot, exotic women. That's why you came here and brought your women, right? 3. There is only one church: ProsperityCo Megachurch, Inc. 4. There is only one god: Ours. Anyone who says different is a terrorist. 5. If you disagree with anything on this list, go back to Russia. The leader of the group smiled broadly at Bob and put the pamphlet in his pocket. "Get that Jefferson guy on the phone," he muttered to his wife in the language of the ancient steppe people, "We're gonna need that Declaration of Independence of his..." "I hear he's working on a sequel," she whispered back, "He calls it the Bill of Rights."*** "Do you know when it's getting published?" She pulled out her brand-new 3G iPhone and pressed a few buttons. "Wikipedia says it's coming out in about ten thousand years." "Damn." He shrugged, ever the stoic. "Well, at least when it comes out our descendants won't have to worry about being persecuted just because they look, dress, worship, or think differently..." So the first wave of immigrants since Seamus the Sauropod entered America, confident that one day the backwards-thinking folks like Bob the Mastodon would become extinct and all would be well. *Mark Krikorian is the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative think-tank. He recently wrote a book entitled The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal, from which Cal Thomas drew his own arguments in the editorial. According to his own bio on the Center for Immigration Studies' website, Krikorian "spent two years at Yerevan State University in then-Soviet Armenia." Now, it doesn't come right out and say it, but I'm pretty sure that there weren't a whole lot of two-year long Soviet/American student exchange programs back during the Cold War, if you get where I'm going with this... **Yes, I know Nova Scotia is in Canada. It doesn't work any other way, though. I mean no disparagement to our neighbors to the north. ***Jefferson didn't so much write the Bill of Rights. He thought it was a really good idea, though, and one must never let the facts get in the way of a good joke.