Recently, I walked into a blue collar business — an auto repair shop as I recall — and spotted a bulletin board covered with pithy sayings, cutesy pictures, witty cartoons, etc., which reflected the owner’s feelings on a number of issues. You’ve seen them before, signs like “Cowboy after OSHA,” which depicts a man on a horse covered from head to toe with superfluous safety equipment, or the one with a picture of several assorted handguns that reads “Celebrate Diversity.” The one that really caught my eye and brought a smile to my face was a picture of John Wayne, fully clad in rugged cowboy gear, his big hand perched menacingly on the handle of his six-gun, standing in front of a giant American flag, with a caption that read, “And just why the hell do I have to press one for English?”
Indeed. And yet our public life is increasingly complicated by those who insist on finding more ways to aid the illegal among us who refuse to abide by our laws, respect our culture or learn our language. You probably have figured out the general meaning of the title of this column on your own, unlike most of our “guests” from Mexico and Central and South America, who, if our public accommodation on their behalf is any indication, apparently cannot find their way to the rest room without a sign in their native language.
The convoluted immigration bill working its way into law promises only to exacerbate the problem. The legislation is an unmanageable pipe dream no serious person believes has a chance of working in the real world. How could it? It is nothing but hundreds of pages of lawyer-speak leading inexorably to one end: amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. We’re told that the bill provides for border security, yet only two miles of the border fence already authorized by Congress has actually been built. Who believes that it will ever be completed?
We’re told that people who can’t or won’t pay for their own health care or even buy auto insurance will come forward voluntarily with thousands of dollars to pay fines to the federal government, then happily return home to their countries of origin to get in line for guest worker permits.
We’re told that our economy would suffer without these admittedly hard-working illegals, and yet we are never told of the staggering costs to our social services if we mainstream them and give them citizenship. The dirty little secret right now is that our Social Security system is being propped up by illegal aliens working under stolen Social Security numbers and never drawing benefits from the system into which they have paid. What happens to the system when they do start drawing those benefits?
Perhaps most laughable of all, we are told that a bloated federal bureaucracy that has no real way of knowing who or where millions of people are at any given time, why they came here or where they came from, will somehow morph into a super-efficient agency that will be able to administer all the facets of this bill — just because George Bush, John McCain and Ted Kennedy tell us that it is so.
It is highly unlikely that there is a single Member of Congress who has even read this gargantuan bill in its entirety, much less calculated its impact on the country. Sadly, the best that can be said of this legislation is that it is “better than nothing,” or that it is “the best we can do.” We have come to expect that Democrats will sell out the Founders’ dream of America for the nightmare of Marxist collectivism, but these are the pathetic arguments of sheepish, apologetic Republicans who didn’t have the stomach for a fight, believing instead that their constituents back home would forgive them for a bad bill before they would accept the fact that they continued to do nothing about this mammoth security problem.
By the way, just in case you didn’t quite get the title, here it is: ¿Cómo es su Español? Translation: “How’s your Spanish?”
As the Duke might have said, you’re gonna need it, pilgrim.
© Copyright 2007 by Doug Patton
Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online, TheConservativeVoice.com and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at email@example.com.