Unpleasant Bedfellows

22 Nov 2011

Tonight, at the Republican National Security Debate, Newt Gingrich said something startling:

I don’t see how the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy that destroys families that have been here for a quarter-century. I’m prepared to take the heat in saying, “Let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship, by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.”

It is rarely the popular choice to point out hypocrisy within your own party – particularly if you are running to be the presidential nominee for that party. Still, there is a refreshing sanity to Gingrich’s immigration points tonight as if he decided, for just a moment, to speak as a human being and not as a politician.

In order to deport the eleven millon illegal aliens that are currently living in the United States it would require a military force that would rival those of Nazi Germany and Soviet-era Russia. Coincidentally, these are last two countries to have attempted mass deportations in recent history and, thanks to them, we added new words to our vocabulary: Gulag and Holocaust.

It is easy enough to spew jingoistic sound bytes when problems are framed as matters of national security, but complexities emerge when strategies are examined through the lens’ of history or of humanity. I do not believe there will ever come a time when Americans, Democrat or Republican, will stand by and watch as millions of their neighbours are displaced and killed.1 These are not the ideals that founded the United States and they are not the ideals of modern America.

When a politician talks about the deportation of illegal aliens, they are scoring easy political points on an issue that they will never have to follow through on and the Republican Party will likely continue to do so as long as the voters respond well to it. Perhaps there will be a short-lived debate on this before Newt Gingrich fades into the next news cycle, but it was nice to hear a candidate speak openly and honesty about the hypocrisy of the Republican Party.

  1. And before you cry fowl against comparisons to the Final Solution, can you possibly imagine such a process being even remotely peaceful? I would not quietly be torn away from my life and home. Would you?