Saturday, July 31, 2010

reflexive conservative-bashing

The following quote (link from Instapundit) displays two pernicious misunderstandings of conservativism:
Tea Party 365 is eager to gain more members, turning to a demographic often ignored or even persecuted by conservative activist groups: immigrants.
The first and most obvious is the liberal lie that conservatives "persecute" immigrants. Conservatives have expectations about immigrants: that they will follow the law (including immigration law) and that they will adapt to their new country by learning the language. Any immigrant who meets those expectations can walk into any conservative group in the country and be well-received. The idea that conservatives are against immigrants just because they are immigrants is a lie that is spread by liberals.

More subtle, but just as pernicious is the suggestion that conservatives "ignore" immigrants. This is the viewpoint of people who view the Democrat spoils system as normal politics. Democrats give government handouts and other special considerations to immigrants, to blacks, to hispanics, to women, to teachers, to policemen, to union members, to gays ... and to any other identifiable group who has enough money and/or votes to help the Democrats gain more wealth and power. This system is a corruption that eats at the foundations of a democracy and conservatives reject the system entirely. So, yes, conservatives "ignore" immigrants, just like they "ignore" blacks, hispanics, women, teachers, policemen, union members, gays, and everyone else. There are a few halfhearted attempts to reach out to particular groups in order to counter the pernicious Democrat spoils system, but true conservative really don't have their heart in it because they ultimately don't like the idea of dividing Americans into groups and classes like that.

In the Democrat's class-based view of the world, the Republicans have their own protected classes: angry white men, and religious nuts, but the Republicans do not do what Democrats do --they do not try to raise the groups that vote Republican above other Americans, do not try to direct government money to these groups, and do not create institutions dedicated to influencing these groups, and do not preferentially hire from these groups. Conservatives do not judge you based what groups you are a member of, but only what you yourself do and express and believe.

That's why it why it is silly to suggest that conservative groups "persecute" immigrants or anyone else based on group membership. Conservatives oppose people based on who they are and what they do, not based on what groups they are members of.

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