President Donald Trump is insisting that GOP leaders in Congress give top priority to securing truly effective control of U.S. borders, as the 115th Congress resumes its work. In a recent tweet he said:
Candidate Trump won the 2016 election in large part because of his call for a border wall, and his willingness frankly to portray the damage unbridled illegal immigration inflicts on the individuals and communities that comprise America’s body politic. GOP leaders in Congress have perennially refused to speak forthrightly for the overwhelming majority of their Party’s constituents, as candidate Trump did during his campaign, much less act with determination to address their well justified concerns. Instead they acted with barely concealed contempt for what they contemned as racist, parochial passions, in the name of what they claimed to be the higher road of bipartisan statesmanship, generosity and compassion.
Now the Ryan-McConnell wing of the Republican Party appears to be running scared at the prospect that addressing the border and immigration issues early on, as part of an overall agreement on spending for fiscal 2018, as the Democrats would like to do, might lead to a game of chicken focused on the prospect of a government shutdown. Despite much evidence that, outside the purview of elitist faction disinformation, a solid majority of Americans want immigration brought under control, the GOP’s elitist faction leaders embrace the “open borders” agenda being promoted by George Soros and his globalist, anti-nationhood, “open society” fellow travelers.
This, their ideological predisposition, is why they are reluctant to maneuver Democrats into taking the fall for a government shutdown occasioned by Democrat resistance to concrete steps that secure our borders effectively. But for this predisposition, they would see the spending debate as a ripe opportunity to focus public attention on a serious proposal to implement President Trump’s commitment to border security, with budget numbers in place that convey the serious resolve to make it happen.
But a proposal cast in terms of concrete spending would go beyond the legislative ruffles and flourishes the elitist faction leadership in both parties routinely deploy to ease the passage of another round of fake border security provisions, meant to perfume steps actually taken to accept and legitimize the results of the flood of illegal immigrants that has continued unabated since the 1987 immigration bill set the pattern of falsely promising laws, routinely betrayed by deliberately lax implementation and enforcement.
Many of the voters who constituted the margin of victory for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign overcame misgivings about his life’s record in other areas because they became convinced that he was deadly serious about his “nation without borders is not a nation” commitment to defending the territorial bounds of U.S. national sovereignty. I suspect, however, that the Ryan-McConnell congressional leaders, with or without aid from elements of the permanent government bureaucracy, mean to drag him, kicking and screaming, if need be, toward a compromised result they will falsely portray as necessary to avoid GOP losses in the midterm elections. They therefore want to postpone dealing with the border issue until the passage of time increases the saliency of that specious argument.
But Americans sincerely committed to our exceptional identity as a people understand that it cannot be preserved unless we deal with immigration on terms that allow us to pass our institutions of constitutional, democratic self-government to oncoming generations, along with a practical understanding of the premises of God-endowed equality, right and rights, including liberty, that make it feasible. In the context of a civil union respectful of those premises, diversity can be a catalyst for increased creativity and innovation. But if we fail carefully to maintain that context, political institutions will fail (are failing?), followed by the dissolution of our existence as a people.
Cast in these fundamental terms, the issues of border security and immigration are not just about how people come to America. They’re also about what becomes of humanity when they do. They ought, therefore, to be of primordial concern to American officials who are supposed to represent us. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be hard for all the GOP members of Congress to stand behind President Trump’s insistence that fulfilling the promises that were the most salient priority of his campaign must be his Party’s top priority for the year to come. Our elected political leaders must prove that Americans can have confidence in their practical commitment to our preserving our exceptional nationhood.
If they do, there will be no reason to doubt their commitment to extending the good prospect our existence as a people has offered to all humanity, however haltingly, since the United States began. It is the prospect of a human society open to the best hopes of all people of good will; a society that has come as close as any political community in human history to proving that those hopes may be well founded. Will this make America great again? That is for future generations to judge. But even now, I am sure that it will make us better than we have been for quite some time.
Alan Keyes is a political activist, a prolific writer and a former diplomat.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.