By David Swanson
Cal Thomas, in his November 30th column, fears “America’s destruction,” citing two dangers in passing and focusing on a third. The two that I fear (global warming and nuclear war) are not mentioned. Rather, Thomas fears that our military (although by far the largest the planet has ever seen) is too small. He fears that the dollar will be abandoned by foreign governments (hence, perhaps, the need for an even larger military?). And he fears that immigrants are, in Pat Buchanan’s words “swamping the ethno-cultural core of the country.” Thomas is afraid for the future of the United States’ “heritage, language, and, yes, faith.” He tells a horrifying tale of immigrants moving into a Maryland county and failing to earn or inherit as much money as other people.
What I find most twisted about this is not Thomas’ bigotry, or the notion that as poor a user of language and as pure an abstainer from culture as he would become the defender of our “heritage.” Nor is it the absurdity of defining some “core” group of people’s religion as central to a nation founded on freedom of thought. No, what I find most disturbing is that rhetoric like Thomas’ serves, intentionally or not, to empower the politicians who create the very problem he seeks to address. In our current political picture, the same politicians who seek to criminalize immigrants back the corporate trade agenda that makes it more difficult for people to earn a living in their country of birth. Addressing the root problem does not involve building walls, real or metaphorical.