As I promised in my previous commentary for the CAPS website, I have taken on the issue of the demonstrators who began by occupying Wall Street and have spread out across our nation.
A couple of years ago the Tea Party was born – the result of frustration and concern by Americans who were disgusted by both the Democrats and the Republicans. While the Tea Party is often associated with political conservatives, I have, in my travels met a significant number of disenfranchised Democrats who have joined that nascent political movement. Now we see a new group of disenfranchised Americans taking to the streets who are frustrated, angered and concerned about their futures and their children’s futures in this country.
What is really important to understand is that these demonstrators are not all a bunch of malcontents. Nor are they all anarchists or otherwise opposed to our nation or our government. Increasingly, the demonstrations are being carried out by disenfranchised Americans who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs and their tenuous grasp on their thin slice of the “American Dream.”
Both groups have come to the conclusion that the “Government of the people, by the people and for the people” really isn’t!
A couple of days ago, Presidential Candidate Herman Cain made an incredible statement:
“Don’t blame Wall Street,” Cain said. “Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.” Here is a link to the CNN report about this statement by the man who wants to be our next President: politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/05/cain-not-rich-no-job-blame-yourself/ Stop and give that incredible statement some thought!
Corporations are laying off workers – not because those workers have failed to do their jobs diligently but because these employers are either having economic problems or the leadership of these companies have decided that they can increase their profits by replacing American workers with foreign workers. Yet Mr. Cain, a former CEO of Godfather Pizza says that these out of work Americans should blame themselves?
This sort of thinking reminds me of the person who blames a rape victim for being too attractive!
My parents provided me with incredible advice that I still rely upon when I need to make decisions even though they both passed away more than 40 years ago, when I was a college student. One of my mom’s favorite phrases was, “Words are like bullets, once they leave your mouth you can no more get them back than a bullet fired from a gun!”
It is, perhaps ironic that she had no idea that shortly after graduation I would become a federal agent!
Of course she was absolutely correct! People in general, and our leaders in particular, really need to be mindful of what they say – words most certainly do have impact!
In listening to the people around us, we can learn an awful lot about what they really stand for by listening to what they say, especially in an unguarded moment. Everyone makes mistakes, but Mr. Cain’s statement was extremely disappointing!
Perhaps when a person achieves great success it becomes easy for that person to come to believe that they are simply brilliant and extremely talented. Many successful people do, indeed, possess certainly qualities that enabled them to capitalize on opportunities, but let’s be really honest – many brilliant and talented people never achieve success. It may be because their timing was off, or they made a single bad decision that denied them the chance to become successful and wealthy (success is not always about wealth!).
On the other hand, many people who are successful were also lucky!
I sincerely hope that Mr. Cain will give some real reflection on how he attained success and on how many hard working and talented folks in all sorts of professions have struggled throughout their entire lives without ever “striking gold!”
The point is that more and more Americans are struggling. As our nation devours its Middle Class by laying off American workers, especially in the quest for fatter profit margins, our nation runs the real risk of becoming indistinguishable from many other countries and, indeed, we may begin to resemble a Third World country – not because of the ethnic makeup of our country, but because in the Third World there is no Middle Class – only the mega wealthy and everyone else!
We are often told that America was built by immigrants. Indeed our nation has attracted people from all over this planet. But simply having unknown millions of foreigners enter a county is not a recipe for success, but it could be a recipe for failure! Care needs to be taken to take reasonable measures to prevent the entry of aliens into a country whose presence would be harmful. This is not about race, religion or ethnicity but is about keeping out aliens who have dangerous medical issues – dangerous communicable diseases, severe mental illness with a propensity towards violence or sexual deviations such as child molesters and rapists and aliens who are criminals, fugitives from justice, aliens who are human rights violators, war criminals, human traffickers, members of organized crime and violent gangs, aliens who are engaged in terrorism or espionage or other such activities.
Our nation’s immigration laws as articulated in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), in fact, are supposed to accomplish precisely that goal- preventing the entry of aliens who would do harm to our nation and/or our citizens.
That section of law is Title 8, United States Code section 212. It is the section of law that enumerates the various categories of aliens who, under the INA, are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States and are supposed to be removed if they are found here:
Here is a link to that section of law.
Please take the time to review the contents of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The open borders advocates often like to wax poetic about Ellis Island and how that facility associated with immigration has been shuttered and turned into a museum.
In point of fact, Ellis Island was a quarantine station run by Immigration and Public Health!
The fact that this inspection facility was constructed on an island off the shore of New York City was not a chance decision, anymore than Alcatraz the high security prison was built on an island off the shore of San Francisco! In both cases it was impossible to get off the island and make it to the mainland without a boat and hence, without the approval of the authorities!
A large percentage of the immigrants who made it to Ellis Island were, in fact, turned back when it was determined that they harbored dangerous diseases or were criminals. Scant attention was given to the fact that those turned around had arrived with family members. The families were given a choice – if a family member was barred from entry, that family member could simply go back to his (her) country of origin alone or with his accompanying family members!
The reason our nation was so successful was the large Middle Class that sprang up in a country that created a unique environment that nurtured the Middle Class. The Middle Class that became the engine for progress! The Middle Class has been the foundation of “American Exceptionalism!”
Americans have been motivated to attend colleges or trade schools and then work as hard and as diligently as possible, spurred on by the “American Dream!”
In America, anyone could truly become the next success story by virtue of acquiring skills or education and then utilizing those skills and education to work hard, add in a bit of innovation and achieve greatness!
An expression that used to be a rallying cry of America is almost never heard today, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door!”
Today the new path to success is, “You’ve got to be in it to win it!” The other motto is, “Give your dreams a chance!”
Both phrases are used to exhort people to purchase lottery tickets! Forget about hard work or innovation – the path to success in this country today is a winning lottery ticket or a winning lawsuit!
This is a tacit admission that the game is rigged!
Today’s generation, for the first time in generations, expects to be less successful than their parents’ generation!
Our nation is being looted and finally our citizens are catching on!
While not the only factor, the immigration crisis is a major contributor to this disastrous situation. Immigration, I would remind you, is not a single issue but a singular issue! It has a huge negative impact on nearly every issue that confronts our nation and our citizens today.
It is time for our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the basis of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact. Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges ranging from national security and criminal justice and public safety to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
For far too long our citizens demonstrated apathy which emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups.
It is therefore understandable that the politicians of both parties, are greatly concerned about the demonstrations currently sweeping our nation just as did the creation of the Tea Party. Clearly more and more of our fellow Americans are demonstrating that they are not as dumb as the politicians from both parties had expected us to be!
I am encouraged that more and more of us, We the People, are not willing to simply sit on the sidelines anymore!
I believe our nation is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!
If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!
I hope you will be listening! (Please tell your friends and neighbors!)
Here is a link to the program:
Demonstrating that Lincoln Was Right