I had an interesting vest-pocket insight into the problems of U.S. politics this morning when a Facebook pal of mine posted a link to an article critical of the Trump Administration's migrant-kiddie-internment policy.
Because the VERY first "comment" was from some dude (an in-law of hers, as it turned out) snarling that "if you don't want your kids taken away, don't break the law!"
This was met (unsurprisingly, since my friend is pretty lefty) with a barrage of "Seriously, dude?" replies. Said dude's defense was that he was all in with lurrrrving him some immigrants, provided they "did it legally".
Said dude was then forcibly reminded that U.S. immigration law, as currently constituted, 1) makes it practically impossible for a simple campesino from the Mexican hinterlands or anywhere else in Latin America to obtain legal residence in the United States, and 2) makes it a misdemeanor to try and enter any other way, so that, in effect, the choice for a poor person from the hemispheric midsection is to be immiserated or imprisoned. That's kind of the language of an abuser; "If you just stop making me mad, honey, you would stop forcing me to hit you..."
Things went downhill from there, with said dude whipping out every chuckleheaded "conservative" Internet meme (Clinton did it too/first, it's The Law, Liberals are Immigrant Cucks, etc, etc...), concluding with the suggestion that imprisoning latino kiddies without their families was not as big a hardship for said kiddies as the hardship suffered by military dependent kiddies whose absent mommies and daddies were fighting for your freedoms, dammit!!!
Finally, after getting hammered for his combination of dopey memes, untruths, strawman arguments, poor analogies, and the sort of "repeating-the-same-idiot-thing-is-the-same-as-rational-argument" style of "debate" you run into in places like Breitbart, or the comment sections of your newspaper all the time, he pulled the original comment and ended the debate.
Which, frankly, is a problem. Because we SHOULD be discussing the issue of the United States and its southern neighbors.
Starting with the premise that the wingnuts aren't entirely wrong.
Oh, don't get me wrong; they ARE wrong, because they aren't actually arguing rationally. They're not really debating the ISSUE, but, rather, shrieking their fears of racial pollution, cultural submergence, the potential loss of white supremacy that are wrapped up in the idea "Press One For English".
The notion that it is not healthy for a republic to have in its midst a significant, indigestible mass of people who are outside the civil contract, who are outside the protection of civil and criminal law, and are locked out of the public square is not ridiculous. It is not good for the people, who are prey to the worse elements of that polity. It is not healthy for the republic, which is forced to make choices and enforce them on a populace that has no voice in making those choices.
It's not even good for the polities those people are fleeing, because it allows those nations to avoid making changes that might help those people want to stay where they are.
Treating this as the problem solely of those people fleeing those places (or seeking a better life here in the U.S.) IS ridiculous. That's my issue with the Trumpkins here. They're trying to take a complex problem with a multivariate and difficult history - including some VERY bad behavior on the part of the United States and its people - and simplify it into making it about the MS-13 rapists with calves like cantaloupes.
If we lived in a United States governed by rational people - left or right - we'd be talking about a sort of "Grand Concert of North America", which would address things as disparate as the impact of American gun and drug laws, the dysfunctional legacies of Spanish colonialism and native Latin American caudilloism, trade and infrastructure relations...even things as arcane as "could a hemispheric solar power initiative create jobs and raise incomes along with addressing the cost of fossil fuel production and importation..?"
IMO the problems with trying to do that here are overwhelmingly in dealing with the Right.
The Left needs to accept that there ARE problems with migration from Latin America. No, just taking a shit-ton of people in from troubled Latin countries doesn't help them, or us. There needs to be SOME rules, and some limits. And there needs to be a reasonable "process" that, if you try and go around it and get caught, puts you out on the mat like the Flintstones' sabertooth cat.
But the Right...shit, where to start?
You're gonna have to press one for English. Any solution WILL involve migration, and so just like Mrs. Van Schuyler shopping at the Lower East Side in 1899, you're gonna hear Spanish like she heard Italian and Russian and German and Polish and Yiddish. Relax. Just like those Fagolinis and Kropotkins and Drumpfs and Solokowskis and Cohens, the second generation will be bilingual, and the third will be wearing Jordans, talking GenZZ slang, and playing Hong Kong hip-hop way too loud on Friday night
You're gonna have to accept that your Wonder Bread brand of "conservatism" probably won't resonate with those folks. You're gonna have to find another not so fully invested in Being White. Oh, and maybe a trifle less sucking-up-to-the-rich might be nice.
A sane conservative America would be willing to go there.
The current "conservative" America will not, because it cannot. It's Trump, in all his insanely vituperative, libtard-hating, social-justice-warrior-cucking, anti-everything-not-seen-at-the-last-NASCAR-race-meeting glory. To change would be to deny its very essence.
So, it's pretty simple, and, no, it doesn't really involve "both sides".
The existing Left needs to think about "immigration" a little deeper.
The existing Right must be Destroyed.