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Will Trump Never Go? Part 2

Will Trump Never Go? Part 2

By Dennis Loo (7/19/17)

In Part 1 of this series I began discussing immigration and focused on Thomas Edsall's view. That ends with him, correctly I think, forseeing the decline of the parties and Right and Left as we know them, and offering up as a possible strategy, incorrectly I will argue, for the Left of stressing instead of diversity, what keeps us together as a nation. As part of that strategy, he proposes tightening up borders and paths to legal citizenship, an issue that has emerged as a central and volatile one in much of the First World. 

There are several problems with Edsall's analysis and advocacy here.

First, it must be said as a matter of principle, that national borders are artificial and in some cases, highly arbitrary, linked to the rise of capitalism. No one is an illegal. We are all human beings.

Second, as I briefly alluded to last time, global warming is behind much of the emigration (Syria being one notable example) and as such, refugees are fleeing a problem - global warming - created by the First World in the first place, so complaining about a consequence of a problem you created in the first place and are chiefly contributing to is bad form.

Third, Edsall, as useful as his work in general is, and I learn a great deal reading his very studied columns, nevertheless, his frame of reference is too small. He is trying to adopt a program for the "Left" by which he means something like the Democratic Liberal Left, rather than the genuine Left (outside of the major parties), adopting as a platform a more closed door to immigration than opening up the doors.

While I am not advocating the total abolition of all borders immediately, the Left (in whatever incarnation) adopting what amounts to fear-based policies adopted by neoliberalism and the deindustrialization where manufacturing jobs are largely being exported to the Third World, thus leaving behind a lot of the traditional working class in the First World, is a bad idea. Edsall and Beinart are trying to graft a Right strategy onto a Left strategy and it won't work. Obama schtick of "hope" and "change" was wearing thin. What hope and what change that actually meant something?

Edsall has his finger on a real dilemma, however, because the First World working class is aroused about this issue and an answer to it has to be given. 

We have much to discuss and this will be continued in part 3.

Part 3 is here.

 

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