Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mr. America, tear down this wall.

If the exuberance of this great nation is ever to win the rest of the world over to our ways of liberty, then let us live largely and not be paranoid about letting people come and go. Send us the huddled masses yearning to be free, and they will rejuvenate our culture of freedom in unanticipated ways that enrich and extend our cultural heritage. As oppressed people of the world gather to us, they stir up fresh winds of innovation; some of them will return to their countries of origin as ambassadors of our good will.
Thus is our open American portal more persuasive than any other in the world.
For a hundred years, the western nations were knocking on China's door, trying to persuade them to have an open door policy. Now it's time for us to reinforce the idea by keeping an open door of our own--an unhindered exchange of people and ideas, open source. Like Google.

I got a little mad this morning when I opened some email from Pat Buchanan's crowd and started reading about the conservative agenda. I'm a conservative myself, but when he starts harping on illegal immigration, I had to write down a few rants of my own, 'cause that's the least of our worries. That labor dem crowd is right in there with him in the same paranaoid protectionist stripe. Americans just need to get off our asses and get back to work and quit complaining about all the other people in the world who want to be a part of our great experiment.

My progenitors were largely Scot-Irish immigrants who arrived on these verdant shores in some past century seeking opportunities to start anew. I'm thankful they were not turned back at the harbor.

Is our nation too crowded today to tolerate the open immigration of opportunity-seekers like those of ages past who propelled our industries to unprecedented levels of productivity? No. You want to know what crowded is? Look at Asia. Look at Mexico City and Johannesburg. Those places are bustin' at the seams. If we are going to coexist with the developing nations in the 21st-century, we need to share some of our frontier heritage so some of them can get a breath of fresh air and learn what freedom is all about. We are not crowded here in America. Yeah, sure we have problems. Doesn't everybody?

Although our enlightened constitutional matrix constructed by ole white guys 250 years ago has served as an excellent framework for cultural freedoms to emerge, it is by no means the whole story. Our founding documents provided a superb beginning, but then we had to fight a bloody civil war 75 years later just to reconcile some of the structural deficiencies that the founders didn't have the time to properly resolve. Such is the history of human progress, especially in a democracy. We don't have time for perfection. You want perfection? You want something finely-tuned? Start a cottage industry and make watches or better mousetraps of widgets or software that surpasses anybody else's product.

But in the public square, it's always been about what works for society as a whole. Make a deal and move on. Unfinished business will be forever with us, like the poor. Jesus pointed out that they would always be among us. He and his predecessor Moses spoke principles for taking care of them, and we need to employ some of those strategies, along with the prosperity-generating stewardship principles about which they also preached.

Idealistic systems for engineering a classless society are pipe dreams. Get real. Marx and Mao, though they had a few accurate analyses, have been disproven as a source for societal construction. Find something good to do and get to work so you can contribute to the commonwealth instead of sponging from it. If you can't find it in yourself to do that, then get in line and we'll see what we can do for you. You lawmakers need to cut your losses and move on. Pass the dam health care bill and let's get everybody some access. It's time to move on. There's no such as thing as perfect legislation. The founding documents of our republic prove that.

Give everybody a chance--that's what the "unalienable rights" from our Creator are all about. Multiculturalism is what made the USA the great nation that we are today. The vibrant diversity that propelled us into world leadership during the last century was not born of WASPish founding fathers spouting ideas of 18th-century enlightenment. Our greatest strength is, and has always been, our unique place in world history of hosting the genius of other cultures, and allowing them to bloom and bear seeds of innovation that are subsequently cast upon the jetstreams of the world. Give me the melting pot or give me death.

The hardest-working people in the USA have always been the newest immigrants. This is as true today as it ever was; I've seen it with my own eyes. How many good ole boys in construction trades have been outdone in recent years by a crew of Mexicans? This is not a trend to be despised; this is the way it has always been. Maybe it is time for the good ole boys, having English proficiency, to get back in school and go on to greater horizons such as electrical work or HVAC.

Read up on solar collectors, Marvin, and tinker with them a bit. You may be the one to make the breakthrough in efficiency that our post-industrial, post-commuter infrastructure is looking for. You might be the one to make that Edison or Bell or Ford leap forward into technospace while Juan and Edwardo are building the walls of the house where your new, improved designs will find their actualization.

This essay is all over the map, I know, but then so are the peoples of the world, and we've all got something to offer. Thanks for tunin' in for a bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment