Cognitive Dissonance, Glenn Beck, and Immigration Law

My father used to say that the biggest disaster that ever befell America was Prohibition, since it inculcated contempt for the law and inured Americans to a cognitive dissonance that has only grown worse and worse.

By creating artificial scarcity, Prohibition raised the cost and wages of what had formerly been a private sin. Drunkards took more bread off their families’ tables; gangsters fattened on the business opportunities that the law created, sharing their wealth with the officials who were charged (but not empowered) to enforce it. Hardly anyone ever talks about this, but the medical profession was corrupted too. If you had the means, you could ask your doctor to write you a prescription for medicinal alcohol (a source of income that the AMA approved). The War on Drugs has been no different, but it’s political suicide to admit it–even in a country that claims to worship the free market (whose inexorable laws of supply and demand clearly explain why such efforts are doomed to produce precisely the opposite of their intended effects).

And now people who claim to hate the government are demanding that it stop the illegal immigration that big agriculture and the construction trades so depend on, and that provides an affordable servant class for the privileged but not-so-wealthy. Immigrants undoubtedly do put a strain on our chronically under-funded social services, but most of them don’t come here to goldbrick–they come here to work and Americans hire them.

If the people demanding a tougher stance on immigration are worried about lost jobs and depressed wages, then why aren’t they also pro-union? If they hate jack-booted policemen so much, then why do they want to militarize the borders and empower patrolmen to snatch brown-skinned people off the streets?

Glenn Beck hates illegal immigration almost as much as he hates the “disease” of Progressivism. The operative word, he told his listeners Tuesday, is “illegal.” He has contempt for the government, but deeply respects the letter of the law. (Click here).

I have a problem with drugs! No, no, no — I have a problem with illegal drugs, not prescription drugs. I don’t want to ban all drugs.

Prescription drugs are good for you when you used by prescription and follow advice of the doctor — bad otherwise. Got it?

Immigration, good. Illegal immigration, bad.

In the good old days before Progressivism, the railroads recruited tens of thousands of Chinese to lay tracks; the needle trades parceled out piece work to European tenement dwellers; and immigrant children labored in unregulated factories, mines, and slaughter houses. In the good old days before Progressivism, white people enjoyed the services of dark-skinned slaves and foreign-born indentured servants. There were no federal payroll or income taxes but there was no safety net either–no FDIC, no disability payments from Social Security, no Medicare, none of the entitlements that so many Americans resent paying for and presume that illegals enjoy for free. If you want an unregulated marketplace and a weak, pro-business government, then shouldn’t you tolerate all the other stuff that goes with them?


4 thoughts on “Cognitive Dissonance, Glenn Beck, and Immigration Law

  1. Just caught up on your blog. I see you have stumbled across an intriguing point.

    If the people demanding a tougher stance on immigration are worried about lost jobs and depressed wages, then why aren’t they also pro-union? If they hate jack-booted policemen so much, then why do they want to militarize the borders and empower patrolmen to snatch brown-skinned people off the streets?

    I would replace brown-skinned with anyone not on party lines. Big Ag and Construction are predominantly or viewed as being, Pro-Capitalists. Generally from republican or conservative stances.

    Beck’s hatred of “progressives” is curious. If they show a delight in Party consuming itself on an issue, I think it illuminates that it is the unending fighting that they wish to continue. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as there is a spin that can be used to fundraise. This is why Beck’s ilk is working so hard against a new “enemy”. Progress beyond the constitution? More like beyond our two choices of Party. The two, above all, fear and loathe a stronger third.

      1. Welcome back, Jesse, It’s been a long time. I suspect I’m misunderstanding you, but do you think that Beck’s fight against Progressivism is on behalf of the two-party system? It seems to me that he is a force for schism himself.

  2. Arthur,
    I would say yes and no. I think it is interesting the use of the term “progressivism”. Because if Beck railed against the left it would be liberal. The right being conservative. Progressive or populist must be a beast from the middle. Beck is a force for schism and it is the fight in itself that is a fundraising machine. It is as if there is an issue where arguement can take place, then there is money to be made from opinion.

    Also, if the moderate middle forms identity and widens, then the fringe pundits, like Beck, have smaller appeal. If the Republican party breaks in half and the “bluegrass” Democrat does the same, it could morph into such a thing. It is hard for me to explain.

    Take Wal-mart. It is a store of cheap consumer goods. It is an entity that is flush with cash. I bring this up because corperations donate sometimes(Microsoft) donate equaling measures of huge sums of cash for campaigns. It is always something but never nothing.
    On the Left, Wal-mart promotes gluttony of wasteful spending on shoddy goods. They are bad to their employees. They don’t care about Fair trade,etc.
    On the Right, Wal-mart sells goods imported from evil countries like China, encourages jobs sent overseas, sells shoddy goods, caters to illegals, etc.
    Milked for cash like a cow by the right and left, all a politician need do is imply agreement to a pundit. Money shows up and the politician stops talking. Then Wal-mart returns to retailer status.
    Does that make sense?
    There is a political spin on consumerism. Tires, coffee, bottled water, diet, medicine. It gets tiresome. What I have heard is now Arizona’s law. Nobody cares that Montana uses National Guard patrols along the Canadien border. What’s hot is the Mexican border. You tagged it well. AZ, NM, CA and TX have a unique issue. I think it appropriate that those states deal with it in their own fashion but it somehow involves the national stage. Those states have a huge, mixed race and latino population. On the national level it is spun invaders vs. citizens. I think the issue is more about steming the influence of the violent cartels. Mexico has really been battling them the last few years. A Beck-like speaker I heard implyed that Mexico was feudalistic and backward. A play to racism? Sure. But watching COPS: Peonix, many police are latino. The nation doesn’t help the state. National help is gridlocked with spin. Unfortunatley the losers are the migrant workers. The losers are also the poor in AZ that have to contend, not just with domestic violence, gangs and poverty…but to have the spearpoint of violent cartels break on them also.
    You are correct in pointing out that it is very frustrating to be third generation latino, devoutly catholic, family centered, free-market oriented and have to listen to Beck help your neighbors think your an illegal here to sell drugs and weapons on the street.

    and for what? To convince people that Obama doesn’t care about border security? That any brown must be Mexican and less-than a full person? So millions of spooked people will send in twenty dollars to the Republican that rattles the idea of putting tanks on the border? Precisely.

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