Uno De Mayo has come and gone with none of the predicted effects — no drastic plunge in retail sales, no nationwide economic earthquake, the only businesses shut down the ones that agreed to do so beforehand.
But still we're assured the marchers have 'made their point'.
We can probably be excused for thinking that the point would have been made if only three marchers had bothered to show up. This is one of those issues where the media has made up its mind and is going to shove the correct interpretation down the throats of the booboisie no matter what it takes. That being the case, the stories and headlines could have been written a week ago — and possibly were.
Three conclusions can be drawn about the events of Monday:
— that the campaign has very deep and so far unidentified sources of funds and organization;
— that the usual—suspect Leftist organizations (E.g., International ANSWER) are involved up to their ears;
— that the fight is eminently winnable.
The Left usually does well with issues that remain distant from the daily life of the average voter. Take global warming and related environmental issues — the topic is esoteric, the data opaque, none of it is easily understood without advanced training. So the average citizen feels comfortable repeating even the most outlandish conclusions.
Now take a look at something closer to home: Iraq and the war on terror. Many people know someone directly affected either by terror attacks or the war itself. The information is processed on a gut level, involving the most deeply held convictions. As a result, the Left, despite massive efforts, has been unable to push support much lower than an even 50%.
The same is true of immigration. There is not a element of daily life that it fails to touch: jobs, the economy, the neighborhood, crime. It matters in the most basic sense, and for that reason is not easily subject to manipulation by opinion elites.
Virtually every move the crowd and its supporters have made — the flags, the debased anthem (it was actually made by a Brit) and this Peronist general strike — seems designed to antagonize this country's middle class, which must be persuaded before anything can be accomplished. Do these people ever learn?
So now the line is drawn. A nation has a right to ask three things of immigrants:
— that they obey the law;
— that they learn the language;
— that they respect the citizenry.
We have a large illegal immigrant population in which many feel obligated to fulfill none of these.
No one seriously wishes these people ill, or wants to deny them an opportunity to better themselves, particularly considering the social and economic conditions many of them have fled.
But it cannot be denied that guests, particularly uninvited ones, are not in a position to make demands. The sooner we get that straight, the sooner we can move on to a just and fair solution.
J.R. Dunn is a frequent contributor.