Mr. Gingrich's Neighborhood

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

Mr. (Fred) Rogers isn't around anymore, but if Newt Gingrich so serenaded me I would quickly acquiesce to be his neighbor.

And who wouldn't?  In my recent visit to Mr. Gingrich's neighborhood in the plusher Virginia suburbs, I found immaculate cul-de-sacs with million-dollar-plus homes and landscaped gardens that would pose well for Architectural Digest.  Happy children head off to the better public schools or the expensive private schools.  Escalades and BMWs fill the driveways.  It's the American dream for residents who have been hugely successful in life's struggle.  Yes, I would love to live in Mr. Gingrich's neighborhood.

Move a few miles away from Mr. Gingrich's tony Virginia neighborhood and you will find other neighborhoods, like mine, with homes of hard-working middle and lower class Americans who have struggled to earn their piece of the American dream.  Once they were neighborhoods where a June Cleaver or Harriet Nelson would feel comfortable.  Not now. 

In Newt's neighborhood, you won't see an illegal alien anywhere, save for when the lawn care service comes by.  You won't see five or more beat up old ladder trucks parked in his neighbor's driveway and on the lawn.   You wouldn't notice  a parade of fifteen men arriving after long hours of hopeful waiting at the day labor site.   You won't notice the house on the other side suddenly abandoned, appliances and plumbing stripped out during the overnight egress before the sheriff's eviction.  You won't find a forest of foreclosure sale signs.

Newt's neighborhood is also devoid of those uninsured cars with unlicensed drivers committing DUI hit-and-runs.  The fences are spared the gang graffiti.  Newt's neighbors don't send their kids off to public schools where English may be a second language.  They send their kids off to Ivy League colleges; they don't face the disappointment of unaffordable tuitions as out of state students at universities welcoming illegals. 

Gingrich has Republican establishment defenders who applaud his stance on amnesty (yes, it is amnesty) who are similarly removed from the effects of the immigration policies they support.  Fox News pundit William Kristol recently rebuked those who might object to Newt's amnesty.  Kristol lives near Newt in a $1.3 million dollar home up a private drive in a like neighborhood.  And the sage emeritus of conservative punditry, George Will, when not marveling over the benefits of illegal immigrant labor and the folly of deportation, spends his nights in a near- $2 million crash pad on a peaceful street in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where one is more likely to see a President-elect walking up his sidewalk than a contingent of day laborers.  Oh, that already happened!

At the other edge of the political spectrum, the Washington Post editorial staff weekly berates the common folk who question the blessings of illegal immigration.  But Editorial page chief Fred Hiatt, his Deputy Jackson Diehl, and senior editorialist Lee Hockstader nightly repair to pricey domiciles worth well north of $1 million in swanky Chevy Chase, Maryland or Northwest Washington. If you wander around those neighborhoods, as I did, you are more likely to see a Senator than a work-seeking Salvadoran. 

Now I don't begrudge Gingrich or these other elites their success and prosperity.  I wish them even more.  But I do resent their blind indifference to the greater mass of Americans who must daily endure the disturbing, debilitating, and devastating effects of illegal immigration to which the elites are themselves immune.

Gingrich for a starter absolves those who have been here over 25 years.  The only difference between those and an illegal alien sneaking in today is that the squatter has been breaking the law 9131 days longer.   Washington-wise Gingrich knows that the ratchet on exemptions goes only one way, to more exemptions.  Dare he try attrition by enforcement?  It works wherever it has been tried - Alabama, Arizona, Prince William, Virginia.  It would require no new laws, just new willpower.

Americans by consistent majorities of 65-85% want illegal immigration stopped, employers punished, the magnet of alien welfare terminated, and illegal alien invaders unrewarded. 

Illegal immigration is an existential issue for America, no less so that our collapsing economy, our dissipating security, our coarsening culture, our vanishing values.  For most of America, the true 99%, things are heading south as the illegals steal north, and we are looking for someone who will reverse the trend.  Unlike the elites in their gated communities, we the people can't escape it.

If he doesn't want to help us, maybe Mr. Gingrich will let the rest of us come to his neighborhood, where it's always a beautiful day.

William Campenni is a retired engineer and Air Force fighter pilot who speaks on illegal immigration from his own experiences and studies.

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

Mr. (Fred) Rogers isn't around anymore, but if Newt Gingrich so serenaded me I would quickly acquiesce to be his neighbor.

And who wouldn't?  In my recent visit to Mr. Gingrich's neighborhood in the plusher Virginia suburbs, I found immaculate cul-de-sacs with million-dollar-plus homes and landscaped gardens that would pose well for Architectural Digest.  Happy children head off to the better public schools or the expensive private schools.  Escalades and BMWs fill the driveways.  It's the American dream for residents who have been hugely successful in life's struggle.  Yes, I would love to live in Mr. Gingrich's neighborhood.

Move a few miles away from Mr. Gingrich's tony Virginia neighborhood and you will find other neighborhoods, like mine, with homes of hard-working middle and lower class Americans who have struggled to earn their piece of the American dream.  Once they were neighborhoods where a June Cleaver or Harriet Nelson would feel comfortable.  Not now. 

In Newt's neighborhood, you won't see an illegal alien anywhere, save for when the lawn care service comes by.  You won't see five or more beat up old ladder trucks parked in his neighbor's driveway and on the lawn.   You wouldn't notice  a parade of fifteen men arriving after long hours of hopeful waiting at the day labor site.   You won't notice the house on the other side suddenly abandoned, appliances and plumbing stripped out during the overnight egress before the sheriff's eviction.  You won't find a forest of foreclosure sale signs.

Newt's neighborhood is also devoid of those uninsured cars with unlicensed drivers committing DUI hit-and-runs.  The fences are spared the gang graffiti.  Newt's neighbors don't send their kids off to public schools where English may be a second language.  They send their kids off to Ivy League colleges; they don't face the disappointment of unaffordable tuitions as out of state students at universities welcoming illegals. 

Gingrich has Republican establishment defenders who applaud his stance on amnesty (yes, it is amnesty) who are similarly removed from the effects of the immigration policies they support.  Fox News pundit William Kristol recently rebuked those who might object to Newt's amnesty.  Kristol lives near Newt in a $1.3 million dollar home up a private drive in a like neighborhood.  And the sage emeritus of conservative punditry, George Will, when not marveling over the benefits of illegal immigrant labor and the folly of deportation, spends his nights in a near- $2 million crash pad on a peaceful street in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where one is more likely to see a President-elect walking up his sidewalk than a contingent of day laborers.  Oh, that already happened!

At the other edge of the political spectrum, the Washington Post editorial staff weekly berates the common folk who question the blessings of illegal immigration.  But Editorial page chief Fred Hiatt, his Deputy Jackson Diehl, and senior editorialist Lee Hockstader nightly repair to pricey domiciles worth well north of $1 million in swanky Chevy Chase, Maryland or Northwest Washington. If you wander around those neighborhoods, as I did, you are more likely to see a Senator than a work-seeking Salvadoran. 

Now I don't begrudge Gingrich or these other elites their success and prosperity.  I wish them even more.  But I do resent their blind indifference to the greater mass of Americans who must daily endure the disturbing, debilitating, and devastating effects of illegal immigration to which the elites are themselves immune.

Gingrich for a starter absolves those who have been here over 25 years.  The only difference between those and an illegal alien sneaking in today is that the squatter has been breaking the law 9131 days longer.   Washington-wise Gingrich knows that the ratchet on exemptions goes only one way, to more exemptions.  Dare he try attrition by enforcement?  It works wherever it has been tried - Alabama, Arizona, Prince William, Virginia.  It would require no new laws, just new willpower.

Americans by consistent majorities of 65-85% want illegal immigration stopped, employers punished, the magnet of alien welfare terminated, and illegal alien invaders unrewarded. 

Illegal immigration is an existential issue for America, no less so that our collapsing economy, our dissipating security, our coarsening culture, our vanishing values.  For most of America, the true 99%, things are heading south as the illegals steal north, and we are looking for someone who will reverse the trend.  Unlike the elites in their gated communities, we the people can't escape it.

If he doesn't want to help us, maybe Mr. Gingrich will let the rest of us come to his neighborhood, where it's always a beautiful day.

William Campenni is a retired engineer and Air Force fighter pilot who speaks on illegal immigration from his own experiences and studies.