Trump's Statue of Liberty play
Donald Trump on June 22 delivered the best line so far in his presidential campaign, and if that line came from his heart, then it is the best news yet for conservatives, like me, who have been profoundly ambivalent about a presumptive Republican nominee who seems to think that our nation's problems can be solved by paying off the national debt or doubling the per capita income or increasing the GDP by five per cent per year.
America's greatness leads to its prosperity, but its prosperity is simply incidental to its greatness. It is the utterly materialistic left that views everything through the dull prism of money, and it is the left that imagines that redistribution of wealth, helping the poor...blah, blah, blah...will solve our problems and create an earthly paradise. This is, of course, the European model as well – and it is utterly wrong.
What Donald Trump said is the perfect policy for immigration and the best response to all those who have condemned him as a political pariah: "I only want to admit people who share our values and love our people." Donald, please, repeat that line over and over and over again. The minimum requirement for anyone to live in America is to love America, and loving America means loving its people, its values of ordered liberty, and its Judeo-Christian heritage.
When our nation was founded, its attitude towards the rest of the world was quite clear and explicitly stated by all of those men who made the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution the bedrock of our new land. We were friends of those who loved liberty wherever they lived in the world. We wanted to make our land the model for how liberty tempered by seriously held Judeo-Christian values could give hope to an otherwise often wretched world.
America has always had an immigration problem. It is the only place on Earth that can make that claim. Immigration inevitably changes the demographics of our nation, but as long as those who came here loved what America was and saw a purpose for making American values what other nations ought to adopt, then that immigration problem was self-resolving.
In fact, some groups of immigrants have used the lessons of America to transform their homelands into places to return to and to live. The great-grandchildren of those "huddled masses" of Italians and Irish and Jews who came to America a century ago have sailed back across the Atlantic to new and happier nation of Italy and Ireland and Israel, which have become largely Americanized.
When we have immigrants from Mexico who want to return much of America to Mexico, then we are dealing with overtly anti-American immigrants. When we have immigrants who come to America who want to murder those who live in a land they call the "Great Satan," then we have anti-Christian immigrants. These are not the sort of people who look at the Statue of Liberty and weep with joy, but rather those who want to demolish that image and destroy the values it reflects.
The strategy of our land has always been to tell those who are unhappy with their homelands and imagine that America would be a better place to live that they ought to change their homeland so that it has the same liberty and the same strong moral foundation as America. Instead, these angry people demanding to come here believe that America's prosperity and security have come at their expense: that their lands are victims of American capitalism and Christianity and freedom.
Obama agrees with these America-haters. Hillary Clinton and the rest of the left, of course, join Obama in this anti-American chorus. America is the problem, and dysfunctional creatures like the European Union are the answer. Obama's imam, Jeremiah Wright, famously damned America after 9-11. They want to make America like the world instead of making the world like America.
What Trump ought to tell American voters is that turning those unhappy places around the globe can become like America if the people will demand a society and a government that reflects the values of America. The world, happily, has a number of success stories. South Korea, Poland, Israel, and Taiwan are nations which emerged from nothing to become free and prosperous and safe lands with American help in creating nations which had shared political and moral values with America.
This is the Statue of Liberty answer to our immigration problems, and it is a winning argument for Donald Trump.