There are probably no two people in the media who are more associated with the immigration issue than CNN's Lou Dobbs and NBC's Pat Buchanan. Both have revitalized their careers by becoming self-proclaimed experts, and have probably logged more media face-time discussing the issue than any two people in American. Recently, they met on Dobbs' show to discuss their common concerns:
Yet if one were to compare some of the rhetoric used in the segment:
DOBBS: And congratulations on the new book, a best seller doing great.
Let me turn to the very first thing. The first chapter, declaring that the American century is over. I would like to share this with our viewers. "America is indeed coming apart, decomposing, and that the likelihood of our survival as one nation through mid century is improbable and impossible if America continues on her current course. For we are on a path to national suicide." My God, I don't think you could be more pessimistic.
BUCHANAN: Well that is where we are headed, Lou. As I write in the last chapter, we can still have a second American century. But look what is happening. You've got 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in the country, 38 million immigrants. The melting pot that turned our grandfathers and great grandfathers into Americans is cracked, broken and rejected as an instrument of cultural genocide. You have that going on in the country at the same time that the dollar is going down, the manufacturing base is being exported, you're overextended abroad with a smaller army than we had in 1939. All of these things are hitting at once and I don't get the awareness of the gravity of the crises comes at us.
DOBBS: We're back with Pat Buchanan, author of the important new book, which I highly recommend, "Day of Reckoning." Let's deal with an issue on the minds of Americans. That is the issue of illegal immigration. What has to be done?
BUCHANAN: Well first thing, you've got to secure the border. If we don't do it, it won't exist anymore in ten years. You've got to crack down on businesses that hire illegals. You've got to cut off the magnets by ending social welfare benefits as they voted to do Arizona. You've got to end this absurd practice that if someone comes to the United States and has a baby the next day it is automatically a citizen for life and entitled to a whole lifetime of benefits. I think you need a time-out on legal immigration of about 250,000 a year. This is the sea into which illegals move. We need another time out to get the melting pot up and running again.
DOBBS: What about the 12 to 20 million illegals in this country?
BUCHANAN: Start the deportations with gang members, felons, scofflaws and you start with felons and people who are drunk drivers and others. Then you start the process by cracking down on business, removing the magnets, they'll go home. What draws them here is free education, welfare, good jobs, good paying jobs much better than in Mexico. Basically business and the welfare, the social safety net draws them here.
With these quotes from hate groups complied back in the spring of 2001 by the
Southern Poverty Law Center:
It becomes obvious that ideas that were once relegated to the vilest fringes of the extreme far-right have become mainstream. Note just how many of the sentiments expressed in these statements by hate groups can now be heard almost daily coming from both the media and politicians. Republican politicians, the right-wing noised machine, and now the main stream media, have managed to shift the whole national debate, and possibly the nation itself, to a point where this kind of eliminationist rhetoric is now the accepted norm.
"America's culture, customs and language are under assault from foreigners who come to live here and, instead of learning the American way of life, choose to impose their own alien cultures, languages, and institutions upon us... . [E]thnic cleansing ... may seem a harsh term to apply here in America, but it accurately describes the expulsion of Americans from their communities by illegal aliens."
— AMERICAN IMMIGRATION CONTROL FOUNDATION
"[S]ince that time [about 1950], Western culture faces a growing and potentially fatal crisis: the widespread folly of believing that Hmong and Haitians can carry that culture forward as meaningfully as Europeans."
— AMERICAN RENAISSANCE
"These men [ranchers who capture illegal border-crossers at gunpoint] are the true heroes of our troubled times! Every illegal alien they halt is one less that will go on our welfare rolls, overcrowd our schools, bring in more drugs to poison our kids, or rob, rape and murder another innocent American citizen."
— CALIFORNIA COALITION FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM
"[T]he meaning of this massive increase in non-white and non-Western populations groups within U.S. borders is that the United States is not only ceasing to be a majority white nation but also is ceasing to be a nation that is culturally part of Western civilization."
— COUNCIL OF CONSERVATIVE CITIZENS
"America becomes darker — racially darker — every year, and that is the direct result of our government's immigration policy. ... We White people, we descendants of the European immigrants who built America, will be a minority in our own country. ... [M]alicious aliens [European Jews] came into our land and ... spread spiritual poison among our people, so that our spirits became corrupted and our minds became confused."
— NATIONAL ALLIANCE
"Unless stopped now, massive illegal immigration from the Third World will surely make America more like the Third World than the nation of our forefathers. ... Forced integration and unrestrained immigration destroy schools, neighborhoods, cities and ultimately nations."
— NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WHITE PEOPLE
"[T]he very underpinnings of America are being gnawed away by hordes of aliens who are transforming America into a land where we, the descendants of the men and women who founded America, will walk as strangers... . Unless we act now ... we will be helpless to halt the accelerating dispossession of our folk."
— NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR EUROPEAN AMERICAN RIGHTS
"America is not just a geographical entity. It is a nation with certain values. I'd go beyond the proposal of a zero immigration moratorium and say we should begin deportation. Deportation now!"
— THE SOCIAL CONTRACT PRESS
"The Mexican culture is based on deceit. Chicanos and Mexicanos lie as a means of survival. Fabricating false IDs is just another extension of that culture ... [which]condones everything from the most lowly misdemeanor to murder in the highest levels of government."
— VOICES OF CITIZENS TOGETHER
"[Even] beyond immigration, legal or illegal, the very numbers of non-Whites already here, and their high birth rate, are enough to plunge North America into a banana republic status within two decades or less. ... [After America is split up into racial mini-states, if] an area like Florida wanted to accept the dregs of the Caribbean, let them, with the understanding that the second this mud flood oozed into the sovereign state of Georgia, it would be 'lock and load' time."
— WHITE ARYAN RESISTANCE
compliled spring, 2001 by SPLC
This shift can be seen quite clearly in this segment from the O'Rielly Factor, where Sen. John McCain, discussing comprehensive immigration reform legislation, allows O'Rielly to lecture him unchallenged about the supposed "liberal plan" to "change the complexion" of America by breaking down "the white, Christian, male power structure".
Back in March, 2006 The Nation examined this shift to the far right through the eyes of former grand wizard of the KKK, David Duke.
Relaxing in the Hyatt lobby, (David) Duke reminisced about his glory days. "I was the first candidate who ran against affirmative action. And I predated Clinton on welfare reform," Duke told me. He rehashed his controversial term as a Louisiana state representative and his losing 1990 Republican gubernatorial candidacy, in which he captured more than 60 percent of the white vote. He happily recalled his 1977 Klan Border Watch, when he and seven other Klansmen drove a few sedans in circles along the California-Mexico border, waving a shotgun in the moonlight while dozens of reporters in tow tried not to crash their cars into one another.In the 20 months since The Nation first published this article things have only gotten worse. As every Republican presidential candidate falls over themselves trying to race further and further to the right, David Duke must be grinning ear to ear.
Back in those good old times, in 1982, explaining the Klan's anti-immigrant advocacy, Duke said, "Every new immigrant adds to our crime problems, our welfare rolls and unemployment of American citizens.... We are being invaded in the southwest as if a foreign army were coming over the border.... They're going to take more and more hard-earned money from the productive middle class in the form of taxes and social programs." And Duke called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants and harsh penalties for businesses that employ them. "I'd make the Mexican-American border almost like a Maginot line," he said, referring to the militarized barrier France constructed between itself, Italy and Germany after World War I.
At the time, Duke was widely dismissed as little more than a turbo-charged version of the paranoid style--"the Klan's answer to Robert Redford," as reporter Patty Sims described him in 1978. But today his anti-immigration rhetoric sounds not so remote from one of top-rated CNN host Lou Dobbs's fulminations during his daily "Broken Borders" segment. Duke's Klan Border Watch, meanwhile, served as the forerunner and inspiration of the Dobbs-touted Minutemen groups that have proliferated from the Mexico border to Herndon, Virginia, the city that hosted the American Renaissance conference, where disgruntled locals hold regular protests outside a day-labor center. Under pressure from Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo, chair of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, and with sponsorship from House Judiciary Committee chair James Sensenbrenner (tough-talking heir to the Kotex fortune), the Republican-dominated House has approved a bill that makes it a felony to be in the United States illegally, mandates punishment for providing aid or shelter to undocumented immigrants and allocates millions for the construction of an iron wall between the United States and Mexico. Duke may have fallen short on the national stage, but his old notions have gained a new life through new political figures.
The Nation, 3/23/2006