A well known phenomenon in the animal kingdom is that when taking over a new pride, a lion will sometimes kill all the cubs. We don’t know exactly what kind of feeling drives him in this bloody act, but there’s obviously a lack of attachment. Suffice it to say the problem can be summed up thus: it’s not his family.
America’s pride is falling. And few things illustrate this better than the open-borders mentality that has allowed foreigners to bring diseases — most notably Ebola but also EV-D68 and others — into our country.
There was a time when a threat such as Ebola would have inspired travel bans reflexively. Not today. In this enlightened age, Barack Obama and underlings such as CDC director Tom Frieden tell us, with a straight face, that such measures just wouldn’t work. They also claim that banning commercial flights would frustrate efforts to aid Ebola-affected nations and thus increase the long-term chances of an epidemic in the U.S.
Space constraints preclude me from exploring every detail of their argument, but the bottom line is that it’s fallacious. A travel ban combined with a policy of issuing no visas to citizens from affected nations, a prohibition against entry by any foreign national holding a passport with a stamp from one of them, and a mandatory quarantine for Americans returning from such countries absolutely would work. No, it wouldn’t reduce the chances of more Ebola cases reaching our shores to zero, but such a requirement is unreasonable. We can’t eliminate all murder, but we still see fit to minimize it by having necessary laws, police and a criminal-justice system.
As for aid, it goes without saying that medical professionals and other emergency workers would be granted travel clearance and that charter and military planes could ferry them where they needed to go. Moreover, we’ve isolated Americans who contracted Ebola, and no one claims it prevented us from giving them sufficient treatment.
In fact, the arguments against common sense and the common good are so obviously flawed that it’s clear they are not reasons, but rationalizations. So what really explains our leaders’ common senselessness? National Review’s Mark Krikorian put it well last month:
Much of our political class is simply uncomfortable with the idea that border and immigration controls should be used vigorously and unapologetically to protect Americans. You can hear the objections now: It would be xenophobic, it might stigmatize West Africans, those countries will object to our State Department that they’re being discriminated against.
This is what it boils down to. And there’s a reason why people such as Barack Obama don’t believe in using immigration controls “vigorously and unapologetically to protect Americans.”
People such as Obama are not American.
This has nothing to do with theories about where Obama was born; as Thomas Sowell recently pointed out, native American Benedict Arnold is one of our most infamous traitors, while people born overseas have sometimes risked their necks to defend America. Nor does it even just concern Obama, as the phenomenon in question is exhibited by millions. What it has to do with is attitude.
This brings me to an October Forbes article by evolutionary biologist J.V. Chamary in which he inveighs against travel bans, calling the desire for them understandable but “selfish.” Born in France to parents from Mauritius and now living in the U.K., Chamary is the epitome of the attitude in question; he’s an internationalist, a philanderer of nations and a citizen of the world. And the thinking goes like this: we’re all just people, whether in Sacramento or Sierra Leone, Livermore or Liberia. Why should “my” country’s needs be elevated above another’s? This is the “intellectual” point of view, the conclusion someone arrives at upon thinking deeply and recognizing the truth of George Bernard Shaw’s statement, “Patriotism is the belief your country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.”
Of course, it warrants noting that the affected West African nations have behaved just as “selfishly,” sometimes quarantining large areas within their borders to contain the Ebola. And neighboring African countries have been “selfish” enough to completely isolate the affected nations. We also might wonder how selfish it actually is if our concern is for others, our fellow Americans. But, no matter, Chamary has a point.
Not a good point — but a point.
Now let’s see if he actually believes it.
An easy way to find out is to ask: would you apply the same unselfish standard to your home? Would you temporarily house a couple of the people from affected nations who’ve been allowed to enter the U.S., thus exposing your children to them on a long-term basis?
When I briefly corresponded with Chamary and asked the above, his said it was a false dilemma that he was “unwilling to waste time addressing.” But it’s sufficiently analogous. Everything said about foreigners relative to Americans applies to outsiders relative to family members. We’re all just people; “undocumented family members” are children of God just like your documented family members. And what is God’s perspective (atheists can view this as a thought exercise), which is the highest perspective? He doesn’t gaze upon our blue orb and deem the Smiths more important than the Johnsons. Why, we could even say that “family patriotism is the belief your family should be prioritized over all other families because you were born in it,” couldn’t we, Mr. Barack Bernard Chamary? So why subordinate outsiders’ needs to your family’s?
This analogy is especially apt because a nation is an extension of the tribe, which in turn is an extension of the family. Yet it’s safe to say that Chamary, Obama and their fellow travelers would not endanger their families as they have the country. Why the different standards?
I suggest that their “enlightened,” citizen-of-the-world perspective isn’t the fruits of intellectualism at all, but is merely what feels right. The difference is that they’re emotionally attached to their families.
They’re not emotionally attached to America.
This is for a simple reason.
America is not their family.
Their pride lies elsewhere
Such people are not just internationalists; they sometimes feel more of a kinship with foreign nations than the one whose passport they happen to carry. And in the case of Obama, the antipathy for his passport place is so profound that he aims to eat the cubs. Or, at least, replace them via immigration.
This is why, even though a nation without secure borders is like a house without walls, Obama will keep his walls and open our borders. For some Americans this will mean death from disease and at the hands of illegal-alien criminals, but Obama doesn’t care. Lions, even cowardly ones, do what they do. And we’re not his family.