The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Anchor Babies

The Democrats are being transformed into a Leftist party, far from the proud liberal tradition that defined the party over the last half century. One of the key tenets of Leftists is to control any speech that might shed light on the poverty of their ideas, the weakness of their proposed policies, and the dishonesty of their accusations against those who disagree with them. Nothing exemplifies this more than the bogus debate about "anchor babies"—now arbitrarily defined as an "offensive" term.

The left's strategy is brilliant. Don't address the underlying issue, the rampant problems associated with illegal immigration, and the need to develop meaningful, bipartisan methods of managing the problem. Rather, the left and the Dems work very, very hard to put GOP candidates on the defensive, defending themselves from ridiculous accusations of racism and xenophobia because they use the term. Well done!

Jonathan Tobin comments on this:
As the New York Times reports today, both Trump and GOP presidential rival Jeb Bush have come under attack from Democrats for using the term “anchor babies.” The term refers to the children of illegal immigrants who are born in this country and thus have a constitutional right to citizenship. Immigrant rights group consider the term offensive. They also are outraged about the use of the term “illegals” which they also see as a term of abuse.

Trump’s incendiary statements about Mexico and his leading the Republican Party down the rabbit hole of debate about the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship has been counter-productive. But the moment at which these terms become the focus of discussion is the point at which a serious debate descends into the realm of politically correct nonsense.

As the Times notes, the American Heritage Dictionary included the term “anchor baby” in their 2011 edition but was subsequently forced by protests to term label it as an offensive term. This is foolishness.

The law has always been interpreted as granting the right to citizenship of any child born on American soil even if their parents are foreigners. I think it would be wrong to change that now. Americans have always been a nation of immigrants and birthright citizenship is part of that tradition.

But it would be absurd to pretend that infants born to illegal immigrants don’t play a role in their parents’ efforts to stay in the country. Moreover the term is clearly neutral in its language and devoid of anything that even implies a racial or ethnic slur. It merely refers to the fact that those born under such circumstances serve as an anchor that gives their relatives an edge in escaping the consequences of coming here illegally.

Even more ridiculous is the effort to transform “illegal” into a hate word.
But "ridiculous" seems to work rather well when it puts reasonable people on the defensive. And when media allies allow the left's accusations to be used without critical analysis, all the better.

I don't like Donald Trump. He would make a poor president. But the GOP can learn one thing from him. When confronted with political correctness, including accusations of using "offensive" language defined solely by the Left, don't get defensive. Fight back by calling out the accuser. Insist on using the "offensive" term, repeated and without apology. Define what it means, why it's appropriately descriptive and not offensive. Also, describe the meta-tactics of the Left, so that unsophisticated voters understand why the accusations are being made and the cynical politics that underlie them.

And ask—who made the Left the final arbiter on what's offensive and what's not? Fight back—hard.


This comment on political correctness by Brendan O'Neill is worthy of note:
Some apologists for PC describe it as simply ‘being nice’: ‘institutionalised politeness’. There’s nothing remotely nice about PC. It is the friendly slave-owner; it suppresses open, honest discussion; it obfuscates the divisions and tensions in modern society through stymying the expression of certain ideas; it is the ornate lid on a society which, however civil we make our speech, remains fractured, sometimes tense, packed with clashing interests that will never be resolved by niceness.
There is, of course, language that is offensive—and it should be condemned. But language (specific words and phrases) becomes offensive by consensus over relatively long periods of time. It cannot and should not be defined in real-time by self-appointed Leftist arbiters of what is offensive and what is not. The PC crowd uses accusations of offensiveness as a bludgeon to stifle debate and coerce good people to stay quiet. That is far more offensive than any single word or phrase.