Towards A Good Samaritan World

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


John Derbyshire asks:

Flip on Fox News any night of the week and watch those clips of foreigners streaming across the southern desert into America by the hundreds and thousands. Doesn't patriotism imply some concern for your nation's borders?

On the contrary. I take great patriotic pride in America's tradition of immigration. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." Border restrictions are a quiet repudiation of some of the finest aspects of America's history and ethos. It is precisely my patriotism, the confidence that I have in this country, the appeal of its culture and ideals, its deep and fundamental strength, and my belief that it has and desire that it should continue to lead the world towards better things that make me believe that we can undertake the challenge of dissolving the world's greatest injustice. That other people want to build their lives here is something in which I take great pride. And it is because I love my country, because I believe there are great virtues in my country, that I want more people to have the chance to experience it, to enjoy it, to participate in it. I'll go so far as to say that one's attitude to immigration may be the best litmus test for the distinction between patriotism and that lower emotion, nationalism. If you love America, you welcome others in; if you just dislike non-Americans, you want to keep them out. Derbyshire is utterly wrong.


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