Considering Trump on Immigration

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

George Will writes a must-read column against Donald Trump's insulting, xenophobic, and liberty-threatening proposals regarding illegal immigrants. After correctly noting that, "To will an end is to will the means for the end" (as well as a few of Trump's other anti-liberty positions), Will elaborates on some of these proposals:

Trump evidently plans to deport almost 10 percent of California's workers and 13 percent of that state's K-12 students. He is, however, at his most Republican when he honors family values: He proposes to deport intact families, including children who are citizens. "We have to keep the families together," he says, "but they have to go." Trump would deport everyone, then "have an expedited way of getting them ["the good ones"; "when somebody is terrific"] back." Big Brother government will identify the "good" and "terrific" from among the wretched refuse of other teeming shores.
Will elaborates further on the costs of such policies in more than just monetary terms. Although I think there is a strong case for citizenship reform, I otherwise agree with most of what Will says.

As a bonus, or if you are too pressed for time, I recommend following the link for an accompanying editorial cartoon which I think perfectly sums up the Trump candidacy.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Over at Amy Peikoff's blog (dont let it go) there is some good discussion about immigration and why it is not xenophobic to oppose turning the US into a 3d world country or Eruope into a collection of Islamic states.


Gus Van Horn said...


(1) I never said that we should have NO control of our borders.

(2) By the same token, I disagree with the premise that an open borders policy -- coupled with ending entitlements and citizenship reform -- would result in any of those things.

(3) Even if I believed both of those things, I am not sure I'd want "the Donald" as my standard-bearer.

(4) I am aware of the discussion at Amy Peikoff's blog; others have mentioned it to me. I am quite busy and may or may not have time to get to it. There has also been a discussion of this issue on the Harry Binswanger Letter mailing list, and there is a short post on the HBL blog I urge any Objectivist to read on, "Why Objectivists Disagree on Immigration."

(5) It is not completely clear to me the best way to get from where we are now, immigration policy-wise, to where we ought to be -- not that we're aren't well on the way to joining the third world with or without immigration.

All that said, I see little point in insulting others who disagree on an issue where we are so far from being able to implement anything even remotely close to a principled solution.


Anonymous said...

The discussion at Amy's blog is not just another Objectivist discussion on immigration. It shows an awareness among a section of Objectivists that the mainstream O'ist position is *wrong* and that therefore there is something wrong in Objectivism itself (ie rationalism). Ed Powell has put forth better arguments and thinking on this subject in a few comments than the *entire* Objectivist movement has put forth in its entire history (and his comments are more important than Ed Mazlish's idea of ideological screening which is non-essential in today's context). Mr. Powell made one point which I found to be extremely insightful; Objectivism does not have a worked out political science and the Open immigrationists are deducing their position entirely from Rand's theory of rights; this is pure rationalism and is blind to actual history (the concretes). The results (not surprisingly) are the insane views put forth by Binswanger (does he even watch the news) and the slightly less insane views of Biddel, Armstrong, Brook, etc.

Gus, the fact that you won't even read the discussion there (because you don't have time???) makes me view you as an Objectivist version of a Leftist; ie a blind ideologue who is terrified of considering any opinion that could challenge your world view (and thus cause cognitive dissonance). Its as if your entire psychology is shaped by fear. That's the way I read you. I could be wrong, but even though I too am influenced by Rand, when I read milquetoast commentary from you I say to myself if this is an Objectivist, then that movement is never going to capture any culture or create a better future. I get a sense from reading you why Europeans may ultimately die out and go the way of the Neanderthals, and consider themselves "proud individualists" in the process. Very sad.

--John Bott

Gus Van Horn said...


I do not answer to you. I do not owe you an explanation for how I spend my time. I will not be bullied into reading a thread regardless of its merits, good or bad. Generally, when I choose read something, (1) it is because I have determined that it is worth my while, and (2) it is at a time that makes sense to me, given everything else going on in my life.

That said, your ignorant and insulting behavior patently disqualifies you as someone worth listening to about anything in general and Objectivism in particular.

The whole idea that there is something wrong with Objectivism because it isn't completely developed in some field or another strikes me as rationalistic, and the fact that you seem not to understand Binswanger's position at all tells me I am probably on the right track. Understanding a philosophy is difficult. Formulating one is beyond almost anyone. Applying one to every possible field is, I think, impossible to any one person.