Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Conservative vs. Conservative

John Derbyshire over at National Review mentions the case of some Mexican immigrants who were burned out of their house by some people who don't like Mexicans very much.

Derbyshire's point is that the reporting of the incident never mentions whether the victims are legal or illegal immigrants. To him, this is a vital point -- sort of whether they should be considered human or not. I give Derbyshore credit -- he comes across as a normal, compassionate human who feels that he has to shoehorn his normal feelings into an ideological mold. There's far too much of that going on nowadays, and has been simce I got interested in politics in the 1960s.

The "illegal immigrant" business points up an interesting conflict among the various flavors of conservative. On one hand, the "classic" conservatives say "keep the immigrants out". California's Proposition 187 (which says basically "no state services for illegal immigrants") is a "classic" position. However, we also now have the "cheap labor conservatives", who just love illegal immigrants. Illegals work cheap and don't dare complain.

It's also a conflict of ideology vs pragmatism. Check who does most of the housekeeping, childcare, and lawn care. When it comes to getting their own lawn mowed, an amazing number of people jump into the "cheap labor" camp. Our immigration laws are a horrible mess and the enforcement is a disaster (made worse by shipping everything over to the "Department of Homeland Security") Nothing is going to get done until some of those "cheap labor conservatives" (some of whom consider themselves to be quite liberal!) get busted for employing illegals for child or lawn care.

(Link via TBOGG)

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