Monday, May 22, 2006

The irrelevance of evidence

The title of this post comes from Thomas Sowell's excellent book, The Vision of the Anointed. I know we're supposed to be selling DONKEY CONS here (buy TWO!), but I sincerely wish every American would read Dr. Sowell's book, which in my opinion (and I believe Lynn agrees) is the most devastating analysis of liberalism ever written.

Witness the liberal in debate. Reason? Logic? Why bother, when you can tell cute little anecdotes:
"Life is beautiful, the world is marvelous, and I love everyone!!!"
My 7-year-old niece -- 7 1/2, she insists -- e-mailed me that message a few weeks back, a reflection of the boundless enthusiasm only a small child is able to muster. ...

You see, my niece, Maria Irene Vazquez, is a multi-ethnic child, a "black-xican," as I call her. My sister is married to a man who was born in Mexico.
In case you haven't guessed, the subject is illegal immigration. It seems that little Maria's paternal grandfather came to the United States illegally in 1983. And can you guess -- can you? huh? -- what this proves, at least to the satisfaction of a liberal?

It proves, according to Cynthia Tucker, that anyone who wants to enforce America's immigration laws is guilty of "an unwholesome nativism, if not outright racism." And if you disagree with such a conclusion, well ... you're probably an evil bigot like D.A. King.

Ms. Tucker says Mr. King is guilty of "exclusionary rhetoric," just like those "right-wing Republicans in the U.S. House, who would make illegal border crossings a felony."

Anecdotes can prove anything, of course. For instance, how about Ingmar Guandique? Charming fellow, loved to visit scenic Rock Creek Park here in Washington, D.C., where his love of his new homeland was expressed by his repeated efforts to rape American women. Alas, these women -- perhaps motivated by "unwholesome nativism" -- were not flatttered by the ardent advances of this illegal alien. When last heard from, Ingmar was in prison, although he seems to have beaten the rap for murdering Chandra Levy.

Who was it that made us aware that Chandra's suspected killer was an illegal alien? Oh, that was Michelle Malkin, but I suppose she's also notorious for her "unwholesome nativism, if not outright racism." After all, Malkin has cited D.A King on the subject of illegal immigration, and D.A. King blogs at VDare.com, which also runs Malkin's column -- what more proof does Cynthia Tucker need?

But of course, when Ms. Tucker hunts around for examples of "nativism" and "racism," she doesn't single out Malkin, whose parents came here (legally) from the Philippines. No, no -- that won't do. Ms. Tucker instead singles out D.A. King, a middle-aged white guy from Georgia -- as perfect a "target" as 7-year-old Maria is a "mascot." ("Targets" and "mascots" being categories of the liberal vision that Dr. Sowell analyzes in his excellent book.)

And once she gets a white guy from Georgia in her sights, Ms. Tucker inevitably resorts to a favorite mode of liberal discourse, a venerated species of argument by bad analogy, the "It's Just Like Selma" trick:
One of my e-mail correspondents includes the word "wetback" every time he writes me on immigration. Others sprinkle enough uses of "they" and "them" and "those people" in their missives to remind me of the rhetoric used by white Southerners who resisted desegregation in the 1960s.
Hmmmm. Let's see, Ms. Tucker apparently wishes us to believe that:

Black people, whose ancestors were brought here against their will 300 or 400 years ago, legally classified as chattel property, whose status as citizens was attained only as a consequence of the bloodiest war in American history, and who in the 1960s peacefully protested for equality under the law as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution ...

... are analogous to ..

Citizens of foreign nations, who came here of their own free will, quite recently, knowingly and willfully in violation of American law, avoiding the well-established procedures by which they might have immigrated here legally, unlawfully obtaining employment under false pretenses, at wages far in excess of what they might have earned in their own nations, and who now angrily protest that they have a "right" to permanent legal residency, a "right" which is expressly denied by law, a "right" denied by the practice of every nation on earth, including Mexico.

Excuse me for thinking that this perhaps is not an apt analogy. Being a "white Southerner," I suppose the liberal mode of discourse automatically invalidates my opinions, even if I was only in kindergarten in Austell, Ga., in 1964. But I digress ....

The whole point of Ms. Tucker's '60s nostalgia trip is that she can detect "nativism" and "racism" by the language employed by opponents of illegal immigration, to wit:
My e-mail box had been crammed with messages describing illegal workers from south of the border as "criminals" who bring down property values in respectable neighborhoods, grifters who exploit social services that rightfully belong to taxpaying citizens, and gate-crashers who refuse to learn our language or customs.
A-ha! The secret nativist/racist code word, "gate-crashers"! This is the key to identifying the xenophobic bigots, according to Ms. Tucker. With her assistance, and through the miracle of Google, I have found just such a dangerous fellow. He writes:
The Bush administration is pushing a program to legalize "guest workers." But what is a guest? Someone you have invited. People who force their way into your home without your permission are called gate crashers.
Not only does this hateful person use the term "gate crashers," he also compares illegal aliens to violent criminals:
Since existing immigration laws are not being enforced, how can anyone say that it would not do any good to try? People who get caught illegally crossing the border into the United States pay no penalty whatever. They are sent back home and can try again. What if bank robbers who were caught were simply told to give the money back and not do it again? What if murderers who were caught were turned loose and warned not to kill again?
By now some readers may be wondering who this evil hatemonger is, and I'm sure that Ms. Tucker would like me to identify him, so that she may denounce him for his "unwholesome nativism, if not outright racism" toward her Hispanic relatives.

But what would be gained by that? If she won't listen to D.A. King or Michelle Malkin, why would Cynthia Tucker listen to an "outright racist" named Thomas Sowell?

-- McCAIN

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