Matt Lewis

Exposing anti-immigration reform motives and canards

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

My colleague (and alter ego) Mickey Kaus has asked his readers to create videos pushing back against immigration reform. It’s an innovative idea, but also one fraught with danger, inasmuch as it exposes their true motives. The first video is in.

Here are a couple of screen grabs, with my commentary below:

First, I don’t care what Ted Kennedy said in 1965. Second, I couldn’t care less about preserving the “ethnic mix” of America.

To paraphrase what Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference, conservatism isn’t about conserving pigmentation, it’s about ideas. As long as America is free and virtuous, honors the rule of law, and advances the values of Western Civilization, why does ethnicity matter?

And why is this being pointed out, anyway?

It’s fun to fear monger the fact that whites will likely lose majority status, but it’s hard to blame immigrants when white Americans are dying faster than they are having babies. The problem, of course, is that whites have stopped having babies. (So get to it!)

Of course, it’s not just the user-generated videos that are providing fodder. Here’s a recent tweet from David Frum that deserves comment:

Presumably, Frum is referring to the post-World War II era. This is problematic for several reasons. First, immediately after WWII, the U.S. essentially had the world market to itself, inasmuch as most of our international competitors had been destroyed in the war. You think that might be a factor in the rise of middle class wages?

Second, there are many reasons why our economy has shifted since the Ozzie & Harriet days, including advanced technology which empowers American companies to produce goods more efficiently (i.e., with less overhead and less workers.)

And, of course, there is the inconvenient fact that the statistics pointing to a decline in middle class wages are misleading. They do not account for government transfers or in-kind benefits (which have risen dramatically since the 50s). Additionally, family arrangements have changed, but government’s methodology of counting “tax units” instead of “households” skew the data.

The interesting thing about this debate is how conservatives leading the charge for immigration reform (mainly Rubio, but also Rep. Paul Ryan, et al.) are being cast as traitors, while a good Democrat like Mickey Kaus — and a “conservative reformer” like Frum — are among those pushing back hardest. And often, from the left.