If you want to gauge how important an issue is to the Left, the best indicator is to observe how it reacts when the issue is raised. Last Friday, Ralph Peters (Lt. Col., USA, retired) penned a column for Front Page in which he opined that extending voting rights to eleven million illegal immigrants currently residing in this country would be a disaster for America. In response, Terry Krepel, a member of George Soros’ steno pool Media Matters, penned an outraged response slamming Peters for raising such a ridiculous, inflammatory issue. How dare he!
Ralph Peters doesn’t actually need anyone coming to his defense. He’s a real American hero who spent ten years in military intelligence defending this nation in ways that journalists like Terry Krepel could not imagine. Legendary novelist W.E.B. Griffin has singled Peters out as one of the “new breed” protecting our nation, who – in Griffin’s words – wrote the best analysis of our war on terror that Griffin has ever read. But, whatever Griffin, me or anyone else thinks of Ralph Peters’ service record doesn’t matter much to the Left. They’re not going to treat him as a worthy adversary with whom they might disagree. They’re going to fight back using any means at their disposal, employing the very tactics that they accuse conservatives and libertarians of using: invective, distortion and hyperbole.
To that end, Media Matters tries to make the case that Peters is a racist, extremist, blood-thirsty lunatic. Indeed, Media Matters dedicates a fair chunk of space chronicling what Peters has said and written. Peters has been an unapologetic advocate of taking and keeping America’s gloves off while fighting the war on terror. There’s good reason for his position: Peters believes that the war on terror can actually be won, if the West has the courage to pursue victory fearlessly, absent the self-imposed hobbles of political correctness, handicaps that do not constrain our enemies.
On the other hand, the Left believes that America can never defeat the terrorists because, to them, terrorism is the logical, inevitable reaction to American arrogance, imperialism and greed. Unless we reform our ways, the “disadvantaged” classes in the world, who have a legitimate gripe in their view (although, they will admit, a rather poor way of expressing their opinion) will continue to blow innocent people up in suicidal fireballs of righteous indignation. In contrast, Peters views the war on terror in much the same way that Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman viewed the War Between the States: as a conflict that ought to be pursued ruthlessly, because doing so will end a brutal war more quickly and once it is over – to paraphrase Grant’s hopeful, century-old words – the reasonable majorities on both sides could then return to the happy task of becoming friends again.
Supporting or attacking Peters’ stance on the best way to fight the war on terror isn’t germane if we are to consider the validity of his views when it comes to immigration policy. However, criticizing Peters’ stance on the war on terror is useful if somebody wants to marginalize any of his other opinions. The gist of Krepel’s riposte, such as it was, involved constructing a straw man of massive proportions so that the flames generated when he burnt it down would illuminate the supposed folly of Peters’ position on immigration beyond any reasonable doubt. Krepel believes – and if you read Peters’ piece, you’ll have as hard a time reaching this conclusion as I did – that Peters’ thinks illegal aliens are going to be given the right to vote without becoming citizens. In Krepel’s words:
“Nobody, let alone Obama, is proposing to allow undocumented immigrants to vote. Peters barely attempts to make the argument that creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, who would then be allowed to vote, is a bad thing. But Peters is on a roll: No voting rights for illegals! Mob rule! Never mind that President Reagan’s granting amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants didn’t exactly result in ‘mob rule.’”
Of course Reagan’s “amnesty” didn’t grant citizenship to illegal undocumented alien immigrants. What the Gipper actually did was to grant some illegal aliens “temporary resident status,” which did not include citizenship and the right to vote. That’s quite a bit different that president Obama’s plans. As part of his immigration plan, the president said that he would support “…a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.”
Peters didn’t argue that Obama was going to pass out voter registration cards to illegals. Any discerning, intelligent reader understood that Peters’ concern is about making illegals citizens – as the president has suggested we do – and therefore granting them votes. I’m not sure why those particular dots needs connecting, but apparently they do, at least at Media Matters.
The only part of Peters’ column that I would disagree with is when he discussed the possibility of mob rule in the future. It rather looks like we’re already there. Ramming health care through a reluctant Congress and past a disgusted populace required the kind of arm-twisting, bullying and mind-numbing populist propaganda that are the hallmarks of mob rule. It’s not the sort of mob rule that features vigilantes toting torches, throwing stones and shouting threats, but is instead a genteel mob rule of the political sort. Bullies are bullies, whether they’re riding on horseback carrying a noose they hope to fill with a deserving neck, or whether they’re strolling down the streets of Washington clutching a gavel that appears to have come from the Paul Bunyan collection of legislative essentials.
Immigration reform may be stalled for the time being, but only a fool would think that it’s been forgotten by the administration. The payoff is just too tempting. If even a few million illegal immigrants get citizenship, that’s a few million new voters who are – for the most part – poor, not very well educated and are therefore badly in need of government goodies. Might they therefore be expected to vote for Democrats — the party of big government — in overwhelming numbers? They’d be foolish to do anything else. That’s an end game worth the fight. Ralph Peters understands that and, based on the vehemence of their reaction when somebody raises the possibility, so does the Left.