Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flying by the Seat of Our Pants

Most of us attribute our values to others whether we realize it or not.  By that I mean that we believe those we come in contact with share similar values and morals.

If, for example, you are the kind of person who believes in personal liberty you might find yourself saying something like: "Well I don't believe smoking is good for you but it's a free country and it's your life."  If, on the other hand, you believe that the collective mind (the government) is wiser than the individual then you most likely support the passage of strict no-smoking laws, aggressive anti-smoking ad campaigns, punitive cigarette taxes and a culture which ostracizes smokers-- all in an effort to assert your belief that smoking is bad and should be stopped.  No matter what the individual thinks.

Don't get me wrong.  I grew up with parents who smoked and remember vividly the suffocating cloud filling the car and the dirty job of having to clean the ashtray.  As an adult I remember the stench permeating my clothes after a cross country flight just one row away from the smoking section.  I am not a fan.  But my view of the world celebrates personal choice.  If you want to smoke, by all means,  go ahead.

So when those on the left equate border security with racism many who support secure borders stop to examine their own motives.  No American wants to be accused of racism after all.  It is a tried and true weapon the left employs.  Accuse.  Change the subject.  Take a herculean leap of logic:   If you don't support gay marriage you hate all gays.  If you don't think the government should pay for abortions you hate women.  If you want a secure border you are the denying rights of illegal aliens and are committing an act of racism.  If you don't agree with President Obama...well you get the idea.

The problem with the name-calling is that it diverts us from an important public debate on national security.  Countries have borders for a reason.  To protect their citizens.  And for me the border issue is a matter of national security.  Last year alone, Border Patrol arrested 800 Middle Easterners illegally crossing the Arizona border.  According to the Department of Homeland Security's own statistics the arrest of 800 illegal Middle Easterner immigrants means that 2400 successfully crossed the border into the United States.  Free to take pilot's lessons if they want, without scrutiny, under the radar so to speak.

Now that is the debate we should be having.  

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