Nativist — the new political slur

“When facts and logic fail,
a scoundrel resorts to character assassination.” (Unknown)

A new slur is making the rounds today in the debate over illegal aliens. “Nativist.” It is a favorite of finger pointing liberals and the mainstream media and is designed to label and minimize anyone who objects to giving the illegal aliens a free pass and a short road to citizenship. For them it is intended to connote an ignorant, intolerant, white trash bully thus rendering those with whom they disagree valueless — and their opinions even less.

That seems to be a particular habit of the left for the past decade or so. Collectively, they have been without a solution for twenty years and seem to exist solely for the purpose of criticizing the solutions of others. And one of their favorite tactics is to slander others by branding them with simplistic, but truly ugly, characterizations — racist, sexist, homophobe, and now nativist. It is reminiscent of the bleak days of Joe McCarthy who labeled all those who disagreed as “communists.”

So, in this day and age, one cannot doubt the guilt of the young men from Duke without being labeled a racist. Never mind that the allegations of the stripper reeked of implausibility and the prosecutor reeked of political opportunism. Or, one cannot challenge the wisdom or feasibility of forced bussing of school children without being labeled as racist and elitists. Never mind, that in the end the experiment proved worthless, and in some instances harmful.

And today, in Oregon, one cannot object to the concept of gay marriage or a “civil union” which replicates all of the rights and duties of marriage, without being labeled a “homophobe.” Never mind that no one, particularly those legislators who pressed for its passage, has the slightest idea about the depth of the legal quagmire that they will create.

And if this form of character assassination were not bad enough, those who leap so quickly to its use are also the same people who routinely invent new words and phrases to “soften” the image of those who are actually in the wrong. So “serial sexual predators” become “recidivists”, “terrorists” become “guerilla fighters” and “illegal aliens” become “undocumented workers.”

In the aftermath of the Fresh Del Monte raid, the Oregonian carried story after story about the raid. Most were either sympathetic to the illegals, critical of Fresh Del Monte or denunciations of the federal authorities who conducted the raid. Not one suggested that those here illegally should be held to account. Not one suggested the extraordinary burden these illegals place upon the justice system or the welfare and healthcare systems. Not one discussed the burden imposed on our education system — particularly when most speak little or no English.

If you should you raise those questions, if you should express your dismay, or suggest laws passed generations ago should be enforced then you are labeled a racist — or now a “nativist.” And the reason for such a reaction is clear. Those who use such labels have no answers for these legitimate questions. To avoid the questions they engage in character assassination. By engaging in character assassination, they suggest that neither the question nor the questioner is worthy of a response. How rude is that?

But let’s get back to the new slur — “nativist.” I checked with my old friend, Merriam-Webster and it defines “nativism” thusly:

“Function: noun
1 : a policy of favoring native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants
2 : the revival or perpetuation of an indigenous culture especially in opposition to acculturation”

So do you think that definition applies to those who opposed illegal immigration? Do you think that a nation of immigrants opposes immigration, or do they just oppose illegal immigration? Do you think a nation of immigrants who for generation after generation have promoted assimilation are guilty of “perpetuating an indigenous culture”, that they are trying to oppose acculturation?

The fact that people want their borders protected, want their limited resources directed to their citizens’ health, welfare and education first, want their jails and justice system freed from the burden of foreign felons, and want their election system free of fraud by those who are neither citizens nor legal residents, does not make them “nativists.” It merely makes them rational.

By the way, the author of the opening quote isn’t really unknown, it just makes it look more erudite. I made it up.