Michael Barone's shallow, 2470-word logical fallacy ("A Nation Built for Immigrants", WSJ)

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In the Wall Street Journal, Michael Barone offers "A Nation Built for Immigrants" [1], a 2470-word article designed to make elites feel good about the mass immigration they support. The entire article is a logical fallacy: it claims that current immigration will work out just like former immigration did. That claim is hardly certain because the U.S. and those immigrating here are quite different from the situation a century or more ago. "Past performance is not an indicator of future results", especially if the fundamentals have changed.

See the immigration tradition fallacy page for a more detailed discussion of the fallacy Barone engages in. Barone barely even acknowledges the points made at that link.

The closest he comes is this:

The elites of 100 years ago responded with aggressive programs of, in Theodore Roosevelt's word, Americanization. Public schools taught American values and made sure that immigrants' children could read and write English. Henry Ford ran citizenship classes of the immigrant masses who worked in his giant factories.

...But what really assimilated foreign-born Americans and reunited the American North and South was World War II. It was an annealing event, soldering together different American ores, in a way that nothing short of total war can do.

...Assimilation seems to be proceeding, but less vigorously than in the first half of the 20th century, and there is no event on the horizon with the annealing capacity of World War II.

Indeed. But at least we can take comfort in Barone's claim that "[a]ssimilation seems to be proceeding."

For a clue that assimilation isn't proceeding as it did in the past and that today's situation is markedly different from the past, imagine what would happen if WalMart tried to run citizenship classes for their immigrant workers. How quickly would they get sued by the American Civil Liberties Union? How quickly would Univision (by one measure the top U.S. network [2]) conduct a boycott that would bring them back into line? It's a completely different U.S. than it was a century ago, but Barone refuses to acknowledge that.

Barone's article is as shallow as a 1950s propaganda filmstrip, including lines like "What lies ahead for our migrant nation?" If Barone is going to offer a history lesson, he should at least get the fundamentals of the U.S. right: we aren't a nation of immigrants, we're a nation of citizens.

Barone also says:

America was peopled in very large part by surges of migration, immigrant and internal, which lasted only one or two generations and whose beginning and endings were mostly unpredicted. Some of these movements were prompted by economic incentives. But when large numbers of people uproot themselves, there is almost always something else at work. They are migrating to pursue dreams or to escape nightmares, to build new communities on which they can put their stamp.

Calling that a child's view of history would be an insult to children. Barone seemingly has all the space he could use, but he doesn't use any of it to discuss what role NAFTA played in millions of Mexicans moving to the U.S. over the past few decades (of course, NAFTA was strongly supported by those in the WSJ, profits-at-any-price sphere). Barone doesn't look into whether demographic change - something Americans never voted on - was designed to "elect a new people": dilute the votes of troublesome Americans with an influx of more tractable foreigners. Was one George W Bush goal to increase the number of people in the U.S. who could be demagogued on social issues? Was one goal to eventually make Latinos "become white" in order to - decades later - be better able to compete with the Democratic Party? Was one goal something like a North American Union (a previously-secret cable shows the Bush administration was working on something like that)?

And, of course, Barone doesn't look into the business and social aspects, as globalist America-domiciled business got tired of pesky American workers and brought in foreign labor to lower their wages and workplace conditions. Discussing that wouldn't fit in with Barone's goal of comforting those who want to profit from massive immigration in one way or another.

Want to do something about this? Write @MichaelBarone with your thoughts. Even better, ask him questions like, "what would happen if WalMart offered citizenship classes to their employees as Henry Ford did?" Or, look up his supporters - those who tweet his articles or who send him positive tweets - and make the points above to them. On those tweets, cc @MichaelBarone so he knows you're trying to undercut him to his audience.

[1] online.wsj . com/article/SB10001424127887324492604579083080268106684.html

[2] miamiherald . com/2013/07/22/3514380/univision-snags-no-1-tv-rating.html

Univision expects to claim a coveted title this month [July 2013]: the most-watched network on television.

The Spanish-language broadcaster leads the July ratings race for adult viewers under 50, beating out the “Big Four” for the No. 1 spot in prime time. On Monday, Univision launched a bragging blitz with an open letter to ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC declaring “Número Uno is the new Number One” and ending with the sign-off line: “We are the new American reality.”