In August, I took a look at how a debate over “birthright citizenship” was emerging in the mainstream. A few years ago, ending “birthright citizenship” for illegal aliens was seriously discussed only in radical circles. The same was true of taking on legal immigration.
The political landscape on immigration has radically changed since the waning years of the Bush administration. According to Politico, as many as 17 Senate seats currently held by Democratic and Republican supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform” could switch hands in the 2010 midterm elections.
Consider the following: in January 2011, “comprehensive immigration reform” could have as few as 30 supporters in the Senate, down from 46 in 2007, and shrunk from a highwater mark of 73 in 2006.
The decline began in the Bush years and has continued throughout the Obama administration and the last two sessions of Congress. It is not due to any unwillingness on the part of Democrats to pass the amnesty of their dreams. Harry Reid will be making a renewed push for the DREAM Act next week.
It is wholly attributable to the grassroots pressure on the Republican Party and the willingness of the conservative base to punish the traitors within their ranks. Instead of abandoning the GOP, conservatives and nationalists decided to purge its Blue establishment and replace them with Tea Party candidates who are tougher on immigration.
Lisa Murkowski was the third incumbent Republican supporter of amnesty to fall in primaries this election cycle. She will be one of five Republican Senators leaving office who once supported “comprehensive immigration reform.” On the Democratic side of the aisle, Blanche Lincoln is expected to fall to John Boozman in Arkansas and Michael Bennet to Ken Buck in Colorado.
Roy Beck now confidently states that “there is no chance for an amnesty” in the next Congress regardless of which party controls the House and Senate. The political winds have shifted too far in our direction.
Having won the battle over “comprehensive immigration reform,” NumbersUSA is moving on to advocating a “time out” on legal immigration and congressional hearings on “birthright citizenship.” After rallying Whites around opposing illegal immigration, Beck is now leading the mobilized masses into more controversial territory.
There are a number of important lessons to draw from this experience:
1.) Those who abandoned the mainstream wasted the last five years. The White Nationalist movement has nothing to show for its efforts during that time period.
2.) Those who stayed inside the mainstream and worked to incrementally push the national debate on immigration in a more radical direction succeeded. They killed “comprehensive immigration reform” and laid the foundation for an attack on legal immigration.
3.) Starting where people find themselves today, rallying them around an uncontroversial position, and leading them to the next front when trust has been established is what works.
4.) Starting where you are at today, not your audience, and attempting to rally your audience around an extremely controversial position does not work.
5.) Communicating with people in terms of their own experience works. Treating people like objects without thoughts of their own does not work.
6.) Those who disliked the Republican Party under George W. Bush but chose to work within the system and purge the establishment succeeded.
7.) Those who abandoned the system failed to construct an alternative to the status quo. When the White backlash against the Obama administration finally came, it was directed into the Tea Party, not the White Nationalist movement.
Moral of the story:
From 2005 to 2010, the radical realists got something. The rhetorical radicals got nothing. From 2010 to 2015, radical realists will continue to push the envelope in the mainstream. The rhetorical radicals will sit idly by on the fringe, mired in their perennial debates on the internet, and will get nothing a second time.
There is a huge difference between effective action and ineffective rhetoric. The former poses a threat to the status quo. The latter does not.
How many years are you willing to let pass by before you decide to start doing something effective with your time?