Tuesday, October 23, 2007

They're At It Again

The politics of fear has once again taken center stage in Loudoun and Prince William counties. Prince William's board's recent vote to withhold as many services as possible from those who cannot prove they are "legal" residents of the county reflects a growing willingness to put a mean face on Uncle Sam. However, a scared and cowering face would be more appropriate.

As our nation staggers across the world stage in a rampage of fury we claim the right to change governments and plant democracy where ever we wish. We assert that as the last superpower (an assertion I will dispute at a later time) it is our responsibility to lead the world into battle for the sake of making the world safe for the United States ~ and as an afterthought, for the rest of the freedom loving people of the world. We're a superpower that is afraid of littler countries.

Here at home, the biggest economic engine in the world - willing to squander 12 Billion dollars per month on the twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan according to Bush's most recent request - is frightened of the economic drain caused by about 12 million people who are here illegally (a distinction that I will dispute at a later time.) No one knows how many of this supposed 12 million are in Prince William County, but you'd think from the words of the politicians they are accountable for most of the problems in the county.

Here in Loudoun County one of the candidates for Sheriff in the upcoming election claims that illegal immigration is the biggest problem we face. Mr. Ahlermann, a former Loudoun County deputy, runs largely on an anti-immigrant platform. Ahlermann might protest that he is not against immigration as long as it is legal immigration. But can we really believe that if a sheriff runs on a platform of combatting illegal immigrants and all the problems they bring (poorly substantiated at best) his duputies will not treat anyone they encounter who has that south-of-the-border look as a potential illegal immigrant?

Immigration issues facing the Unites States cannot be solved by preventing non-citizens without visas from using our libraries. The issues are complex and largely the result of our generally selfish foreign and economic policies. When we citizens decide to look for true solutions instead of political slight of hand we will have to confront the degree to which this is a situation of our own making.

The only scary thing about solving our immigration issues is that manditory look in the mirror.

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