by Tom Piatak

Pope Francis said something important in his news conference on the flight back from Kazakhstan: “To defend oneself is not only a right, but it’s also an act of love for the homeland. If someone doesn’t defend something, they don’t love it.”

Francis was talking about the Ukrainians’ defense of their country from the Russian invasion. He would not use the same language to describe efforts to stop illegal immigration, even though he recognizes nations have the right to control their borders. But Francis’ comments actually provide an acute analysis of what has been happening in America for decades, and accelerating over the last two years.

Year after year, a majority of Americans tell pollsters that they want to see immigration curtailed or even reduced to zero. And year after year, these voters are ignored. But the Biden Administration isn’t content with ignoring such voters. It wants to make them, at best, a minority in the land their forebears created.

The Biden Administration has essentially left the southern border of the United States wide open to anyone who can get there and waddle across. As a result, people from all the world are making their way to Mexico and then heading north. Once safely across the Rio Grande, few ever leave, even though they have no legal right to come, or to stay. The Census Department recently calculated that the foreign-born population in the United States is now 45.3 million.

This is not happening by accident, but by design.

Despite assurances from supporters of the Immigration Act of 1965 that their bill would not alter America’s existing ethnic balance, it has now done that to such an extent that anyone raising questions about continuing the radical demographic transformation of America risks being labeled a “racist.” The only safe public response to this artificially induced transformation of our nation is enthusiasm. Caution about radical change in general, a preference for the familiar, an attachment to one’s native place and its people — all of these normal human feelings are now suspect.

Joe Biden showed the rest of us how it’s supposed to be done by recently exulting, before a group of Hispanic politicians, “Y’all are going to own the country, man.” So much for people whose families have been here for centuries. That this re-engineering of America’s population helps the Democrats hasn’t been lost on the likes of Biden. After all, if America had retained the demographics of the 1980 electorate, the Republicans would have won every presidential election since.

It’s tough to work up much sympathy for the Republican politicians who’ve lost elections aa a result of massive demographic shifts in places like California, since those shifts were the result, in part, of the insatiable appetite for ever cheaper labor of key GOP constituents.

But this dramatic demographic transformation has had numerous ill effects on ordinary Americans, even apart from putting continual downward pressure on wages. It has helped fracture what was once a strong and cohesive nation. It has helped make millions of Americans feel like strangers in the places in which they were born. It has helped transform an inventive, creative culture that sought and even attained excellence with an unimaginative, mediocre culture that is mostly focused on producing schlock for the lowest common denominator.

Decades of uninterrupted mass immigration, unfettered free trade, and advancing Cultural Marxism have also combined to produce a fractured country with a growing contempt for a misunderstood or forgotten past and on the verge of being held together by little more than a common currency and fear that any alternative political arrangement would inevitably be worse.

That is what our elites mean when they say, as President Biden did in his recent speech denouncing “MAGA Republicans,“ that “America is an idea.” The words sound pretty, but they aren’t.

If America is a mere “idea,” the fact that whole regions of the country are threatened with being overrun by foreigners or economically blighted need not be matters for concern. If the foreigners are more amenable to the “idea” than the natives have been, or if the economic backbone of a region is somehow at odds with the “idea,” let them go.

Biden is only expressing a bit more clearly the belief that has driven our elites for decades: Something is wrong with Americans who prefer the America of history to the future America on offer from the elites. As Pope Francis noted, “if someone doesn’t defend something, they don’t love it.” Our elites stopped defending our borders, our jobs, and us long ago. They don’t love America, and they don’t love us.

What our elites do love and will defend are the enclaves where they live. As we all just learned, Martha’s Vineyard is not just an “idea.” It’s a real place, inhabited by real people. And because the inhabitants of Martha’s Vineyard have considerable political power, the National Guard removed the illegal aliens flown there by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis within 48 hours.

There’s a lesson here for the rest of us. America is not an “idea,” but a real place inhabited by a real people. The same is true for the parts of America in which we live. We have the same right to use the police power to remove anyone without the legal right to be where we live as the residents of Martha’s Vineyard had. If it’s fair for the “lords,” it’s fair for the “serfs.” Unless, that is, we actually have become a nation of lords and serfs.

About the author

Tom Piatak

Tom Piatak writes from Cleveland, Ohio.

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