The old saying is that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. The concept is timeless and has application across broad swaths of society, including politics. Incrementalism is a well established tactic, particularly by the political Left and judicial activists. The idea is that you need not reach your goal in one fell swoop. It might take longer, but goals can be just as surely, and often more permanently, accomplished in several steps.
The tactic is being effectively applied to basic tenets of American culture. We see it when Supreme Court justices put international precedents on a par with the Constitution when deciding cases. We see it when US troops, who swear allegiance to the Constitution, military officers and military legal code of the United States , are put under the military command authority of foreign armies. We see it when easily understood and universally accepted concepts are perverted. It is hard not to see, particularly this last tactic, as both intentional and designed to undermine US sovereignty.
Consider Tim Graham’s NewsBusters expose of its most recent application by Jorge Ramos, a Univision anchor and the focus of Time Magazine’s, “10 Questions for Jorge Ramos”. His first question is “As a Mexican-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, what is your take on the immigration debate?” His outrageous answer is, “The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, but right now millions of men and women in Arizona and in other parts of the U.S. are not being treated as equals, and I can’t believe that. Countries are judged by the way they treat the most vulnerable, and the most vulnerable population in the U.S. right now is undocumented immigrants.”
The Declaration, indeed, recognizes all men are created equal. This is a foundational principle of the country to which Ramos himself swore allegiance when he became a citizen. Yet nothing in the Declaration lets Ramos ignore US law or advocate for others to do so under the guise of equality. The equality the Declaration recognizes is that there are basic rights belonging to all men which must be equally recognized by all men. Further, no man or government is permitted to violate those rights. Ramos’ notion of equality seems to be that all men must be considered American citizens in order to be equal.
Ramos gratuitously alleges millions in the US are treated less than equally. Such a notion is indefensible. Everyone in the US must obey its laws and the laws of the states in which they are present. Insisting they do so is not unequal treatment. It is the essence of equality. All who break the law must answer to the law.
Equality requires the law to be applied the same to all men, even illegal aliens. Ramos wants illegal aliens to be exempt from some laws. That’s hardly equal. Ramos refuses to have illegal aliens abide by the same 4th Amendment Due Process protections the rest of us must rely on. That’s hardly equal. Illegal aliens and citizens alike are protected from running afoul of law enforcement because they have dark skin and a Hispanic surname. They must first be found or suspected of violating another law before their immigration status is relevant.
Of course, law enforcement might abuse its authority. It has happened before and there are precedents to deal with that. That, too, is part of equality under the law. But one cannot assume because the possibility exists in any given situation, the reality exists in all situations. Ramos’ argument depends on that assumption. It’s not that law enforcement might violate the rights of Hispanics on occasion. He must argue for a routine, near universal, violation of the rights of Hispanics. There is no evidence supporting this conclusion.
Finally, such reasoning requires Ramos to apply as valid a concept he must also condemn as wrong. Law enforcement cannot draw negative conclusions about Hispanics based on heritage but Ramos can draw negative conclusions about law enforcement based on occupation. Once again, that’s hardly equal.
It is precisely such small and incremental devaluations of language and concepts that must be exposed, condemned and corrected if our country’s heritage and strength are to endure. Ramos, and those like him, are ignorant of the most basic concept upon which this country was founded; that all men, even the King, are subject to the law. It is “Lex Rex” (The Law is King) and not “Rex Lex” (The King is Law). Rather than call Ramos on his ignorance, Time celebrates it. Such a disregard for truth by Ramos and Time serves no one, least of all the illegal aliens in our midst.
Allowing such specious reasoning to muddy the waters only means the needed solutions to such a vexing question are put off even longer while small minds rail against the very concepts established for their protection. It also weakens the strength of our nation, the same strength so many come here to be protected by, one ignorant argument at a time …
Crossposted from the Blue Collar Muse blog.