The British writer George Orwell – of Animal Farm and 1984 fame – once remarked, all too accurately, that “some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” This no doubt describes William Kristol’s advocacy for amnesty, in the midst of a raging and deteriorating border crisis which is seeing not only record-high numbers of illegal aliens but also more cases of COVID-19 coming into the United States. In a recent Facebook Live discussion with Ali Noorani, president of the pro-mass-migration National Immigration Forum, Kristol not only proposed essentially pouring gasoline on the fire but also suggested that this would be good for the country.
The one-time chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle, former editor-at-large of the failed magazine The Weekly Standard, and unrelenting Trump critic (on immigration and almost everything else) told Noorani that what America needs is a “liberal, generous, welcoming” immigration policy. By this Kristol means amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and more migration and refugees, because this, apparently, is what “make[s]America, America.”
Kristol complained about much of the current Republican Party’s unwillingness to embrace the kind of pro-amnesty, pro-mass migration nonsense that once was (and to some degree still is) supported by the GOP establishment. The fact that he nostalgically brought up the failed and counter-productive amnesty of 1986 as an example of the good old pre-Trump days of Republican pro-“immigrant” policies shows how little Kristol has learned from history.
Claiming that it would be “ungracious” not to amnesty illegal aliens after their “contributions” during the pandemic, the commentator lent his support to ramming amnesty through via the budget reconciliation process. He emphasized – perhaps trying to sell it to Americans as no big deal – that he is not pushing for “comprehensive immigration reform” (translation: full amnesty for every single illegal alien), but rather “particular things,” such as legalizing and granting citizenship to “Dreamers,” Temporary Permanent Status (TPS) recipients, and farmworkers. Keep in mind that, according to The Hill, this would mean amnestying “up to 10 million people,” and even Noorani’s estimate (which is undoubtedly an underestimate) of 4 to 5 million people was still a significant chunk of the total population living in the U.S. illegally, which FAIR estimated to number 14.5 million as of December 2020.
Kristol framed his support for mass immigration – simultaneously blurring the difference between legal immigrants and illegal ones (using the politically correct euphemism “undocumented”) – in high-sounding terms of decency, kindness, and strengthening our nation through immigrant contributions. But, in February 2017, he revealed his true motivation during an event at the American Enterprise Institute, saying:
“Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in? [I hope] this thing isn’t being videotaped or ever shown anywhere. Whatever tiny, pathetic future I have is going to totally collapse. You can make a case that America has been great because every — I think John Adams said this — basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two or three generations of hard work everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled — whatever. Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico, who really want to work hard and really want to succeed and really want their kids to live better lives than them and aren’t sort of clipping coupons or hoping that they can hang on and meanwhile grew up as spoiled kids and so forth.”
In other words, rather than trying to help struggling blue collar Americans, Kristol not only slanders them as “lazy” and “spoiled,” but proposes that we leave them to languish in a world of poverty, lack of opportunity, opioid addiction, etc., while essentially replacing them with superior, hard-working foreigners. The author of this blog, himself an immigrant, finds Kristol’s view on this repugnant, simplistic, and un-American. It is also a stark example of what author R.R. Reno calls the disloyalty of the globalist Western elites and “their profound refusal to shelter those whom they lead.”
The case of William Kristol shows that when you scratch the noble façade of so many advocates of unchecked mass immigration, you end up exposing a large dose of mean-spiritedness, an even greater elitist contempt for everyday Americans, and more than a hint of callous social Darwinism underneath.