When it comes to immigration, there have historically been two basic types of conservatives. Most stereotypically, you’ve got your Racist/Xenophobe crowd. These are the “deport em ALL!” guys you see holding misspelled signs at Tea Party rallies these days. That’s a pretty powerful Republican voting bloc, and for good reason: it doesn’t really require any intelligence to stand around screaming “They took err JERBS!”
But Ronald Reagan, along with the two Bushes that followed, were the other kind of Conservative. And these “Corporate” Conservatives have a slightly different view on illegal immigration and granting amnesty. Much like Tea Party founder Charles Koch himself, the people who would love to outsource every single job in America to Mexico have long favored importing Mexico to the United States.
Yes, that means “AMNESTY FOR ALL!” To Corporate Conservatives, “they took err JERBS” isn’t so much a complaint as an ideal. As this video from St. Ronnie Reagan shows, the Corporate Conservative perspective on immigration has always been geared toward importing a very steady supply of poor people to infinitely drive down the cost of labor in the United States. Kind of an inverted outsourcing.
Combined with either eliminating the minimum wage (or keeping it at a sub-living level, as Reagan & the Bushs have done), this one-two punch of “Inverted Outsourcing” would make America a veritable playground for the robber barons of our day. One, giant Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, pumping out dollars on the backs of the peasants. But that only works if you favor both immigration amnesty and killing a livable minimum wage — which Corporate Conservatives Reagan and Bush did. Koch wanted to kill the minimum wage outright.
But…obviously, you can’t just come out and say “We’re doing our best to turn America into a giant slave labor force.” Too complicated. Doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker. No, the old flag-waving, sentimental appeal has always worked best with the conservative voting base. And who better to appeal to that sentiment than Republican Saint Reagan? He was an actor, after all.
Remember the most famous lines he ever delivered? His “shining city” speech, during which he made an emotional appeal for amnesty to all illegals? Funny thing — in this age of fighting for a living wage, conservatives don’t seem to remember it.
Was it an absolutely calloused and cynical appeal to emotion in an attempt to implement Stage One of Inverted Outsourcing? Yup. That’s what conservatives do. But it doesn’t matter — because try showing this video to your local right-leaning friend, and then dare them to disagree with him. Don’t worry, it’ll work. Ron always has had a way of talking to the rubes. The other kind of conservative. Guarantee, 95 percent of them won’t even stop to ask why they agree with him, or suspect that it’s all one big manipulation.
Still…it is nice to hear something resembling truth and empathy come out of a conservative’s mouth. Obviously, we know better than to look this gift-horse over too closely…so, let’s just enjoy this bit of engineered empathy, and ride it out while it lasts.
“I’ve spoken of the Shining City all my political life. But i don’t know if I ever entirely communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city, built on rocks stronger than oceans. Windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace. A city with free ports that hummed with congress and creativity. And, if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”