News came a few days ago that Eliot Spitzer has failed in his effort to allow long-incarcerated felons some measure of freedom, freedom denied them so far by the Parole Board’s categorical refusal to grant parole to inmates convicted of certain crimes. Reading this story got me thinking. Spitzer started his term popular and ambitious but then something happened. That something is known collectively in some circles as the flying monkeys of immigration restrictionism.
Here is the key passage in Sam Roberts’ NY Times article for my purposes today:
With Mr. Spitzer’s political capital depleted and the governor hardly eager to embark on another unpopular crusade
By “unpopular crusade,” I’m speculating that Roberts primarily means Spitzer’s attempt to fulfill a campaign promise to reinstate
Hillary Clinton’s recent dip in the polls ahead of the primaries has also been attributed by many to her “gaffe” on the same subject in a debate a couple months ago.
Political capital is ineffable and notoriously volatile. Much of a politician’s room to maneuver depends on which narrative our media gatekeepers decide is suitable for consumption by the masses. Those gatekeepers are often easily misled as to the prevailing temper of the public—witness the “Village’s” continuing support for the War in
This ongoing disjunction between reality and media narrative has not arisen organically—it has several causes, among them: fear of being labeled soft on national security, fear of being caught by surprise again after 9/11, ignorance of the substantive details of the issues at hand, weariness of being tagged with the now-pejorative “liberal” label, coziness with power brokers in government and business who profit from the machinery of war, and simple groupthink.
I propose that savvy conservative activists have perpetuated a similar con on the gatekeepers: the Great Immigration Swindle. Through a decades-long coordinated effort, groups calling for more restrictive immigration policies, or “restrictionists” for short, have positioned a media narrative once considered racist and extreme as fully mainstream.
Here are the component parts of the Swindle: