Property Rights vs. Keeping Them Icky Brown People Out
Cognitive Dissonance is that uneasy feeling you get when you have two deeply-held beliefs that conflict with each other.
Tens of millions of Americans will reflexively yell out “Property Rights!” whenever an endangered species needs to be protected or a business owner has to comply with safety regulations. And a lot of these same people also think illegal immigration is the root of all of America’s problems, and the government needs to do whatever it takes to keep THEM out. Mass searches and deportations, building a huge fence along the U.S.-Mexican border — whatever it takes to keep those slimy ethnic creatures out of our country — do it!
Here comes the cognitive dissonance. This could be a wedge that splits conservatives into two bitterly divided camps.
The Homeland Security Department wants to complete 370 miles of border fencing by the end of 2008. A lot of property owners in Texas and Arizona don’t want this fence running through their property. And Homeland Security is threatening to confiscate the property of any landowner who doesn’t cooperate.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said "
Juan Salinas, the county judge of Hidalgo County, Texas, said: "I tell you, on this one issue, the Farm Bureau, the United Farm Workers, Democrats and Republicans, white, black, brown, everybody is against the border fence. It just doesn't make sense. We've been trying to talk to them about using other ways. It's a disappointment that, again, the Department of Homeland Security is not listening to local taxpayers.”
Local people are opposed to the fence for cultural, economic and environmental reasons. The Rio Grande is the only source of fresh water for a lot of ranchers and this fence would cut off their access to it. And the local economies depend on cross-border traffic. It doesn’t just flow one way — many Americans do volunteer work south of the border and lots of extended families live on both sides of the border. Twenty years ago we were urging the Soviet Union to tear down the Berlin Wall; now we’re planning to build one.
OK, Righties — which is it? Which side are you on — the
cross-posted at Bring It On!