Anton Howes: Age of Invention: When Alchemy Works: Weekend Readings

From Noah Smith, an index of how the Republican Party has changed from "Massachusetts" to "Kentucky" nationalism over the past generation: from saying that the real Americans are those who have come here hoping to make a better life and join our community to saying that the real Americans are rural white people who fear others, and fear the future:

Noah Smith: Ronald Reagan, the Diversity President "In a 1980 debate with primary election rival George H.W. Bush, Reagan advocated expanded legal immigration from Mexico, declaring: 'Rather than…talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we…make it possible for [Mexicans] to come here legally with a work permit.' Reagan made good on his word. In 1986 he signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which granted amnesty to more than 3 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. It was an epochal event.... Reagan also had a chance to stop the mostly nonwhite legal immigration that was bringing people from all corners of the globe. He never tried. In fact, despite holding some bigoted attitudes in private, Reagan remained passionately committed to the ideal of global immigration throughout his presidency. In his farewell address, he told a story of a U.S. Navy ship accepting a boat full of Southeast Asian refugees hoping to become Americans. And in his final speech from the Oval Office, Reagan articulated a vision of the nation that put immigration at the center of American exceptionalism: 'We lead the world because unique among nations, we draw our people, our strength, from every country and every corner of the world'.... Ronald Reagan, despite his flaws, believed in a country that was defined by ideals and institutions. Today’s Republicans should reject demographic fear and return to that powerful vision...

#noted #2019-10-10