Friday, April 21, 2006

Conservative Activism vs. Liberal Activism

Every once in a while, I listen to liberal talk radio on Air America. From what I’ve been able to figure out, whenever I listen, the total audience of Air America increases by about 20%. (They’re being beat by Caribbean Music formats.) And based on listening to the callers to their shows, I have determined that when I listen, the intelligence of their audience quadruples.

I love studying the difference between conservatives and liberals — especially the different ways they approach activism. That was illustrated recently when I listened to Air America’s coverage of recent Minutemen activities.

The Minutemen Project is a group of citizens along the US-Mexico border determined to monitor the flow of illegal aliens and report their activities to US Border Patrol authorities. They recently discussed a proposal to help local citizens erect their own fence along the border if the US government refuses to erect such a fence.

The Air America hosts ridiculed the plan as the world’s easiest fence to “walk around”. In doing so, they demonstrated that they have no idea how conservatives view activism.

To a liberal, activism is chaining yourself to a tree. Or putting a flower in the barrel of a soldier’s gun. Or marching down the street. All these activities are designed to convince somebody else  to solve your  problem. After all, it’s never a liberal’s fault that a problem exists, so a liberal never actually believes that he can solve the problem. That’s what the federal government is for.

But to a conservative, activism means actually doing  something to solve the problem. And that’s what the Minutemen activists are doing. While the liberals are running all over the country wringing their hands, convincing Congress to change law-breaking free-loading aliens into legal free-loading citizens with the stroke of the legislative pen, the Minutemen are actually on the border solving the problem at the source. They are proving that where the federal government is inept, private citizens will be effective.

And that brings us to the fence.

The Minutemen have long supported the building of a heavily-patrolled fence along the US-Mexico border. From the Pacific to the Gulf. Through desert and along the river. Makes sense to me. Most countries have to build fences to keep their own people in. It’s not that we want to keep people out, but we need to control the flow of people as they enter. And it’s kinda hard to do that if they can just walk in after supper and show up at our schools knowing only three words of English: “Free lunch program”.

The Minutemen have enlisted a dozen or so landowners along the border that have agreed to build the fence on their land. Of course, building the fence on disjunct land won’t be totally effective unless the fence is built along all 2,000 miles of the border. Thus, the ridicule by the Air America hosts.

But they’re missing the point. The Minutemen are setting out to prove that such a fence can be built. It can be built by private enterprise using private money. In the areas that it exists, it can be 100% effective. The federal government has the money and the resources to build such a fence. The Minutemen are demonstrating that if the federal government won’t build the fence, it’ll get built anyway.

They’re actually solving  the problem.

No war was ever stopped by putting a flower in the barrel of a gun. But our county may be just a little more secure with some strategically placed barbed wire.


Pastordeshon said...

My wife, being a LEGAL immigrant, can get really hot about this subject. Knowing what hoops her family had to jump through, and all of the people who had to be paid, bribed, or slept with in order to get to this land of opportunity, she gets really steamed that people may be rewarded for taking an illegal short-cut.

CBone said...

I totally agree with EVERYTHING you say. Liberals fell that problems can only be solved through non-active measures, or indirect action. Like you said, flower in guns, or protesting down a street. They fell all probelms, including theirs, are the product of lacking society and not a lacking people. Liberals truely think society and "the man" are the cause of all our problems. A conservative believes in direct action, or taking matters in to their own hands, like the minutemen. Conservatives believe problems are caused by people and with better people comes a better society. O ya please feel free to check out my blog at