During President Donald J. Trump’s time in the White House, he has already forced several conversations that many political leaders would rather avoid. National identity, illegal immigration, and the alt-right vs. alt-left issue raging in the United States today have all been topics addressed by the president in the past year. With Trump’s negative attitude towards illegal immigration, however, more and more controversial statements have flooded headlines around the nation.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina released a statement yesterday that neatly summarizes how most of official Washington thinks about this subject. In a statement, Graham dismisses the idea that America should even think about what kind of people it lets in.
“I have always believed that America is an idea,” Graham wrote, “not defined by its people, but by its ideals. Diversity has always been our strength, not our weakness.”
Tucker Carlson addressed Graham’s statement on a recent segment, arguing that, “According to Lindsey Graham, you could take our entire population and swap it out for 320 million, I don’t know, Chinese or Indians or Africans or Canadian or people from New Zealand, and the place would be no different, so long as the idea was still there. Does anyone actually believe that?”
Oddly enough, there are groups that do believe that the United States is a country without a national identity, and that the only civil bonding agent shared by its residents is an “idea.” But that idea was created by a certain group of people and has been cultivated and maintained by the very same population. The United States would not be the superpower that it is today without the advent of European colonialism.
The view that Graham has expressed is eerily similar to the mindset of a factory manager considering the many faceless workers he has employed in his factory. Surely, the workers are replaceable, as a factory operates on a set of rules and regulations followed by potential strangers that can be swapped out for new workers, who perform the job equally well.
But the United States is not a factory filled with workers, it is a nation developed by a particular faction of humanity and has been historically preserved and nurtured by this faction. Recent studies have shown that high rates of immigration from third-world countries into majority-white countries results in a disproportionate amount of crime being committed on behalf of the migrants. In light of such immigration, it is difficult to imagine that the populations of countries are entirely “interchangeable.”