Wall scuf­fle shows piti­ful dis­course

The Detroit News - - OPINIONS - BY MIKE BANERIAN

Last week the pres­i­dent ad­dressed the na­tion re­gard­ing the gov­ern­ment shut­down and the need to build a wall at the south­ern bor­der.

Through the end­less squab­bling be­tween Democrats and Repub­li­cans on so­cial me­dia over the wall (my­self in­cluded), I found my­self in­cred­i­bly frus­trated by some­thing far more con­cern­ing, the in­abil­ity for Amer­i­cans to have an in­tel­lec­tual dis­cus­sion on im­por­tant is­sues. The ar­gu­ments made by the Democrats re­gard­ing the wall and im­mi­gra­tion re­form is one such area of con­cern.

As far as the bor­der wall goes, a bar­rier along parts of our south­ern bor­der would clearly stem the flow of il­le­gal cross­ings. We know this be­cause we al­ready have bar­ri­ers in some ar­eas on our bor­der, and those ar­eas have seen a 90 per­cent re­duc­tion in il­le­gal cross­ings.

Democrats also ar­gue that such im­mi­grants will find an­other way around, an ar­gu­ment with lit­tle merit con­sid­er­ing that’s kind of the point. Build­ing out these bar­ri­ers pur­pose­fully fun­nels il­le­gal cross­ings into nar­row choke points that are sig­nif­i­cantly eas­ier to pa­trol with more agents, and there­fore eas­ier to catch those who are cross­ing il­le­gally.

Next is the ar­gu­ment that most peo­ple in Amer­ica with­out le­gal per­mis­sion don’t cross the bor­der il­le­gally, but over­stay their visas, there­fore we shouldn’t fund a wall. This ar­gu­ment doesn’t make much sense. Since when do we only pe­ruse pol­icy only when it solves 100 per­cent of a prob­lem? We don’t. We pass poli­cies that help re­duce a prob­lem, and the wall is a proven con­cept that will help re­duce the prob­lem by the hun­dreds of thou­sands.

Fi­nally, the Democrats make the moral case. This is a flawed ar­gu­ment for a mul­ti­tude of rea­sons, not the least of which is that the Democrats have re­peat­edly voted for a bor­der wall and bor­der se­cu­rity in the past.

The wall is a rea­son­able as­pect of bor­der se­cu­rity, and the se­cu­rity of our bor­ders is our right as a sov­er­eign na­tion; a right that ev­ery other coun­try in the world takes ad­van­tage of and takes far more se­ri­ously than Amer­ica.

This points to the larger is­sue: Amer­i­cans now seem to only ar­gue im­por­tant is­sues by dis­cred­it­ing the in­di­vid­ual mak­ing the ar­gu­ment, rather than dis­cred­it­ing the ar­gu­ment it­self. This is ex­actly what Democrats in Con­gress have done on the is­sue of im­mi­gra­tion, and we are worse off for it.

Democrats have em­ployed this tac­tic be­cause dis­cred­it­ing an ar­gu­ment is far too much work, es­pe­cially when Amer­i­cans on both sides have be­come so lazy in their abil­ity to for­mu­late in­formed opin­ions on im­por­tant sub­jects.

Our free so­ci­ety must be able to have in­tel­lec­tual dis­cus­sions on ar­eas of dis­agree­ment in or­der to sur­vive, and this ap­plies to ev­ery is­sue. I’m sure you can point to other is­sues where Repub­li­cans have em­ployed this ab­hor­rent tac­tic.

Let’s all get off our high horses from which we’ve come to dis­re­gard peo­ple’s ar­gu­ments based on our uni­formed per­cep­tion of their char­ac­ter, and ac­tu­ally have a dis­cus­sion, the sur­vival of this na­tion de­pends on it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.