This is Philip Wyeth. Another Philip, one much more famous than me, once asked, “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” I’m going to paraphrase Philip K. Dick’s question to talk about the challenges we face after having taken in so many “new Americans” over the past twenty years.
Do Armenian immigrants learn about the old Jim Crow laws? Will Guatemalans from the migrant caravan study the Gettysburg Address? Can you convince an Indian working in Silicon Valley to take interest in the American Indian Wars?
This all may sound like hyperbole, or me trying to be cute, but what I’m driving at is the stark difference between America’s past and its future. A few days ago I dropped in at the local cigar shop to relax and get some writing done. Some regulars dropped in and started talking politics—at times things got heated, but these guys all know each other and honestly this is the kind of healthy debate I think people are starved for now that we only talk to each other through apps on our devices.
Most of the group was anti-Trump—not shocking since we’re in Los Angeles—but a couple of the guys were conservative and did their best to fend off the sometimes haughty questions the liberals were asking.
But the most interesting dynamic for me, and which leads back to the beginning of this talk, was a Jewish man in his seventies and a black man who was in his fifties or sixties. They both see the world through the prism of 1960s civil rights activism, and America’s legacy of slavery and racial discrimination.
There’s nothing wrong with that viewpoint in and of itself, but what they seem to miss is that so much has changed in just this century, that the old narratives don’t hold up anymore. Consider how these three concepts embody the change:
-The massive immigration with seemingly no rhyme or reason, and no consideration for the implications of assimilation or lack thereof, as well as demographic change. As Ann Coulter once pointed out to an audience of Latino students, who were not happy to hear her say it—America up until recently was once not multi-cultural, but biracial.
-Point two, a nationwide loss of wealth due to deindustrialization and several market collapses—with the surreal caveat being that instead of bread lines we all get to drink craft beer and eat organic food.
-And third, decentralization of narratives due to the internet. On the negative side is the disintegration of a national storyline and identity, but up for grabs is a more truthful tale, and perhaps some idealistic results—like internet flashmobs being able to prevent wars based on false pretenses.
So these old timers at the cigar shop, they don’t know about memes. They advocate for all kinds of immigration because they think it will help defeat lingering white racism—but at what point does this dilute the fabric of the country? They want one thing—racial justice—but the tools they’re using—massive immigration—could give us all an existential crisis.
Having lived in Los Angeles for many years and met people from all over the world—some I even do business with, so don’t try and pigeonhole me, please—but I can tell you that their primary motivation for coming here is to get away from repressive regimes or extreme poverty. Yes, they come here for a better life, as the talking point goes, but Americans on both sides of the aisle are deluding themselves if they think that many immigrants will study up on the Federalist Papers or the Dred Scott decision.
Maybe these things shouldn’t be on their radar, who knows? The great experiment of high-speed internet and touchscreens is what’s going on right now. Putting smartphones into the hands of people in the Third World can be like a world warp for their communities, and do far more than any “feed the children” infomercial on TV. Maybe it’s better if we’re all mentally free to take part in this technology free-for-all, without all the baggage or being tethered to the latest handful of new Abe Lincoln biographies.
But if we’re forced to abdicate not only our history but our culture, what is the point of our lives? To provide housing and plumbing to people from other countries? To publicly flagellate ourselves by virtue signaling on social media because our ancestors were bad?
Where do our supposed obligations end, and do the new Americans have any of their own? When does the brazenness of caravan migrants, whose supporters always find a way to rationalize people cutting in front of other would-be legal immigrants—when does this sense of entitlement give way to gratitude?
Or is the true sentiment, unspoken and hidden deep inside the hearts of everyone who’d rather kick in the door rather than knock, is it that the sins of the past are so great that America’s residents get no say? That the ledger of our historical guilt can only be evened out through pandering, confiscation, and eviction?
The most troubling aspect of all is that the Left is willing to drown out their opponents under a torrent of shame just because you disagree with them. They’ll get your account suspended, dox you, whatever it takes to shut you up. Why? Because deep in their hearts they fear being such an object of ridicule, standing alone in the public square taking abuse for a truly held belief.
Watch the 1970 Italian film The Conformist for a taste of the inner hell that progressive types who stand for nothing live and then unleash onto others.
Fortunately, today’s forecast only calls for Tweet-storms after one of them gets triggered, as just happened when a beautiful girl joyfully wore a Chinese dress to her high school prom—which of course was cultural appropriation.
How can all of this end peacefully, when on the one hand conservatives are forced to bake cakes that go against their beliefs, but also have no recourse when a private social media company deletes their account? The Left’s unholy alliance of aggression and hypocrisy is in fact creating the monsters they protest against, by breeding resentment in the hearts of good people who, while maybe not be as savvy as they are, only want to live quietly without being lectured to and sued for thoughtcrimes.
All I can do as a person with some life experience and the ability to distill ideas is to share my insights before things really get out of hand. Because conservatives have a lot of two things—patience and guns—and I have too many friends on both sides of the aisle to ever want to see our country descend into civil war.
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Video was originally uploaded on May 1, 2018.