"Immigrant Haters"

In the wake of Brat's victory, I've seen a number of Facebook posts about "immigrant haters."

No doubt some people hate Mexicans, or Jamaicans, or Laotians, etc.

But equating a desire for controlled immigration with hatred for immigrants is a childish smear tactic.

The fact I do want my neighbors to continue living in their house rather than moving into mine does not mean I hate them.

The fact the Tibetans do not want their culture wiped out by the flood of Chinese moving into Tibet does not mean they hate the Chinese.

OK?

18 comments:

  1. Liberals aren't equating the very *idea* of opposing illegal immigration and amnesty with hatred of immigrants. They're not saying there are no principled and idealistic reasons for this position. They're saying that in actual fact, the vast majority of those.who adopt this position are not doing so for principled reasons, but out of hatred and animus.

    It's similar case to your earlier posts on marriage. It may be that there are principled reasons for why marriage ought to be between a man and a woman, such as arguments drawn from Aquinas or arguments that we should wary about changing a definition of marriage that's existed for 5000 years. But liberals argue that in actual fact, the people who take this position are motivated by more sinister reasons than that..

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    1. "the vast majority of those.who adopt this position are not doing so for principled reasons, but out of hatred and animus."

      So you are saying they aren't smear-meisters, but idiots?

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    2. And in any case, you are factually, flat-out wrong: I have seen numerous people posting on FB how Brat is a "hater," "xenophobe," "douchebag," etc.: I guarantee not one of them looked into the situation and asked, "Does he have principled reasons for his stance, or is it just hatred and animus?" Nope, not at all: they just equate the two.

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    3. "But liberals argue that in actual fact, the people who take this position are motivated by more sinister reasons than that.."

      And nope, nope, nope: I have not seen a single SSM proponent "argue" this: they *assume* it.

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    4. And I don't doubt you can find a couple of counter-examples, but they are few and far between. Most "liberals" (who can't tolerate non-liberals at all) in fact assume an exact equality between these two pairs of positions.

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    5. "Most "liberals" (who can't tolerate non-liberals at all) in fact assume an exact equality between these two pairs of positions." Well, I guess we just have different opinions of what liberals believe. I just don't think that if you asked most liberals, they would say that there is absolutely no possible principled reason why one might oppose illegal immigration or SSM. They would just say that that in most cases the citation of principled reasons is simply a cover for people's true motivations. They simply don't believe that conservatives oppose amnesty for reasons related to the rule of law, for instance.

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    6. Here's another example: what do you think about people who dismiss intelligent design proponents as fundamental Christians who are just pushing their religious dogma under the cover of pursuing science? The people who say that would probably concede that a dispassionate agnostic scientist could also become an ID proponent, but they would say that in practice ID proponents are really just Biblical creationists.

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    7. Keshav underestimates the extent to which this is just a confirmation bias re-inforcement loop. The conclusion is reached and a pretext found later; then the pretext is cited as evidence for the conclusion. Skepticism and checking do not factor in.
      Bob Murphy does the same thing with "statist" conspiracies. He sees an article about suicide by staple gun, and jumps to a conclusion about conspiracy.

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    8. So what, Keshav? Yes, sometimes people mask their true motives. Who the heck would deny that? The questions are:
      1) In this case are people doing that? and
      2) If so, what are those motives.

      The answer "they hate foreigners" applies to maybe 5 or 10% of those favoring immigration control (which is a huge majority of Americans, by the way!). To think it applies in "almost all" cases is dumb or dishonest. (Mostly the latter, I think: just a way to smear one's opponent.)

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    9. "The answer "they hate foreigners" applies to maybe 5 or 10% of those favoring immigration control (which is a huge majority of Americans, by the way!). To think it applies in "almost all" cases is dumb or dishonest. (Mostly the latter, I think: just a way to smear one's opponent.)"
      But the typical liberal who assumes by default that Dave Brat is motivated by hatred is also in support of *some* form of immigration control. So what the typical liberal is talking about is the motivation almost all advocates of the conservative immigration reform, not the motivation of almost all people who oppose open borders.

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  2. I think you yourself are sympathetic to arguments of this form in other contexts. Presumably you don't believe that belief in libertarianism is the same thing a desire to give power to wealthy capitalists, but you've still written posts about how support for libertarian policies is often motivated by a desire to benefit the propertied classes.

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  3. "I have seen numerous people posting on FB how Brat is a "hater," "xenophobe," "douchebag," etc.: I guarantee not one of them looked into the situation and asked, "Does he have principled reasons for his stance, or is it just hatred and animus?"" Yes, they definitely conclude that Brat has hatred and animus from the fact that he opposes amnesty But that doesn't mean they're saying the two positions are the same, just that the reasons why people in the real world hold one position is because they hold the other (in the vast majority of cases).

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    1. OK, so you do hold that they are idiots.

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    2. Well, I'm not convinced that their view is so self-evidently idiotic. Do you believe, for instance, that only idiots could think that the vast majority of Republicans who claim to be motivated only by rule-of-law considerations in the case of illegal immigration are in fact feigning a concern for the rule of law?

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    3. OK, so you do hold that they are idiots.

      Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

      In the majority of cases, liberals just have a difficult time understanding that bigotry and favoring immigration control aren't mutually inclusive. So, yes, they are idiots in that respect.

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    4. Support for completely open borders in the US would be about, I'd guess... 20%? The idea that 80% Americans "hate foreigners" yes, is stupid. Especially consider: among immigrants, there is strong support for some form of immigration control

      The fact that some people sometimes mask their true motives in no way makes plausible every claim that people are masking their true motives!

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    5. I think opposition to open borders is much higher than 80%. And yes, I agree with you that it's absurd to think that the vast majority of people who oppose open borders do it for reasons of hatred and animus. But I don't think that's what liberals think. They believe that vast majority of the advocates of the level of immigration control favored by conservative Republicans are motivated by hatred and animus, not the vast majority of advocates of immigration control of any kind.

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  4. Samson,

    I think you are on to something. It also seems, though, that we are just dealing with an especially pervasive ideology. It seems as though liberalism, at its core, is a very fundamentalist religion, one that actually needs a belief in an end time everything is perfected, where everyone is in perfect harmony with each other, all injustice is stamped out, all inequality is gone, etc. In other words, having denied the transcendent Christian heaven and it's possibility, they instead seek to make the world a sort of heaven. The "immaterial doesn't exist", and so the deepest longings of our hearts must be realized in this material, broken, and unfixable world.

    Combine an obtuse goal - perfection on earth - with a political philosophy that thinks that it doesn't have to engage in morality in order to mitigate tolerance, and BOOM! You have a dangerous religion that stupefies its followers.

    I have yet to read Voegelins' books - they are in the mail, though - so I'll have to hold my conclusions until I can defer to the master historian.

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