Medved warns that Obama immigration policy would “permanently remake America demographically and politically”

N. writes:

Look at this:

“Finally, and perhaps most fatally, a President Obama will radically revamp our already broken immigration system and permanently remake the country, politically and demographically.”

This isn’t a new point, but look who the writer is: Michael Medved. Michael Medved, worrying about demographic changes due to immigration?

LA replies:

This supports my point about the advantages of Obama over McCain! For the first time in his life, Medved is criticizing immigration, and not only that, but he’s doing it on demographic grounds. He savaged those who opposed the Bush-McCain open borders amnesty act, but now, faced with the likelihood of a leftist Democratic president pushing open borders, he suddenly discovers a concern about the cultural effects of immigration. It’s astounding. As long as Republicans are in power, conservatives, because of their automatic identification with Republicans against Democrats, reflexively defend Republican liberal policies. But if a leftist Democrat comes to power, or even has a good chance of coming to power, the veil falls from the conservatives’ eyes and they suddenly start opposing the liberal policies that they supported so long as they came from Republicans. What this means is that the only hope for the arising of a true conservative politics in this country is through the vanquishing of the Bush-McCain Republican party, which by its very existence kills conservatism.

LA continues:

Now I’ve read the article, and his argument on immigration is rather confusing. It’s not really about immigration, but about amnesty, how it would create a new population of citizens beholden to the Democrats. Ok, good point. But then he blames the Republicans of 1924 who by restricting immigration drove white ethnics into the Democratic party and created several generations of liberal Democratic rule. But then he says that the Democrats by passing amnesty would do what the Republicans of 1924 did, create several generations of people committed to the Democratic party. So he blames Republican immigration restrictions for leading to Democratic dominance, and he warns that an Obama-Democratic amnesty would lead to Democratic dominance, so I’m confused.

N. replies:

I’m confused as well, and suspect that Medved is suffering from mental dissonance as his emotional attachment to unlimited immigration collides with the cold logic of demographics. Or to put it another way, on the one hand, he has all that Emma Lazarus stuff in his heart, on the other hand someone, somehow has gotten him to look at the plain demographic facts of amnesty with his brain.

I just found it astounding that Medved, who has been a major cheerleader for open borders suddenly seems to have discovered the demographic and thus political implications of amnesty for illegals. What next, Peggy Noonan figuring out that the MS-13 gang members are somehow different from her Irish granny? Well, ok, maybe that’s a stretch…

At any rate, if Medved can get over his romance with the past, and continue to think more logically as he does in this article, he could become a useful addition to the restrictionist point of view. That’s rather remarkable, if it comes to pass, because if Medved can see the facts, then others can do the same.

Gerald M. writes:

I frequently listen to Medved’s radio program. During the immigration bill debates he ridiculed every caller who opposed amnesty, declaring, “There’s NO WAY we can deport 12 million people, and if you believe we can you’re a nativist thug or an idiot.” He supported McCain’s open borders position absolutely, totally, and aggressively.

So now Medved has discovered the demographic threat in amnesty? No way. He’s running around like a chicken with its head cut off, like many other “movement” conservatives who see their beloved Bush / neocon / compassionate conservative era about to be stomped into the ground by the electorate in 14 more days. Medved and his buds are desperate to find any argument to use against Obama, even if their own candidate, McCain, is just as bad, or worse (in that McCain, like Bush, will debauch conservatism and weaken Republican opposition to open borders).

Personally, I’m enjoying the chicken dance.

LA replies:

Interesting. Your interpretation is very different from mine. My idea was that, now that open immigration is about to be separated from a Republican president or presidential candidate whom Medved supports, he has been “liberated” to oppose it. Your idea is that Medved doesn’t oppose it, but is desperately using any argument he can against Obama, even an argument that contradicts Medved’s past total support for open borders and has him saying things he’s never said before in his life. I think your theory is more plausible. :-)

Gerald M. writes:

Yes, I believe my interpretation of Medved’s newfound concern about amnesty is more plausible, but I don’t rule out yours, for the following reason:

I see Medved as a neocon. But, unusual for a neocon, he is also a cultural conservative, with deep interest in American history. He’s a staunch opponent of gay marriage and abortion, and a strong defender of Christianity (despite being Jewish, himself) against attacks from the secular left. Nevertheless, Medved’s highest priorities seem to be supporting Israel, the war on terror, and spreading democracy in the Muslim world. He has always, I believe, supported McCain, seeing McCain as the strongest champion of these three issues among the Republican candidates. And, realizing that, if he were to be an effective advocate for McCain, he couldn’t just ignore McCain’s horrible immigration position, Medved decided to embrace McCain’s immigration position, as a good soldier, and (very aggressively) defend his candidate against all attacks on this issue.

But now, seeing that all is lost (or about to be), and desperate to publicize any possible Obama position that might scare (let’s be blunt) white people, and move them to vote for McCain, Medved finally is willing to speak his true mind on the subject.

However, for this to be a reasonable interpretation, rather than a tortured one, shouldn’t Medved at least say something like, “I know McCain himself isn’t perfect on immigration. OK, he’s been BAD on it! But he’s really, truly, gotten the message from the voters that our borders must be secured FIRST, and only then can we start talking about guest workers and amnesty.”

Since Medved hasn’t said anything like this, I’m forced back to my original position, that this is a desperate (and cynical) ploy on his part, throwing mud at Obama and hoping his target audience is too stupid to realize that the same mud belongs on McCain.

David B. writes:

I wrote you years ago of my puzzlement that neocons would write of the widespread social problems in this country, including social cohesiveness, while championing unlimited immigration which made the very problems they complained of much worse. Medved is a major example. He often praises the American past and its heroes while calling for the admittance of people who do not share those views. Medved supports war against Muslims abroad, while accepting them INTO the United States.

I suspect that his new-found concern for American demographics is insincere. Medved is trying to save McCain, whose views, such as they are, are in line with his own.

A reader writes:

I wrote this note to Michael Medved today:

Subject: I guess we’re all nativists now


If I learned anything when I used to listen to your show, it is that anyone who worries about demographic changes is a despicable nativist racist.

Welcome to the club! I read your blog, “For Conservatives, Obama’s Changes Would Be Permanent and Devastating,” and I’m pleased to see you have joined the real world. Welcome fellow nativist racist!

Your friend,


Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 21, 2008 10:34 AM | Send

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