Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Conservatives continue to debate immigration

The latest entry is this interesting piece appearing on NRO from Richard Nadler, of the Americas Majority Foundation. Warning: he's pro-immigration, and opposes the many conservatives who focus on restrictions on illegals.

But his piece is interesting, and worthy of more discussion. I have one significant principled objection to his argument, though--and that is his repeated reference to his claim that opposing illegal immigration loses elections for Republicans, and loses the GOP the support of Hispanic-Americans. First of all, I don't know that what he says is true. But let's say it was. That's still not a principled reason for doing something. One can't support an issue, or not support, simply because polls say you'll benefit from it one way or another. Conservatives don't oppose abortion because of what polls say. We don't oppose big government because of what polls say. We didn't oppose the Soviet Union and communism back in the day because of what polls say.

If we are going to be governed merely by what we think will help us win elections, then we're no better than Bill Clinton's poll-driven, always-see-the-pollster-first-thing-in-the-morning, principle-less existence and administration; and surely that isn't what we want.