Whose Responsibility Is It?

responsibilityI get a lot of e-mail around here, in fact I’d say I get 6-8 e-mails a day on various subjects.  Some come from people who just want to talk privately, some from people who don’t want to air their grievances publically and some who can’t find an appropriate place to post their subject matter.  Regardless, I spend a lot of time responding to e-mail.  It’s always been my policy that, unless an e-mail is particularly vile, it’s private and I won’t post it on the blog.  However, that doesn’t mean I don’t get post ideas from e-mail and “borrow” questions to spark public discussion.  This is one such case.

Right after I posted this story, I got an e-mail from someone who asked what was wrong with people wanting a better life for themselves and their children?  Why was I so down on immigration?  This is a question I see regularly, especially from those of a liberal persuasion, which this e-mailer self-identified as.  I did respond to the e-mail, but it thought it’s something I should touch on here as well.

First, let me make it very clear, I am not against immigration, I am against illegal immigration.  It’s funny how often and how pointedly many liberals get this wrong.  If you want to go through all of the steps and legally come to this country, either with a green card or permanent citizenship, I’m entirely fine with that.  In fact, I encourage it.  However, that means that you ought to have something to offer this nation and you actually have to take the impetus to better your life and work toward actually doing so.  Nobody owes you citizenship, nobody says that just because you want it, you’re going to get it.  That seems to be something that confuses our liberal friends, the idea that simply wanting something ought to mean getting it.

One of the reasons I’m against simply giving away citizenship to anyone who wants it, beyond being wholly unworkable fiscally and socially, is pragmatic.  If we allow everyone who has a problem with a particular regime to simply walk away, then how can we ever expect that regime to be changed?  While, in recent years, we’ve gotten this bizarre idea that the United States ought to ride around the planet and make the world a better place, we just have to look at history to see how silly this really is.  This country was started by men who were willing to go to war and die for independence.  It wasn’t a bunch of lazy people who just wanted to go somewhere else and have it easy.  We fought, many died, for the freedoms we currently hold most dear.  Then, when we moved westward, we didn’t whine for someone else to go out and build towns and railroads and tame the west, strong men and women went out and did it themselves and paved the way for those who came later.

That’s what’s missing from many of these people who just want to leap fences or squat on the other side of borders so their kids can be American citizens.  What did they really do to achieve success?  Absolutely nothing.  Today, they act like they deserve it just because they want it.  Far too many liberals agree.  I think you’re all nuts.

If you live in a country where you’re poor, do something about it.  Get together with your neighbors.  Make those changes at the ballot box, or if you can’t vote, be willing to rise up and overthrow the government if you need to.  Make your country a place you want to live, not a place you can’t wait to escape from.  Do something!  Take risks!  Stop being lazy!

I’m fine with people wanting to better their situation, so long as they’re willing to actually work toward that goal.  Wanting to run away to a place where someone else has done all the work isn’t admirable.  It’s not brave.  It’s cowardly.  A long time ago, I wrote a post while all of these “revolutions” were going on in the Middle East, praising their courage.  I may not agree with what some of those nations have done in the time since, but at least they were willing to stand up for what they believed in, to make their nations better in the way they saw fit.  At least they didn’t hop on ships that would smuggle them into the United States, or get tourism visas so they could drop a package 10 feet inside the border.

What the hell is wrong with the people who do?

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