Oxymorons in the Year 2012: “Young Republican”

25 Aug

Ah, election year! That scent is in the air once more! What is it, do you ask? Oh that’s right, it’s the smell of horse shit, wafting directly from computer screens across America! Lovely!

What is it about Facebook that makes people want to get political? After all, is it not possible that there are people who do not want to read/see/hear/”like” your opinion? It’s not an anonymous forum, and many people should really consider what they post on Facebook if they want to keep their personal and private lives separate. With that being said, I fell obligated to respond to a post made by a former high school classmate a few evenings ago on Facebook. We shall call her Ms. Smith.

Here is a screenshot of the post, with name and photograph redacted for privacy:

I believe Ms. Smith is referring to the Dream Act, which allows young immigrants, most of whom came to the U.S. as children, to obtain work permits and continue their education by remaining in the country. The Dream Act, while controversial, is simply extending benefits to those young people who came to this country not by their own choice, but by that of their parents. Why shouldn’t these young immigrants have a chance at success? If one is capable of completing college, but does not have the opportunity due to place of birth, then many other complications may arise.  Nothing is worse than unrealized potential. There are plenty of young people native to this country who do not take advantage of the educational system here.  I would also say that many young Americans feel entitled to have things with little to no work – a college degree, that dream job that pays six figures, home ownership, and a collection of diamond grills. Our forefathers based this country’s legislation on the premise of equal opportunity for all – not to mention the fact that we are all descended from immigrants (not counting those who are Native American). What is the real issue here?

At first I felt very angry about what she said, but now, after digesting it a bit, I feel very sorry for her. Not only is she dismissing these so-called “illegals” who are apparently impeding on her life, but she also goes on to accuse them of attempting to “utilize our education system, use our medical care and now take our jobs” in a subsequent comment.  Good god, they’re going to take my job!!!

First off, what amazing education system are they taking advantage of? The educational system in this country is broken, and going to college is nothing but  a faraway dream for a growing number of Americans. The real issue that needs to be discussed during this election year is the growing student loan debt bubble, which many economists will be next to burst following the housing market that imploded in 2008. Another thing that concerns many is Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s proposal to slash Pell Grants.  For those of you with too much privilege to Google, Pell Grants are rewarded to those students with the smallest of incomes, and often to the poorest families in America. Without this funding, great minds may be destined to languish.  There is, after all, great potential within children of every social class.  Unfortunately, our higher educational system is designed to benefit the rich.  Elite private colleges cost upwards of $60,000 per year to attend. This is out of reach for most people, and especially for the middle class.  The rich want to keep opportunity to themselves, and that is what is really at issue in the tone of Ms. Smith’s post.

Second, jobs. What sorts of jobs do many illegals perform? I’ll give you a hint. Most of them do not require letters after your name. Illegals perform many of the lowest jobs that most Americans would likely never take. Some examples: dishwasher, strawberry picker, sketchy construction jobs that often involve waiting on the side of a road for someone to pick them up for a day of work, laundry worker, etc. Most Americans would find this work “insulting” and “beneath them”. However, many of these jobs entail hard, honest work. The concept of working hard is being lost on young Americans at a rapid pace.

Immigrants are not COMPETING with me or Ms. Smith. They are trying to survive, and trying to have something that the ancestors of all Americans fought for in the past.  Many illegals are escaping horrible conditions and the possibility of a violent death.

What is the source of immigrant hate? The simple answer is racism, but I will not seek to make such a blanket statement. Another reasonable explanation, in my mind, is that very few people know what real struggle is. Until you’ve known what it’s like to wonder if you’ll have electricity, running water, or a decent meal, you likely have no right to judge people who legitimately benefit from social programs like food stamps, welfare, and unemployment benefits.

How did Ms. Smith’s Facebook adventure end the other night? Let’s have a look!

Ms. Smith’s response to one of her friends is the bottom portion of this screen shot. After the friend tried to talk some sense into her, she went on to say that she supports repealing an unemployment benefits extension. Blech. She then says, “Let’s get out (sic) people working, and get then (sic) working as soon as possible!” Oh my! Is it that simple? Where are these jobs? Let’s send all the 12.8 million unemployed Americans to these amazing jobs!!! Where are they?

Hey Paul Ryan, what do you think? Can we get these people to work?

2 Responses to “Oxymorons in the Year 2012: “Young Republican””

  1. miscellaneoussheepery August 25, 2012 at 9:20 AM #

    I understand the premise behind the DREAM Act – that illegal immigrants who were brought here as children by their parents should not be punished, because they did not CHOOSE to come here on their own. The sentiment behind this law is good and understandable, but it creates some issues. If parents know for a fact that their children will not be deported, it creates even more of an incentive for them to come here illegally. Most illegal immigrants do not pay taxes (and in many cases, most of the money they make under the table goes back to their home country), which means that they are using public resources (like schools) without paying into the system. This means that schools are going to become more crowded, but the school systems will not have enough incoming revenue to add on to the building, hire more teachers, or purchase more supplies. This is already the case in many of border states, particularly in already-poor school systems.

    Coming into a country illegally is cheating. It’s cutting the line, and jumping in front of the people who are trying to do the right thing by going through the process to live here legally. In almost any other country in the world, people who are there illegally are put in jail, deported, or (in the more unfriendly nations) shot. In order to have some sense of national security, a nation’s borders must be secure. Some of the people who enter our southern border are poor families trying to find a better life, but a lot of them are drug runners and other violent criminals. Mexico, along with several other Latin American nations, have terrible problems with drug cartels. There have been several instances of that violence spilling over into US border towns because of unsecured borders. I don’t believe that racism is the root cause of “immigrant hate.” I think Americans are not afraid of legal immigrants – they’re afraid of the violence that so often accompanies illegal immigration.

    You mention that 12.8 million Americans are unemployed, but you seem to miss the fact that allowing more people into the country is only going to raise the unemployment rate if they can’t find jobs. I am inclined to think that most Americans on welfare or unemployment could do many of the jobs that illegal immigrants end up doing. And for the record, I have a college degree, am almost $60,000 in debt from student loans, and I’m working at the same fast food restaurant where I worked in high school.

    • fixedair August 25, 2012 at 9:58 AM #

      Thank you for your comment. I purposely left out details about the drug cartels because I feel that the people who are taking advantage of the Dream Act are likely not the drug runners coming over the border near Texas. I really do stand by xenophobic and racist cultural standards being the root cause of immigrant hate. I constantly hear people talking about how the “wetbacks” are going to take over. What about events like the Sikh shooting in Wisconsin? That was a clear, racially-motivated attack on immigrants. Although you seem very open-minded, there are many Americans who fear difference.

      As far as unemployment and the current figures, I strongly believe that the country is headed for disaster simply due to overpopulation. The world’s population, in fact, is growing so rapidly that the sustainability of our current economic system is likely impossible. I will not readily blame the U.S. population boom on Mexicans coming over the border. Eventually, the population will outgrow the food supply, fulfilling Malthusian prophecy. This is what scares me.

      I have student loans too. If it makes you feel better, I owe twice what you do. They are pretty disheartening but I suppose that taking on debt is the risk the middle class takes in gaining some sort of class mobility. What is your degree in? I have an English and history double major so do not feel like I am being judgmental. Take care!

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