Thursday, June 07, 2007

Immigration and Citizenship

So Lola and I are watching the 1976 film "Bound for Glory" on the tube. Two hours into the movie as David Carradine muddles through his portrayal of Woodrow Wilson Guthrie and as he attempts the fourth scene of being angry with the injustice of the farm workers plight, the thought crosses my mind, that from this awkward lashing out eventually emerges the Bill which must be killed.

There is no doubt there are moneyed interests intent on preserving cheap labor for the existing orchards and the coming deforestation diesel plantations. Furthermore, I fully support the right of workers to sell their labor, in a marketplace constrained by a rule of law protecting all parties in the transaction. It is this rule of law, above all, that is weakened by those who would simply say that past actions are completely forgivable and the status quo enforcement of the law needs no improvement.

The immigration issue, for me, comes down to the necessity of citizenship to retain its value. Ideals are just that – the imaginary perfections which orient our actions in the dynamic chaos of an infinitely complex world. So the ideal I choose to work towards is a government subordinate to the desires of the citizens, rather than a government ruling the resident population for the benefits of the powerful. Individuals who want to be more than transients, who want to be American citizens, need to understand and demonstrate they accept this ideal.

There is talk that every individual wanting to be President in 2008 should be put in one room for one debate. I like the idea, but with one caveat. The ONLY question in the debate is why the United States of America is the best country in the world. Then let the citizens select the winner.