As Pelosi Parties in Puerto Rico, a Reminder: Hamilton Sang a Different Tune on Immigration
Eight hundred thousand federal workers didn’t get a paycheck, the longest government shutdown in history rolls on, and the border remains an open door for death, drugs and dysfunction. Oh, and a major snowstorm slammed into the nation’s capital. But for Nancy Pelosi and a couple dozen other congressional Democrats this weekend was all about fun in the sun. Literally, a day at the beach.
The Democrats along with lobbying fat cats jetted off to Puerto Rico. Yep. They’re off on a junket while our National Parks get junked. Surf’s up. Who cares if the government is shut down?
Protect our border? That’s for chumps and racists. We’re protecting our skin from sunburn.
President Trump is right. Partying in the tropics while the government is shutdown is a bad look. No matter how tan you get. Or if you do get to see the musical Hamilton.
Off to See Hamilton
Technically, the Democrats headed south for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC “winter retreat.” I get it. They’ve been in power one full week. Preparing a flood of subpoenas and impeachment moves is exhausting, back-breaking work. They needed the R&R.
And if citizens are being slain by criminal illegal aliens while you’re be soaking in a special performance of Hamilton, such is the burden of leadership.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning show is doing a two-week run in San Juan to raise funds for cultural groups harmed by Hurricane Maria. No doubt, the curtain rising on his masterwork in Puerto Rico is a stupendous moment for Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is of Puerto Rican descent.
No doubt the politicians and their lobbying pals were stoked for great night of theater.
And no doubt the Democrats thought they were being clever by showing support for a musical about Alexander Hamilton, our immigrant Founding Father. (Even if it’s a musical with a Broadway cast that showed contemptible disrespect for then-Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, and by extension the vast millions of Americans who voted for him and President Trump.)
The symbolism is obvious: “See? Immigrants are great!” (As if anyone credible argues otherwise.) “Donald Trump wants to stop the next Alexander Hamilton from coming to our country!”
The funny thing? If Alexander Hamilton were alive today, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats would be calling him a xenophobe. Maxine Waters would be calling for his impeachment. Activists would be harassing him in Washington restaurants. Alexander Hamilton would not be welcome at his own musical.
Don’t believe me? Okay, I’ll shut up and let the man speak for himself.
Hamilton on Immigration
Alexander Hamilton was so instrumental to the success of our fledgling nation we put his face on the $10 bill. The Founding Father and first Secretary of the Treasury had a clear idea what would make America prosperous and secure.
The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family.
Hamilton further warned of the dangers of massive, uncontrolled immigration:
The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another.
So what was Hamilton’s solution?
The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.
In other words, we must carefully and deliberately integrate only newcomers who buy into the American idea, and who share the national spirit. Anything less corrupts and injures the country.
Let countless people sneak into a country, refusing to assimilate, answering to other spirits and the result can only be discord. Ask Germany. Ask Sweden. Ask those living near no-go areas in England. Ask neighborhoods under siege by MS-13, or cities where illegal immigrants wave foreign flags and demand further social benefits. Ask campuses where having an American flag is seen as an offense.
Ask yourself: Is it even safe to suggest we still have a common national sentiment? Hamilton — and all our Founders — would be horrified at what’s happening. Not surprised, since they all worried such a fate could unfold, but horrified nonetheless.
Harmony of Ingredients
Nancy Pelosi needs to put down the playbill, wash off the sunscreen and get back to Washington and agree to protect our border. She needs to end her deadly and cynical song-and-dance. For it is only when we have control of our immigration system that we can, as Hamilton said, have a nation that is a “harmony of ingredients.”
Al Perrotta is The Stream‘s Managing Editor and co-author with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. The book includes a fascinating look at how our Founders considered the issue of immigration, along with a rundown of where our nation’s gotten it right and wrong over the centuries.