From my new VDARE.com column:
By Steve Sailer
Two quotable quotes:
"The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives—people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary—plumped for this war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel."
Joe Klein, Time, June 24, 2008
"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. … Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite [foreign nation] are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."
—George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
(Links helpfully added by VDARE.COM).
As survivors of one of the great historical crimes of the mid-20th Century, this American ethnic group has gained a veto power over American foreign policy toward their historical homeland—with seriously detrimental impact on America's reputation in that important part of the world.
Moreover, out of concern for their co-ethnics abroad, they have obtained strong influence over America's immigration and refugee policy.
I'm talking, of course, about … Cuban-Americans!
Who'd you think I was talking about?
The best thing about Cuban political power in America is that you're free to talk about it. (Well, at least outside of Miami.) Heck, Cubans want you to talk about how much clout they have. It makes them seem stronger than they may actually be.
Moreover, they are upfront about their motivations. If you say, "You want to extend the trade embargo on Cuba because Fidel stole your grandfather's sugar plantation," they'll reply, "Well, duh."
Do Cuban-Americans display "dual loyalty?"
Well, first, let's toss in all the caveats about the diversity within any ethnic group.
That said, the answer is, more or less: Sure.
(Cuban-Americans are seldom loyal to the present government of Cuba, of course. Instead, they tend to be loyal to their vision of the future government of Cuba.)
Is this pattern of Cubans promoting Cuban ethnic interests through our political system good for America as a whole? Probably not. But it has been so narrowly focused that it hasn't been a disaster for the country.
American policy toward Cuba has been knuckleheaded, but less so than Castro's policy toward Cuba. Only this year, for example, Fidel's brother Raul finally allowed microwave ovens to be sold in Cuba—three decades after they went on sale in the free world!
The relevant point: any single foreign country, even one as nearby as Cuba, isn't all that important to America's national interest.
What is important is that our political and intellectual life not be sapped by a single ethnic group's determination to promote its interests at any cost. The Cuban-Americans have played by the rules, at least on the national stage (as opposed to in Miami, where they've intimidated local critics). They've won on the trade embargo through reasonably open and transparent activism because they just care more about it than anybody else does.
Most importantly, Cubans don't inflict on the national debate their intellectual paranoia about slippery slopes. Lenin said: "He who says A, must say B." By this logic, nobody can be allowed to say A. Fortunately, Cubans aren't obsessive or powerful enough to impose this kind of reasoning on the rest of the country.
For example, you can write "The subprime mortgage meltdown shows the need for more government regulation of the financial industry," without fear of being shouted out of the Main Stream Media by all the Cubans in important positions in the business who worry that if anybody is allowed to say that in public, it will inevitably lead to the government expropriating the sugar plantations and banning the sale of microwave ovens.
Perhaps some anti-Castro Cubans would like to ban all criticism, no matter how tangential. But they don't have the mojo to impose their taboos on the rest of American society.
Similarly, on immigration, Cuban-American political muscle has mostly been exerted to get special treatment for Cubans, rather than to open our borders in general.
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