December 12, 2012

Proposition Nation v. Preposition Nation

On the White House webpage regarding immigration and amnesty, we read President Obama version of the conventional propositional nation wisdom that emerged a decade or two back to justify de facto open borders:
Fixing the Immigration System for America’s 21st Century Economy 
"We are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea—the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That’s why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here…The future is ours to win. But to get there, we cannot stand still." 
-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

The "propositions" are usually taken to be from the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Yet, as Abraham Lincoln and computer scientist John McCarthy have implied, there appears to be typo left in during the rush, and that the Declaration would make far more sense if it read:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, in that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ...

(It goes on to list a number of other truths.) 

In any case, there are other Founding documents that, for some reason, don't get cited much by the Propositionists, most notably the Preamble to the Constitution, which puts forward a carefully considered explanation of what the United States exists for, one that is hard to reconcile with the current assumption that it exists primarily to take in immigrants:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Commenter Hundson writes:
America is not a propositional nation, America is a prepositional nation: "to ourselves and our posterity."

45 comments:

Marlowe said...

Are these the Grammar Nazis Walter?

Anonymous said...

"The future is ours to win. But to get there, we cannot stand still."

The future is ours to lose because Third World masses won't stand still. They're moving and in our direction.

And the ideals of the US constitution will perish if we have too many Third World bums and louts whose only idea they care about is 'hate and steal from whitey'.

One of the great ideas of Anglo-America is rule of law, and what happens to rule of law when we allow tons of illegals into this country? What happens to rule of law if we have too many people such as blacks who don't seem to understand the very meaning of laws?

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Also, no one ever seems to cite the Naturalization Act of 1790, which was written by the First Congress and signed into law by the greatest of the Founders, George Washington. It very simply defined whom they wished to be citizens.

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof, on application to any common law court of record, in any one of the states wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such court, the he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law, to support the constitution of the United States, which oath or affirmation such court shall administer; and the clerk of such court shall record such application, and the proceedings theron; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a citizen of the United States."

Anonymous said...

"Yet, as Abraham Lincoln and computer scientist John McCarthy have implied"

Why the "have'? It's important to remember Steve, though you shall'nt like it, that you're not, in fact, a British public school boy.

Anonymous said...

"...the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny."

Then how come each of us has no chance to shape immigration policy though the majority of Americans think there are too many immigrants coming to this country?

Funny thing about social psychology.
On the one hand, Americans want immigration to be curtailed. But if a politician calls for such is and is called a 'racist', 'fearmonger', 'xenophobe', voters will reject him EVEN THOUGH they agree with his views on immigration.

It's the psychology of packaging. People will reject what they want if it's packaged negatively.
It's like a traditional Jew may have wanted to marry a gentile woman or eat lobster, but as long as the woman was labeled as 'shikse/whore' and lobster was labeled as 'unkosher', the traditional Jew abstained.

Same with Americans and immigration. They wanna end it, but opposing it has been 'labeled' or 'packaged' as 'odious and noxious', and so, they re-elect Obama instead.

Anonymous said...

We should send a message to the 'caring' liberal community and non-whites.

IF YOU REALLY LOVE THE REST OF MANKIND AND WANNA SAVE IT, THEN THE MORE EFFECTIVE WAY IS FOR YOU TO EMIGRATE OUT OF AMERICA AND IMMIGRATE TO THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES. IF IMMIGRATION IS SO WONDERFUL, THEN WHY SHOULD IT BE A ONE-WAY STREET? IMMIGRATE TO NATIONS WITH THE WRETCHED, POOR, AND ETC. AND WORK HARD TO FIX THEIR NATIONS. DON'T JUST SIT ON YOUR LAZY ASS AND EXPECT THEM TO COME HERE FOR A BETTER LIFE. IMMIGRATE TO THEIR COUNTRIES AND MAKE THEIR LIVES BETTER.
SO, JEWS SHOULD ALL GO SETTLE IN LIBERIA.
ASIANS WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA SHOULD GO TO BOLIVIA.
WHITE LIBERALS SHOULD GO TO MALI AND SUDAN. AND BLACKS SHOULD GO TO INDIA AND HELP OUT THE POOR POOR HINDUS.

not a hacker said...

Steve, look! Another crooked Persian auto dealer in the southland:


http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B233996.PDF

Anonymous said...

wasps are gasps. last gasp.

Anonymous said...

What did McCarthy say about the Declaration?

Anonymous said...

In any event the new immigrants don't agree with the propositions, and the elites have little interest in persuading the new immigrants to agree with the propositions.

Because diversity.

So the whole question is moot.

Anonymous said...

2043.

Anonymous said...

Why does America need to have immigration? It had it at one time but why is that used to justify it now? At one time America had slavery. Is that a justification for having it now?

Anonymous said...

I think we underestimate how much the Founders and the Enlightenment are part of the problem. They were responsible for enshrining plastic "natural rights" which came to supercede reasonable interest-based policy.

The destruction of the West could not have come about without the selfish ideology of "rights" that the American and French Revolutions were based on.

As much as it pains me to say this, it seems clear that this country was founded on false pretenses--the idea that the British Parliament had no right to tax their own colonies when clearly they did. So what was the Revolution really about? It was about establishing a society that legitimized dissent and rebellion against any natual moral order of the Earth by calling it a "right".

Everything since then--open borders, multi-cultism, plutocratic government, destruction of Christian values--has been an outgrowth of the radical individualist spirit of '76. The system is designed to always favor disintegration and chaos, but never order and stability.

The country was set up to fail by Freemasons, it is doing it's job, and nothing unusual is happening.

Anonymous said...

"to ourselves and our posterity."

raciss!

'IMMIGRATE TO NATIONS WITH THE WRETCHED, POOR, AND ETC. AND WORK HARD TO FIX THEIR NATIONS."

colonialism be raciss!

Jeff W. said...

I think that one of the main reasons the Constitution starts off with "We the People" is that the Constitution was written and its adoption was backed by speculators who had bought up Revolutionary War debt for pennies on the dollar and wanted to form a new government that would pay it off the debt at 100%, which the newly-formed USA did. These speculators wanted to put the whole nation on the hook for that debt, not just a president or a session of Congress.

In the 1600's, Britain and Holland gained decisive advantages in trade and warfare because their representative governments were able to get more credit from banks than absolute monarchies could do. The reasons was that when the Parliament signed for the debt, it put the whole nation on the hook for it. When a French king signed, he signed in his own name, and a future king might legally renounce the debt. It was an important legal distinction to bankers. When the USA assumed the war debt in 1789, all Americans were on the hook for it, and the bond speculators made out like bandits.

I might add that all Americans are also on the hook for the present $16 trillion national debt. I don't even think it would be constitutional for Congress to vote to default on it. I believe the Supreme Court would overturn any legislation involving default. Once "We the People" are on the hook for debt, they stay on the hook, and there is no legal power anywhere that can get them off the hook. They can only get off the hook when they repay their debt in full.

countenance said...

I dare Obama to read the preamble to the Bill of Rights:


THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.:

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.


This stuff is to Obama what a bucket of water was to the Wicked Witch of the West.

Harry Baldwin said...

On the one hand, Americans want immigration to be curtailed. But if a politician calls for such is and is called a 'racist', 'fearmonger', 'xenophobe', voters will reject him. . .

If Romney had any chance at all of winning, I think it would have been by articulating the need to get our immigration under control. During one of the debates, when Obama lashed out at him for his self-deportation policy, Romney just stood there looking abashed rather than vigorously defending it. Instead of pushing a policy that would have resonated with the working class, Romney places all his bets on "no higher taxes on the rich."

Anonymous said...

Obama like Bush before him wants the hispanic mainly Mexican cities to be in constant pain since their unemployment is higher than the US average. Santa Ana is around 11.4 and Anaheim around 9.2 towns with a lot of legal and illegal Mexicans. The official US average is around 7.7 percent. The housing bust got rid of the construcation which these folks were doing.

Auntie Analogue said...

Preamble? Isn't that the stroll that Obama takes in the Rose Garden before escorting his guests indoors for the (cough-cough) "traditional" Eid dinner?

Anonslav said...

You get two choices Steve, a blood and soil nation or a proposition nation. A cursory glance around at your fellow citizens should be enough to quickly exclude the blood and soil bit.

Victor said...

"The future is ours to win. But to get there, we cannot stand still."

Unless we're standing on line for food stamps.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

The country was set up to fail by Freemasons, it is doing it's job, and nothing unusual is happening.

I have come to this conclusion as well. America is a time-limited experiment and that time is running out.

Anonymous said...

Pick a city that heavily black/Hispanic Compton unemployment rate at 17.6 and Los Angeles at 11.2 and Southgate heavy hispanic at 13.0 and white/asian Torrance at only 5.1 percent. Even in California it just not all the bad taxes on business and regulation but the low skilled are unable to find work and many of them are of color which is why both political parties can't mention this.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

As much as it pains me to say this, it seems clear that this country was founded on false pretenses--"

I have, reluctantly, come to much the same conclusion - that this nation was snake-bit at its' birth. The seeds of its destruction were sowed in the first planting. As a nation of hucksters and planters who couldn't see past the fast buck they were making, and of calvinist busy-bodies who sought to make the celestial kingdom on Earth, we were probably doomed from the start.

If it's to survive, America 3.0 will need a healthy dose of old fashioned european pessimism and blood-and-soil bigotry.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the Weekly Standard/PNAC guys feel about Obama blithely appropriating their old tropes. The irritating part must not be the policy difference (if they agree on immigration free-for-all) but that he mostly deploys it for "nation-building at home" while going along with their Kissinger/Bechtel/Aramco rivals in matters international. Gotta be kinda frustrating.

hossman said...

The us is kind of a bad joke these days, a punchline of boring a story no one wants to hear.

Most countries laugh at the us and this diversity, its propositions, particularly china, which is quasi nazi, and india, which has immigration problems with bangladesh and eternal paki/muslim isues, and thinks we are crazy for open borders...

Obama is a clown...nothing he says makes sense, and no one who thinks cares, because he is so inane...its like he speaks to sub 80 iq people, which he may be doing...

i spend time in hong kong, shanghai, etc...americans, as a people, are a laughingstock...no sense of reality...no honest perspective...no introspection...eat more food, fatties...

as for the future, obama, that was won 10 years ago, and not by the us and its ignorant, fat, lazy tubs. every day you think different adds another week you'll have to spend digging out of the rubble...

..oh, and one more thing...Most other powerful nations are so because they have unity, not diversity...china sucked until everyone got behind deng and han dominance...groups without core shared beliefs and purposes are useless...hence the us waning and china waxing...who in their right mind would promote chaos,disorder and disunity...in the name of "universal" moral principles...oh right, obama...idiot...

Anonymous said...

"I might add that all Americans are also on the hook for the present $16 trillion national debt."

a billion more immigrants and we could quarter it per capita!!

ben tillman said...

What did John Caldwell Calhoun say? Only Adam and Eve were created, and they weren't equal?

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=944

If we trace it back, we shall find the proposition (that "all men are born free and equal") differently expressed in the Declaration of Independence. That asserts that "all men are created equal." The form of expression, though less dangerous, is not less erroneous. All men are not created. According to the Bible, only two, a man and a woman, ever were, and of these one was pronounced subordinate to the other. All others have come into the world by being born, and in no sense, as I have shown, either free or equal.

ben tillman said...

I might add that all Americans are also on the hook for the present $16 trillion national debt. I don't even think it would be constitutional for Congress to vote to default on it. I believe the Supreme Court would overturn any legislation involving default. Once "We the People" are on the hook for debt, they stay on the hook, and there is no legal power anywhere that can get them off the hook. They can only get off the hook when they repay their debt in full.

There is no law governing our relationship with the people who lent our rulers money. No American thinks he has a moral obligation to pay his rulers' debt, and we sure as hell have no legal obligation.

And what do you mean by legislation involving default? And why would the Supreme Court's opinion matter?

ben tillman said...

You get two choices Steve, a blood and soil nation or a proposition nation.

A proposition nation is a cotradiction in terms.

Anonymous said...

Yup, the original British colonies of north America (which morphed into the USA), *were* based on an idea.
The 'idea' was to raise the living standards (or 'ethnic genetic interest' if you want to get narky) of the English people who moved in on the land occupied by a rival ethny (who quietly drop out of the narrative like they never existed in the first place), drove them out and used the fruit of their conquests to give them much better living standards than they would have had they stayed put in England - and thus more descendants.Not having a go at the colonists, mind you, just an age old, age old story, a story as half as old as time.
Somehow, the true and genetically self-interested rationale behind the whole concept of 'the USA' gets lost in high falutin' language, pontification and pomposity, to the extent that a load of fools out there actually believe the bullpoopy.

Of course, you could say that present crop of immigrants (apart from taking adavantage of the blood sacrifice of the original conquerors), are merely doing the same and are trying to advance *their* EGI, but this time at the expense of the founding stock.

Captain Tripps said...

Mr. Anon said,

“As a nation of hucksters and planters who couldn't see past the fast buck they were making, and of calvinist busy-bodies who sought to make the celestial kingdom on Earth, we were probably doomed from the start.”

Quite true. I believe America (and the West in general) is regressing to the mean of human history. That is to say, in almost all of human history, strong central authority (autocracy/king/dictator/strong-man rule) is the norm. Representative government by the people is the outlier. Inevitably, republics devolve into some level of anarchy/chaos because too many factions cannot agree to cooperate for the good of the whole. Look at the ancient Greek city-states, republican Rome (which was in effect ruled by a small oligarchy of wealthy elites – the Senate), the Italian city-states; eventually all are overwhelmed and solve the problem by defaulting to the first charismatic big man that comes along promising to solve all the problems and unite the people (Darius/Alexander/Caesar/Augustus/Constantine/Clovis/Charlemagne/Genghis Kahn/Suleiman/Napoleon/Lenin/Stalin/Mao/Hitler/Pol Pot/the Jong Ils, pick your own king/despot), or they get invaded/conquered by same. To think that America would be the exception for all time into eternity was and is always a pipe dream. The slide won’t happen overnight (hopefully, but if you had asked the typical Roman citizen in BC 70 if he/she thought Rome would be ruled solely by an emperor in less than 30 years time, they would have responded as if you had lost your mind), but it will come. There will be no place to run for sanctuary because the world is also regressing toward the mean as well (why is it suddenly so fashionable for some US/European elites to be so smitten with Chinese oligarchic crony capitalism, as if it is some sort of “new” panacea? Didn’t Mussolini make the trains run on time too?). So, batten down the hatches folks; it’s gonna be an interesting ride…

RD said...

The great Patrick J. Buchanan on the perils of the "propositional nation":

Whether America is a nation like all others or a different kind of nation is more than an academic question. For who wins the argument determines America’s destiny. As Huntington points out, “National interest derives from national identity. We have to know who we are before we can know what our interests are.”

The scheme to redefine America’s identity as other than what America has always been is a historic fraud, concocted by ideologues to divert the nation away from a traditional foreign policy into crusades to remake the world in a democratist mould.

Inventing a new past for America as a creedal nation—the kind of nation our forefathers would have rebelled against—neoconservatives hope to control a future they see as fulfilling America’s mission: to democratize mankind. Americans are being indoctrinated in a fabricated creed that teaches they are being untrue to themselves and faithless to their fathers unless they go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.

Whether America is a traditional nation or an ideological nation is also critical to the immigration debate. For if America is a “propositional nation,” then who comes and whence they come does not matter. Indeed, the more who come and assent to the American “proposition,” the stronger and better nation we become. That way lies the remaking of America into the first universal nation of Ben Wattenberg’s dream and Teddy Roosevelt’s nightmare, when he warned against our becoming a “tangle of squabbling minorities” and no longer a nation at all.

Before Americans ever adopted a creed, Americans were a people and America was a nation. Those who equate the creed with the nation rewrite that history to convert America into something she never was: an imperial democracy imposing her ideology on a resisting world, to the ruin of the Republic she was meant to be. And they will turn America into something she cannot survive becoming: a multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual Tower of Babel.

If we are a creedal nation, united by a commitment to democracy, equality, and liberty, with a mandate and mission to impose those ideas and ideals on mankind, we shall have a foreign policy like that of George W. Bush. But if we are a traditional nation, our national interests will be traditional: the defense of our land and the preservation of the lives and liberty of our people.

Language, faith, culture, and history—and, yes, birth, blood, and soil—produce a people, not an ideology. After the ideologies and creeds that seized Germany, Italy, and Russia by the throat in the 20th century were all expunged, Germans remained German, Italians remained Italian, and Russians remained Russian. After three decades of Maoist madness, the Chinese remain Chinese.

“Historically,” Huntington writes, “American identity has had two primary components: culture and creed … If multiculturalism prevails and if the consensus on liberal democracy disintegrates, the United States could join the Soviet Union on the ash heap of history.”

Democracy is not enough. If the culture dies, the country dies.


Full article

Anonymous said...

That's true the Grover Norquist low taxes and high immirgation hurt the GOP. The housing boom and bust left a lot of the high immirgant states like California, New York and New Jeresey and Nevada and Arizona and Florida with persistent unemployment problems,

nsam said...

off topic: consider reviewing world 3.0 http://www.amazon.com/Pankaj-Ghemawat/e/B001H6W5LI/

Anonymous said...

What I get a kick out of liberals complaining about red states and white people being on the dole. Well in most red states the people on the dole the most are either blacks most of the south or hispanic- Texas. These people voted for Obama not Romeny. The only dole white states are Kentucky or West Virginia. Also, minorites agrued that whites are the most on the dole but it has to do with population size and both black and hispanic sizes are larger so they are gaining on the total whites on the dole.

Anonymous said...

"Why does America need to have immigration? It had it at one time but why is that used to justify it now? At one time America had slavery. Is that a justification for having it now?" - Basically. If we don't have unpaid agricultural internships the cotton will rot in the fields.

Anonymous said...

What this country really is an IMPOSITION NATION. Those with power get to impose whatever they want on this country.

Anonymous said...

To propose something implies allowing others to argue about its worth.
To propose something doesn't mean it has to be forced on everyone.

But what is 'proposed' is often imposed, and we can't do shit about it.

Anonymous said...

Inquisition Nation. If you oppose PC, you're finished.

Andrew said...

Anon @3:56

"As much as it pains me to say this, it seems clear that this country was founded on false pretenses--the idea that the British Parliament had no right to tax their own colonies when clearly they did."

The revolution was not a rejection of the power of taxation, but concerned the rights of English Citizens to political representation in their own government instead of being treated as political chattel, a fundemental truth among the Teutons since the days of the Althing held in clearings in the woods. "No taxation without representation."

The initial proposition of the Colonists was either independent self-government under the King or representation in Parliament. When both were rejected, Independence was all that was left for any Englishman with a modicum of self-respect.

poultry inspector said...

If only Israel would become a proposition nation, the Middle East would be a much less bothersome place, not least for America.

ben tillman said...

Also, minorites agrued that whites are the most on the dole but it has to do with population size and both black and hispanic sizes are larger so they are gaining on the total whites on the dole.

No, Whites are not the most numerous recipients of welfare (TANF). TANF recipients in 2009 had the following racial makeup:

Black - 33.3%,
White - 31.2%,
Hispanic - 28.8%,
Asian - 2.1%
Native American - 1.3%

See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/character/fy2009/tab08.htm

AnotherDad said...

Anonymous 1:55 said:
Same with Americans and immigration. They wanna end it, but opposing it has been 'labeled' or 'packaged' as 'odious and noxious', and so, they re-elect Obama instead.

On the contrary ... the public was never offered such a choice. This was a classic iSteve election. The voting was tribal. Contrary to neocon\GOP establishment huff-puffery Obama's failure didn't translate into a no confidence vote. Blacks came out and supported their guy, bigtime. White folks *who voted* swung behind Romney bigtime--59% of the white vote.

The problem was turnout was down--about 5 million votes--mostly among whites. Romney was--and chose to cast himself--as another Davos-American, just white, more competent version. And shockingly ... not given any particular reason to vote ... millions of white people just stayed home.

I thought Romney lost it when he walked away from all sorts of good counters to Obama on Arizona. He could have simply said that the people of Arizona were calling for help and Obama was giving them the finger. Or that Obama was shirking his duty to protect the country. Or that Obama cares more about illegal aliens breaking our laws than the interests of the citizens he is supposed to protect. Or that we're importing unemployment. Instead he hemmed and hawed and ducked ... like a big chicken.

If you want people to follow you ... you must lead. If you want to be a leader you must represent the interest of your followers.

Anonymous said...

Are the illegal immirgants really getting employed that much.My reserach of California shows ciites with high illegal immirgant populations like Santa Ana have high unemployment rates. Santa Ana around 11 percent versus legal immirgant and asian city of Irvine of 5.4 percent. The lower skilled immirgants are not getting the jobs while the higher skilled immirgants are, so are politicans have fooled us.