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April 22, 2021
When Everything is Racist There's No Room for Reason | Opinion

By: Matthew R.J. Brodsky, Senior Fellow

Progressives today demand a profound remaking of the country. In their regressive Orwellian worldview, anti-Americanism is the new patriotism. In their version of American democracy, big tech thought police substitute for the real police now being defunded in communities across America. A free corporate media, presenting multiple sides of an issue and allowing for an open exchange of ideas on opinion pages, has given way to mob- and media-approved narratives and calls to silence and banish all dissent to the outer rim.

One result of these patterns is the Left's distortion of any discussion about the relationship between the issues of border security, immigration and voter integrity.

"Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party's political ambitions," Fox News host Tucker Carlson observed during his show on Monday, April 12. "In order to win and maintain power, Democrats plan to change the population of the country."

The crux of Carlson's argument, backed up by evidence he cited, is that Democrats want open borders, no caps on immigrations and blanket amnesty for illegal aliens, thereby "importing a brand-new electorate" that they count on to vote Democratic. In the process, these policies dilute the vote of American citizens.

Democrats' own words have made Carlson's point obvious for some time. The commentator pointed to articles in The New York Times and quoted Democratic politicians, including Julian Castro and then-candidate Kamala Harris, who managed to say the typically quiet part out loud.

There are other clear examples of Democrats demanding policies that benefit them electorally. Last year in the height of the presidential campaign, many Democrats called for D.C. and Puerto Rico to be recognized as states. Apparently, when they dug a little deeper, they discovered that Puerto Rico might be too competitive as a state in elections, unlike D.C. which would be a solid blue state. While the House recently passed legislation for D.C. statehood, Democratic talk of Puerto Rican statehood has all but vanished.

Nevertheless, Carlson's comments set off the precise firestorm the Fox News host had anticipated, along with another round of hysterical calls to cancel his show. As is the new norm, the force of these calls can only gain purchase if they cast the issue as one of racism, rather than "a voting rights question," as Carlson explained.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

This is the unfortunate place our country is in today. For the Left, the connective tissue that runs through every issue is the noxious claim of "systemic racism." It takes on many forms, such as critical race theory, intersectionality and the accusation that everything is a relic of the Jim Crow era. There is no debate or defense because the accusation is designed to skip the trial and move straight to sentencing. If it's a symbol it is torn down. If it's a person they are deplatformed, silenced, fired and doxed by the Twitterati. If it's a business or corporation it will be listed in The New York Times.

It's no surprise that calls for Carlson's firing came from the usual woke mob. But even the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization that should have a solid handle on what racism is, decided to insert itself in the middle of a legitimate debate about immigration. It forcefully came down in favor of cancel culture by sending a letter of condemnation to Fox News demanding Carlson's termination.

The letter referred to Carlson's monologue as a "full-on embrace" and "open-ended endorsement of white supremacist ideology." Despite writing, "we believe in dialogue and giving people a chance to redeem themselves," the ADL concluded that "this is not legitimate political discourse." This letter marks the ADL's unfortunate transformation into just another arm of the ever-expanding progressive Left. After all, the ADL and the progressive wing it parrots aren't merely trying to cancel Tucker Carlson. Their goal is to quash the debate on immigration entirely.

Despite these efforts, the relationship between the issues of border security, immigration and voting integrity is plain for all to see. There is nothing anti-Semitic or racist about pointing out how Democrats have focused on welcoming legal or illegal immigrants from countries that they believe will be ideological allies, and not from countries that tend to be more conservative. And despite the progressive attempt to label all points of disagreement as racist, a much stronger example of racism comes from those who refuse to see people as individuals and instead only as members of racial, ethnic and religious voting blocs.

Anti-Semitism is a real and growing threat. But the elected officials who most consistently attempt to brandish their anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism through legislation and as a part of their political platform are Democrats, who are being led by their progressive wing. At the same time, dramatic changes being forced on the American people today by Democratic policies touch all parts of everyday life. Paranoia, instability and fear is the well from which racism springs. In this context, we need more dialogue, not less.

The harnessing of individual grievances and woke ideologies for the Left's perpetual expansion of political power constitutes a poison pill for the American political body. A real debate over immigration and voting rights is necessary. Panning everything as racist and silencing dissenting voices, at a time when too few politicians demonstrate courage, seems about as far away as one can get from what America's Founders intended.

Matthew RJ Brodsky is a Senior Fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy, former adviser to the Trump administration's Middle East peace team, and former Director of Policy at the Jewish Policy Center in Washington, DC.

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