Are democracies democratic? Or do elites determine political outcomes regardless of majority opinion?
Look at last weekend’s massive anti-war rally in London. Random interviews with participants revealed that many were first time marchers who were protesting not merely war, but Prime Minister Blair’s habit of running roughshod over British opinion. Marchers oppose Blair going to war against Iraq without a vote. But they also oppose Blair cramming massive third world immigration down their throats and signing away British sovereignty to the European Union.
No longer perceived as “New Labour,” Blair is now perceived as an anti-democrat who is a threat to British identity.
In a recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies, Roy Beck and Steven Camarota document an equally large divergence between elite and public opinion in the U.S. The gap is enormous on immigration. The latest national poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations found that 60 percent of the American public regard the present level of immigration to be a “critical threat to the vital interests of the United States.” In contrast, only 14 percent of elites–members of Congress, the administration, leaders of church groups, business executives, union leaders, journalists, academics, and heads of major interest groups–share the public’s concern.
The poll indicates that the public and the elites do not have the same appreciation of citizenship and commitment to protecting American identity. Seventy percent of the public believe that reducing illegal immigration should be a very important foreign policy goal of the U.S. Only 22 percent of elites believe that the high rate of illegal immigration is a problem.
Roy Beck and Steven Camarota report:
“It is a well established fact in public opinion polling that most Americans for nearly all of the last quarter century have desired reductions in legal and illegal immigration. However, in general, federal lawmakers have moved in the opposite direction of their constituents’ desires, continually raising the numerical level of legal immigration and failing to take steps to reduce illegal migration.”
Elite vs. Public Opinion
An Examination of Divergent Views on Immigration
Center for Immigration Studies
Even post-September 11, after illegal immigrants destroyed the World Trade Center towers, a section of the Pentagon, and thousands of American lives, the political leadership of both parties continues to advocate and legislate policies that increase the flow of immigration into the U.S.
Both Rep. Richard Gephardt (D,Mo) and President George Bush support amnesties for illegal aliens.Rep. Barney Frank (D, Mass) pushed a bill through the House Judiciary Committee that permits non-citizen criminals to remain in the U.S.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R, Utah) and Rep. Chris Cannon (R, Utah) support in-state tuition for illegal aliens.
Senate Democrats inserted into the Homeland Security bill provisions that permit immigrants claiming asylum to be paroled into the U.S. before their claims to asylum are verified.
Our elected representatives’ actions to increase immigration are a slap in the face to those 82 percent of the electorate who desire the opposite. President Bush continues to favor amnesty for illegals despite the fact that 70 percent of the public give him low scores on the immigration issue.
Mass immigration into Great Britain has unleashed germ warfare on the British people, sharply pushing up HIV, TB and hepatitis B infection rates. According to official government figures, immigration has resulted in more than doubling the number of HIV cases. When Anthony Browne, the Environmental Editor of the London Times reported these facts recently, British elites denounced him as a racist guilty of purveying “naked hatred.”
In Britain it is becoming impossible to report factually on immigration’s results. Scotland Yard, the British equivalent to the FBI, now has a Diversity Directorate. The Diversity Directorate’s job is to intimidate people from complaining about immigration and newspaper reporters from reporting immigrant crime. In Blair’s Britain, a factual statement about immigrants can make a person guilty of “inciting racial hatred,” thereby violating the Public Order Act.
Will the Diversity Directorate pick up Tony Blair for inciting hatred against Saddam Hussein, hatred that is bound to spill over onto Muslims in general? Isn’t inciting war against minorities worse than reporting facts on immigrant crime and infectious disease?
In the meantime, ask yourself: What sort of government do we have? Is our government a democratic dictatorship in which we elect our own dictators?
Paul Craig Roberts is the author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.