Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode is disturbed by representative-elect Keith Ellison’s intention to be sworn with Koran in hand. In a letter addressed to many of his fifth district constituents, Goode wrote:
I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be any more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.
We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country.
I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.
The liberal right has been quick to condemn Goode, citing freedom of religion as outlined in the First Amendment. The two neoconservative show hosts on my local talk radio station attempted to justify the violence that is championed throughout many of the Koran’s Suras by pointing to similar militancy in the Bible. Of course, such an equivocation is a standard tactic of those wanting to confuse the situation. The Old Testament has a few passages along the lines of those in the Koran. The New Testament has virtually nothing glorifying such militancy (the closest one can get is Jesus’ throwing the moneychangers out of the Temple in Jerusalem). The Muslim holy book, by contrast, is full of militant passages.
While denying an elected representative the right to use the text of his choosing upon being sworn in to Congress is problematic, that a US Congressman intends to be sworn in using the Koran is illustrative of what the future of America portends.
I do not worship at the altar of the Constitution. The US has enjoyed prosperity and global influence due to a combination of factors: A high IQ population surrounded by populations that provided little technological or military competition (in this sense the US is unique in all of the world), abundant natural resources, a low population density and a relatively tight labor supply, a (until the mid-sixties) racially homogenuous population, and two massive oceans largely isolating the US from the carnage of the Twentieth Century’s wars that tore Europe and Asia asunder.
Tolerating virulently intolerant cultures does not enjoy a spot on the list above. The neocon-right doesn’t realize that the tolerance it favors has no way to combat an intolerance that takes advantage of such fertile ground and that the only way to preserve Western liberalism is to preserve the civilization (that of European descent) that supports it.
The Propositionalism that has been borne out of these auspicious circumstances only works because of them–if they disappear, so do the benefits putatively ascribed to the Constitution as such. We see most conspicuously how feeble governmental documents are in bringing forth a Jefforsonian, democratic utopia in the Iraq disaster, but the history of interventionism to install such values is riddled with failure: the Philippine’s is a tenuous democracy under the continual threat of a military junta, Mexico united in support of a dictator in the early 1900s to repel the US’ attempt to topple him, the Middle East that was carved into putative nation-states by Western colonial powers overwhelming rejects liberalism and to the extent that the Occident encourages it, fundamentalist anti-Westerners flourish (the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its offshoots, Hamas’ victory in Palestine, the stunning popularity of Hezbollah in Lebanon, an Iraqi population that largely supports attacks on US troops by the Mahdi Army and other anti-liberal militias, the tenuous hold on power that the House of Sa’ud retains in the Kingdom (and will lose to Al Qaeda types if democracy is tried there)), the US’ failed attempt to liberalize Cuba resulting in authoritarian regimes of Batista and then Castro, Bolivia’s disintegration into quasi-anarchy, and on and on.
Of course empiricists will clearly see that all of these places do not have what is necessary to sustain a liberal democracy (how many stable democracies are enjoyed by the sub-90 IQ nations? India goes in the quasi-category. That’s as close as we get.) They astutely realize that a ‘democratic’ Iraq or Iran is a much worse place to live than an ‘authoritarian’ Singapore. The quality of the population is orders of magnitude more important than the verbiage of a nation’s constitution. Liberalism and prosperity tend to overlap, but it is because high IQ, homogenuous nations can afford to be liberal (although that do not necessarily choose to do so). A productive population can lead to prosperity, and prosperity can then lead to liberalism. To this point there is scant evidence that the process works in reverse.
And of course rationalists will realize that the more Muslim the US becomes, the more the US will come to resemble the Muslim world. The more Hispanic the US becomes, the more the US will come to resemble Latin America. Do we want to become more like Lebanon? More like Mexico? Has Islamic immigration been a positive development anywhere in Europe (or anywhere in the world, for that matter)? Do we want international parity, where the influx of people into the US is curtailed only when the US is no longer more attractive than these migrants’ places of origin? Our civilization is several tiers above the global ‘average’ (an average IQ of 90, purchasing power parity of just under $10,000, a life expectancy of 64 years, a literacy rate of 82%, etc). It’s worth preserving.
Goode is courageous to put it so bluntly. The silent majority is solidly behind him, with over two-thirds of the country desiring not only an end to illegal immigration but a reduction in legal immigration as well.