As I watch our country almost hopelessly divided and wandering off in all sorts of wrong directions, I think of the last verse of John Milton's "Paradise Lost," when Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden:
"They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld of Paradise, so late their happy seat, Waved over by that flaming brand, the gate With dreadful faces thronged and fiery arms:
"Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon; The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide;
"They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way."
Of course, all is not lost. Some years later, Milton wrote "Paradise Regained." But what a terrible journey of rediscovery was before Man, once he had foolishly succumbed to temptations that forced him to leave Eden and live amongst Satan and his servants in the outer world.
I know America has not been a Garden of Eden, but for a temporal land, how wonderful it has been. And how casually we are casting off its manifold blessings. And for what future.
It is almost inconceivable that an argument is taken seriously that we don't have the right to secure our borders and determine who shall enter our country. Not only has such lunacy become respectable, but our mainstream media instantly, instinctively embraces such a position. Every radio headline newscast, almost every newspaper and television report willfully refuses to distinguish between illegal and legal immigrants. Each report stamps the mark of evil on the forehead of all who would guard our borders.
Even the Republican president of the United States makes the nonest of non-sequiturs, when he justifies doing nothing to enforce the border laws by claiming that these are decent humans just looking for a chance in life.
Well, with the exception of the 29 percent of federal prisoners and similar numbers in state prisons, with the exception of those who seek our welfare, rather than a job — the rest of the wayfarers are indeed far from their native lands for the most decent and best of intentions.
I would guess that of the world's 6 billion or so souls — probably about 75 percent are good and decent folks who only want the best for their children and the world. It's the same all over — England, Mexico, America, Africa, throughout the world — about a quarter of the population are bums, the rest are pretty good.
And most of them would like to live in America. But why stop with 85 million Mexicans? For the open border crowd — which apparently includes virtually the entire American political, media, academic and business establishment — there is no reason to try to keep out anyone who wants to come in. (The Senate and the president have made it quite clear that they have no plans to actually secure the border. Their border security proposals are charades and calculated pretenses.)
There are still about 700 million Chinese peasants waiting impatiently for a decent job; probably about an equal number of Indians. And most of the African continent could surely live better in Phoenix than they do being butchered in genocidal wars or starving in man-induced famines.
What is the moral basis for discriminating against that part of suffering humanity unlucky enough to find itself not sharing a border with the good old U.S. of A.? Perhaps the Dubai Ports World company could start chartering ships to bring the rest of suffering humanity to our shores.
Perhaps we have a moral obligation to tax ourselves to pay to transport to America all 4 billion or so humans who would prefer to live here, rather than where cruel fate has placed them. Surely there must be a Clinton-appointed federal judge somewhere who can provide the constitutional argument for such a mandated tax.
Frankly, that last lunatic idea doesn't sound any more far-fetched than the first lunatic idea — that we have no right to keep anyone out of the country who goes to the bother of coming here. You can't do satire in a lunatic asylum or in present-day American politics.
Apparently the American establishment has finally taken to heart the teaching of Karl Marx: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. America should house and feed and educate and provide health care and employ all the world according to our ability. And surely the people of the world will provide the need.
And why not? After all, it is just dumb luck that each of us finds ourselves in G-d-blessed America.
Well, if we keep going at this rate we will soon run out of luck. But apparently we will never run out of dumb.