It tolls for the death of a 230-year-old America that, for all its crises and faults, was the most successful example of self-government since ancient Athens (and which has lasted much longer).
Maybe a pun on John Donne's well-known line is too frivolous for the gravity of the situation; sorry, I couldn't help it. But the immigration bill that the Senate will begin considering today is indefensible on any rational and ethical grounds, and the case against it has been made in far more detail and more eloquently than I can do by Lawrence Auster, Randall Parker, Vanishing American, and countless other bloggers and writers. It goes beyond ordinary politics and any rationale that people of good will can disagree about.
This is the kind of measure that authoritarian governments are prone to, a pure power play cynically designed to boost the control of self-serving, malevolent interests through vote buying, in open defiance of the wishes of the majority of citizens. It mocks the rule of law and ignores the common good. It is also fueled in part by the ideology of transnational progressivism, which wants to replace nationhood as a set of specific traditions, culture, language, and patriotism with a what is being called a "proposition nation," one whose only characteristic is an all-purpose concept of diversity.
The bill to be debated this week is backed by a bipartisan clique whose members, nevertheless, believe that it will strengthen their own party's grip on government by rewarding somewhere between 12 million (the official, and dubious, figure) and 30 million (by other estimates) criminals and their families and descendants -- mediated only by a few mild inconveniences to the migrants that will likely be ignored in practice, as the "enforcement" provisions of the 1986 law that opened the floodgates were quickly forgotten. Beneficiaries if the bill passes will be big business, which has decided it cannot do without a huge population of modern-day serfs; a social work Establishment licking its chops at the prospect of a major inflation of its client base and thus of its budget and powers; ethnic zealots who would reclaim the United States for their own groups; and radical leftists who want to see America diluted to the point of an ungovernable, Balkanized society as payback for its past sins, real and imagined.
Even if the bill is passed in the Senate and something along the same lines gets through the House, and is signed into law by our egregiously thought-challenged president, I predict that it will no more end the struggle than the Missouri Compromise avoided the Civil War. Indeed, it can only increase the fissure in society between a non-responsive government and a large percentage of the population, already seething over years of having its values ignored by an insular Congress, president, academia, and mass media and an imperial judiciary which has taken on an authority subject to no checks and balances. It will produce a country divided against itself, in Lincoln's famous words, and the consequences will represent the greatest threat to civil society since his time.
The bill, America, tolls for thee.