Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Interview: Bill Mitchell believes that "American resistance towards illegal immigration really comes down to a fairness issue"

This is the third part of my discussion with Bill Mitchell. The first and second segments are available on-line. Quoted text below appeared in previous articles, offering background on our conversation.
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto

There are a great many talk radio hosts, and all of them are clamoring to be heard. Just how many, though, really offer something which deserves your time and consideration?


While the number is far too small for my liking, Bill Mitchell certainly makes the cut.


He has not been a force in the chattering class for long. Before Donald Trump's candidacy took off, Mitchell could best be described as a talent recruiter for various businesses who just happened to dabble in politics via the Internet. Today, he is a bona fide on-line celebrity. Last year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named him the foremost average fellow impacting election season.


Among all those influencing the race -- including Barack Obama, CNN, and Harry Reid -- Mitchell came up twenty-sixth. He beat Paul Ryan, The Associated Press, and Michael Moore, to mention a few.


What makes Mitchell so popular is not strategic positioning in FM markets -- his program is Internet-only -- or access to the most powerful names on the District of Columbia-New York City-Boston/Los Angeles-San Francisco-Seattle culture corridors -- he lives in Charlotte. Rather, Mitchell knows how to handle Twitter, focus on pertinent data, and explain complex, contentious matters in a down-to-earth yet coherent fashion.


Despite being in his late fifties, Mitchell is one of American conservatism's rising stars. His star is powered at a time when 'conservatism' is in rapid flux; changing from its family values, pro-free trade, immigration-friendly Reagan-Bush incarnation to a model built around national sovereignty, economic protectionism, and cultural cohesion. 


Essentially, 'American' conservatism is becoming Europeanized. 


Mitchell and I had a candid discussion regarding right-leaning politics and their relation to American life. Some if it is included below.



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Cotto: The popular support for what Trump stood for on immigration – restriction, essentially, on the movement of people and the economic implications of that – I would suppose that it always remained popular to have less immigration, even though, on both sides, the powers-that-be wanted more immigration. This seems to be the case because people saw what went on in their lives, and they saw that this did not relate to what they were being told by people in the media or on Capitol Hill.


Mitchell: I think the American resistance towards illegal immigration really comes down to a fairness issue. As American citizens, we have to follow the laws, we have to stand in line, we have to do all these things, and yet these illegal immigrants were coming here and living off our tax dollars and our largesse, yet they didn’t wait in line, they cut to the front of the line. Nobody likes someone who cut to the front of the line. They got benefits Americans couldn’t get, and it was unfair.

It made Americans mad and it – some would say, “Oh these people want a better life,” and I’m like, “Yeah, that’s fine, so do I!” They’re not even citizens; why should they get to have this better life and I have to pay for it?

So it really came down to being a fairness issue. I think that’s the chief issue that was never really discussed. The American people just felt like this illegal immigration was unfair.

Cotto: Then there’s also the cultural aspect of this; cultural cohesion. This massive wave of illegal immigration – even legal immigration – has been changing things tremendously. People in some places now literally have to press two for English. Why do you think that people still wanted to hold on to the Anglocentric culture we have, that they felt was that important, and like with immigration numbers, they disregarded in the end what people in the media or on Capitol Hill told them?

Mitchell: I think it’s just American pride. It’s the old ‘be true to your school’ – the old [Beach boys} song “be true to your school like you would to your girl.” This is what America is. English is not the official language of America, but people think it is. It’s like, ‘Yeah, you want to prosper in America, you need to speak English.’

I had a friend who I knew as a waiter in a fine dining restaurant. He was complaining to me one night that cooks in the back kept getting his orders wrong, and he would go back and try to talk to them, and explain to them what was wrong with the orders, and they didn’t understand anything he said. So, at a meeting, he brought up that “Can we teach these guys some English? I’m having some problems with my customers and I can’t be getting orders wrong because they can’t speak English.”

The boss said, “Why don’t you learn Spanish?” My friend said, “When I move to Mexico, I will!” He got reprimanded and almost lost his job.

Cotto: I think that sort of story happens a lot across the country and people obviously don’t talk about it because they might get in trouble.

Mitchell: I think that it’s just pride in your country. Some call it nationalism, but there’s nothing wrong with nationalism. There’s nothing wrong with putting America first. As a matter of fact, when Americans see America first, and we see ourselves as the leaders in the world, and we’re a strong America – not an America that leads from behind, but an America that leads from the front – the whole world is a safer place.

We’re like a lighthouse on the hill with the rest of the world as a stormy sea. People look to us to come in safely ashore, and if America isn’t that, the whole world slides into chaos. We saw that happen under Obama. The world just – it’s in chaos! 

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