What’s the single most moronic pop song? I know that the competition for that title is stiff. Different judges will have different worthy candidates. High up in my pantheon of awfulness is John Lennon’s emetic 1971 effusion “Imagine.” Everything about the song is repulsive, starting with its dangerously faux-naive politics (do you have your air-sickness bag handy?):
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
To which I respond with Rudyard Kipling’s “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”:
They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”
And, Mr. “no-religion-too” Lennon, let’s not forget the next stanza:
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”
The events of the day offer plenty of fodder for thinking about the malevolently childish world view of “Imagine,” just as they provide plenty of reasons to recall the wisdom of Kipling. Think, to take just one example, of the Romper-Room spectacle of Americans conducting their little “War on ICE,” that is the war on the brave and dedicated people of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service who are protecting them and their families by enforcing the immigration laws of the the United States of America.
The sociology of these squamous, attention-seeking temper tantrums is probably worth extended treatment. For now, let me just note that it is populated mostly by American citizens who are 1) middle-class, 2) college-educated (well, college-schooled, anyway), and 3) female.
Consider yesterday’s embarrassing exhibition at the Hart Senate Office Building at the U.S. Capitol. Five hundred, mostly female (I mean, of course, that most of the protesters were all-female, though doubtless in this age of sexual plasticity some were only mostly female) “protesters” gathered to jump up and down and publicly refuse to eat their vegetables (“I won’t eat my vegetables! I won’t I won’t I won’t! Just watch me hold my breath till I turn blue in the face!”).
Sorry, that was a few weeks ago. Yesterday this brood of angry females congregated to protest against the President’s determination to enforce the immigration laws of the country whose Constitution he was duly sworn to uphold.
That’s doesn’t sound quite right, does it? I mean, don’t we want the President to enforce the laws of the land? And isn’t it our settled conviction, as citizens of a representative democracy, that if we don’t like certain laws, we appeal to the legislative branch of government to change them?
Let’s table those questions. One of the things that made yesterday’s toddler-like tantrum newsworthy was the presence of a Congresswoman in the melée, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal. Do I need to tell you that she sports a “D” after her name? (That “D” is for “Democrat,” by the way, no matter what else you might be thinking.) She was duly arrested, which provided her with an opportunity for a little primping. “I was just arrested with 500+ women and @WomensMarch,” she tweeted, “to say @RealDonaldTrump’s cruel zero-tolerance policy will not continue. Not in our country. Not in our name.” Our country, my dear, Our name? Who exactly endowed Rep. Jayapal with the prerogative of determining the composition of the first-person plural?
Still, she did have the courtesy to announce that “we’re putting ourselves in the street again,” so you can plan to be elsewhere.
Again, just so Rep. Jayapal understands, the policy that Donald Trump is enforcing is not his policy. It is the law of the land. It’s just that Donald Trump, unlike his immediate predecessor, does not behave like the “susceptible Chancellor” in Iolanthe: “The law is the true embodiment/ Of everything that is excellent/ It has no kind of fault or flaw/ And I, my Lords, embody the law.” Thus saith Barack Obama. Donald Trump endeavors to follow the law, not flout it by executive action that circumvents the law.
As I say, there are deeper sociological, and doubtless pathological, questions behind all this embarrassing women-acting-
The pertinent political issue, however, is briefly stated. Nation states, pace John Lennon, are the fundamental prerequisite of property rights, which in turn are fundamental guarantors of political liberty. Borders are essential to the identity and preservation of nation states. Hence, unregulated immigration (the ethic of “open borders,” which is tantamount to no borders) is antithetical to the nation state, hence to the preservation of political liberty. If you want liberty, you must enforce borders. Quod erat demonstrandum.
Pathetic females like Pramila Jayapal—joined yesterday, incidentally, by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who said the coven was “an amazing protest of women speaking out to be heard”—may prance around the Washington mall in pussy hats while being protected by the Washington, D.C., police force. They can illegally disrupt business in the U.S. Capitol or shout and wave their little signs at the border while being protected by the authorities. Should those authorities cease for a moment to confront those wishing to turn the United States in a lawless third-world (let me alter the President’s more vivid phrase) commode, you would find these hapless protesters instantly singing a very different song. “As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,/ The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!”