Samuel Francis (Principalities & Powers, April 2000) is correct in much of his analysis of the weaknesses of Gov. George W. Bush's political strategy for attracting Hispanic votes. He is also correct in debunking the endlessly repeated canard that Bush won 49 percent (rather than 39 percent) of the Texas Hispanic vote in his successful 1998 reelection effort against a very weak and underfunded Democratic opponent.
However, since I have made very similar criticisms of Bush's strategy and successes, I was quite surprised at being treated with hostility and placed in the Bush camp on these issues. I would suspect that my very strong opposition to ethnic separatist policies such as affirmative action and bilingual education is simply not good enough for someone like Dr. Francis, whose views on ethnic issues seem aligned with those of the "white nationalist" camp. Thus, he appears to be the counterpart to the LULAC activists whom he decries.
Finally, Dr. Francis doubts that the dramatic fall in Hispanic support for GOP candidates (especially in California) is directly linked to Proposition 187, but the facts prove otherwise. Until the 1994 campaign for Prop. 187, almost any viable Republican candidate running statewide in California could expect 40 to 50 percent of the Hispanic vote. Moderate Republican Pete Wilson received 47 percent in his 1990 gubernatorial race, and conservative Bruce Herschensohn won 40 percent in his 1992 U.S. Senate race. But since 1994, Republican candidates have rarely won even 20 percent of the Hispanic vote. Republican support for the harsh provisions of Prop. 187, which would have expelled 300,000 immigrant children from public schools and which was supported by a campaign filled with harsh anti-Hispanic rhetoric and images, is the obvious cause.
—Ron K. Unz
Chairman, English for the Children
Palo Alto, CA
Dr. Francis Replies:
Like many neoconservative and libertarian proponents of mass immigration who say they want and expect immigrants to assimilate, Mr. Unz doesn't grasp that you can't have immigration from non-Western countries on the scale the United States has received for the last 30 years (more than 30 million legal immigrants) and actually get assimilation as a result. The sheer magnitude of the migration means that the immigrants' non-Western cultural habits will be reinforced by the immense communities and powerful movements they form inside this country.
This will take place even if governments and politicians do not actively encourage it with bilingual education, affirmative action, multiculturalist curricula, and similar programs designed to retard assimilation and weaken national and cultural bonds. With such programs, assimilation becomes not only impossible but even taboo.
Ron Unz has indeed resisted such anti-assimilation programs, but the simplest, most obvious, and most effective means of encouraging assimilation would be to reduce the numbers of immigrants significantly, and neither Mr. Unz nor his colleagues in the pro-immigration lobby will countenance doing so. Indeed, he remains a vocal supporter of mass immigration and a vocal opponent of any measure designed to slow it down or halt it.
I am unaware that I treated him with "hostility" in my April article. The three references in my column mention him as "a pro-immigration activist" who had written a less than accurate sentence about Governor Bush's showing among Hispanic voters, as an opponent of bilingual education, and as one who has blamed Bob Dole's lack of Hispanic votes in 1996 on Republican support for Prop. 187 in 1994. I see nothing "hostile" or untrue in any of these references, unless reminding readers of Mr. Unz's zealousness for immigration is taken as an act of hostility.
Nevertheless, as long as we are calling names like "white nationalist," why should I not call Mr. Unz an outright traitor to the American people because of his zeal to import a new population whose language, culture, and political loyalties are radically different from, if not often outright hostile to, those of the old population? The civilization created on this continent by British and European peoples cannot survive the disappearance of the people themselves; it is preposterous to expect that civilization to be transmitted as a functioning whole to another population to whom it is entirely alien. Perhaps awareness of this commonsense truth makes me a "white nationalist," but I am quite bored with being called unpleasant names by phonies like Mr. Unz who unctuously spout off about "white nationalism" when their own concept of a "nation" consists merely in lip service to a handful of Enlightenment platitudes torn from the Declaration of Independence and whose "loyalty" to their country apparently reaches no further than how much money can be milked from it.
Mr. Unz may be correct about Hispanic support for California state Republican candidates prior to Prop, 187. My article, however, was almost entirely about the impact of the Hispanic vote on presidential politics—specifically, its impact on the 1996 Dole campaign and the Bush campaign this year. In any case, Republicans could make up for the lost Hispanic votes by mobilizing white American voters around immigration control. Governor Bush, as of this time (June), is now leading Al Gore in a national poll by 5 points, despite trailing Mr. Gore among Hispanics by some 12 points in the same poll. The poll shows not only that Mr. Bush has failed to attract Hispanic voters—despite his pandering to them and his support for more immigration—but also that it remains possible for a GOP presidential candidate to beat a Democrat in a national election without winning the Hispanic vote at all.
Moreover, the decline of Hispanic support for other GOP candidates in California may be due to factors other than Prop. 187. Does the rise of a powerful left-wing Hispanic political movement have nothing to do with the decline? What about enactment of the so-called "motor voter" bill that was widely predicted to lead to the death of the GOP in California? What about Republican opposition to welfare, affirmative action, unions, and other liberal causes that many low-income Hispanic voters support? Why should the decline of Hispanic support for Republicans be blamed exclusively on Prop. 187? How convenient to blame all of it on Prop. 187 when you already favor mass immigration for other reasons! To argue that the decline is caused by Prop. 187 alone simply because it followed the 1994 ballot measure is an elementary example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Surely Mr. Unz, reported by the New Republic as having probably the world's highest IQ, can recognize a logical fallacy when he sees one.
As for the cruelty of "expelling 300,000 immigrant children from public schools," so what? Prop. 187 would have forced no one out of school who had a legal right to be in this country. Again, Mr. Unz's pretense of concern for assimilation is belied by his zeal for the "rights" of the children of illegal aliens. The first, elementary step toward assimilation is to enter this country in accordance with its laws.
Finally, I cannot speak about the "harsh anti-Hispanic rhetoric and images" with which the Prop. 187 campaign was supposedly conducted, not having been part of the campaign or present in the state at the time. But I am aware of the innumerable death threats, obscene calls and letters, viciously anti-American and anti-white vituperation, and outright physical violence with which pro-187 activists have been assaulted and are being assaulted to this day by Hispanic and pro-immigration fanatics. It is telling that Mr. Unz's tears are shed over the "harsh" things said about Hispanic immigrants and not over the filthy and dangerous things said and done to his fellow citizens merely for wishing to enforce their country's immigration laws.