Question: Does oil paint cause hallucinations and brain damage?
If you’ve seen former president George W. Bush on TV lately, you just might be wondering this. The 43rd president and son of the 41st president has been making the media rounds promoting his new book and mumbling nonsensical stuff about his personal hobby while lecturing on the hottest political topic of the day -- immigration. It’s almost as though one, Americans care what any Bush thinks, and two, that he might bring miraculous healing or mysterious insight to a subject so emotional and volatile that it’s not only divided the nation down the middle, it could trigger a civil war.
Bush did little to make things better when he was president and could actually do something substantive about the dilemma. Back then, he insulted conservatives who simply wanted to enforce the nation’s laws and get a grip on an issue that’s plagued the country for half a century. He’s also cemented his place in the Washington establishment’s hall of shame by being out of touch with the common folks who are forced to live with the ill-effects of illegal immigration. George W. makes it sound like it’s a moral issue, and the pro-constitution side is the bad one.
Who is George W. Bush to be preaching to us? Does it get any more maddening than this? Jake Dima reported at The Washington Examiner:
“Former President George W. Bush urged Congress to do away with ‘harsh rhetoric about immigration’ as he pledged support for a pathway to citizenship... ‘I do want to say to Congress, 'Please put aside all the harsh rhetoric about immigration. Please put aside trying to score political points on either side,’’ he told CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell in a taped interview... ‘I hope I can help set a tone that is more respectful about the immigrant, which may lead to reform of the system.’
“Bush, who said one of his greatest regrets during his eight years in office was not passing migrant reform, added that the immigration debate is plagued with ‘fear.’
“’The problem with the immigration debate is that someone can create a lot of fear — 'They’re coming after you' — but it’s a nation that is willing to accept the refugee or the harmed or the frightened,’ he told O'Donnell. ‘To me, it is a great nation, and we are a great nation.’”
This is where the oil paint/brain damage conundrum comes in. Here we are, in the midst of a border immigration crisis heretofore unknown in the annals of U.S. history and a former Republican president says both parties are wrong about it. Bush isn’t fooling anyone, however. If he’s talking about a path to citizenship and toning down rhetoric, he’s really sticking the proverbial knife in the backs of GOPers who advocate for reducing or eliminating illegal immigration and wouldn’t even consider extending the privileges of U.S. citizenship to anyone who entered and remained here illegally.
To do so is a direct affront to those constitution-minded citizens who value their birthright -- or legal naturalization -- as something special that’s worth relishing. While most people have compassion for the inherited plight of so-called “DREAMERS”, the feeling ends there. Granting them a path to citizenship cheapens what the rest of us have had since our first breath, or earned by doing things the right way.
As an example, my nurse-assistant daughter told me about a conversation she had with an African patient who was desperately trying to heal so he could attend his and his family’s naturalization ceremony. The man said he prayed and prayed for years for the process to work its way through so that one day, he would hear the good news. That time had come apparently, and he spoke so eloquently about America that it made my constitution-revering kid even more appreciative for living in the greatest country in the world.
It's something we all take for granted. Having resided in states/cities with large contingents of immigrants -- legal and otherwise -- the apparent dividing line between the two types seems to be emotional rather than physical. Those who waited years and traveled through the arduous system cherish what America represents to them -- the bastion of freedom that they were attracted to in the first place. The other side sees America as the best place to come where there’s economic opportunities and lots of “free stuff.”
DREAMER or not, this group of immigrants are in pursuit of the latter course. Politicians should debate over whether any alien can remain in the country with legal status, but there’s no way that a path to citizenship should be a possibility for lawbreakers regardless. Instead, they must get in the proverbial “line” and wait their turn behind all of those -- like the African man described above -- before they’re considered for citizenship privileges.
End of story.
Apparently, George W. Bush understands none of this, because like all card-carrying members of the ruling class, establishmentarian Bush’s never had to personally deal with what unrestrained illegal immigration entails. Bush and his kind see the “huddled masses” described on the Statue of Liberty; those who are stuck with the overcrowded schools, unsafe neighborhoods, overburdened welfare system and, most pointedly, the cost of supporting these people, view it differently.
In these COVID-influenced times, there are also health risks involved, not to mention the always omnipresent possibility that terrorists see the nation’s porous border as their perfect chance to break-in undetected. What these scumbags couldn’t hope to accomplish on a “no-fly” list becomes eminently doable when the only thing that stands between them and their victims is miles of open desert and a border patrol stretched to the limit.
In case you were wondering, Bush’s book is titled, “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants”. In some ways it’s a very apropos name for the tome, because it (somewhat) depicts the inverse of what happens when illegal immigration isn’t controlled. Like pregnant women traveling to the United States to have their babies (also known as “birth tourism” or “anchor babies”), granting citizenship to the DREAMER class will blow open the door for legalization and then voting rights for their parents and extended families. Out of One, Many!
Even liberal publications like the Washington Post concede that most (three quarters!) of today’s “unaccompanied minors” are between the ages of 15 and 17, and the vast majority of them are male. At the same time, many of the “DREAMERS” that the parties are currently fighting over are now in their late 20’s or 30’s and are no longer kids. Demographically speaking, a good share of them likely have children of their own who are American citizens.
One thing leads to another and none of the “path to citizenship” options are good ones. Where does it end?
Like most former presidents, George W. Bush’s approval numbers have increased since he left office. The old adage “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” was never truer than in the case of the soft-spoken, Texas accented GWB, a guy so non-threatening that some folks prefer hugging him (Michelle Obama?) to yelling at him. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that Bush left office as one of the most unpopular presidents of all-time.
Yes, there was the financial crisis of 2008 that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and the Iraq War conundrum was still on Americans’ minds. But make no mistake, the politically challenged Bush wasn’t well remembered because his second term had been a complete failure. His broken promise to deal with the immigration situation was a major reason why. George teamed with wishy-washy RINOs and Democrats to “compromise” on comprehensive immigration “reform” in 2007. Thankfully it failed.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has taken heat for laughing at the “11 million illegal immigrants” figure that liberals and establishmentarians use in perpetuity to put a total on the number of “undocumented” aliens in the country today. In reality, the actual tally is probably three or four times higher. Granting citizenship to any illegal alien is not just a bad idea, it would be disastrous.
George W. Bush should stick to painting and quit lecturing conservatives on toning down their pro-law enforcement public statements. The oil in his paint may or may not have affected his brain, but it’s clear that he doesn’t have a clue about what he’s saying. Democrats love every minute of it.
George W. Bush