May 17, 2006

Still not getting it

Lots of people, including Captain Ed, have jumped all over Vox's case about this column(linked here because the WND column was edited). He merely uses some historical perspective to debunk the assertion that "we CAN'T possibly deport 12 million illegals". What seems to have people's panties in a wad is that the reference was to the Nazis's attempted extermination of the Jews.

And he will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic - it's just not going to work."

Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society

While I would have looked for a different example, I find the facts to be on his side. Nowhere does Vox advocate exterminating the Mexicans. In fact, he doesn't even favor mass deportation. He merely compares the numbers, 6 million versus 12 million, while pointing out the societal differences today that, one would think, would make identifying illegal immigrants much easier than identifying European Jews sixty years ago.

If you want to read into the article that

a) Vox really wants to herd up and kill the Mexicans or
b) He thinks that massive deportation should be issue #1

then go ahead. But don't pretend that you actually read the article as it's written. Read into whatever you want to, but don't pretend that it's actually what's written.

Update: It turns out that Rob at Say Anything did read it correctly, but he's still against the turn of phrase.

I, for one, believe it is totally possible for America to deport 12 million illegal immigrants. If we sealed off the border, empowered local law enforcement to arrest illegals and sped up the deportation process we could probably get most of them out of the country within five years or so. That being said, backing up one's support for mass deportation by citing the success Nazis had at exterminating the Jews is not exactly the best way to win over fence-sitters on this issue.

Okay, I will admit to my ignorance now, but will someone-anyone- please give be a better 20th century example of a country systematically rounding up a particular group of people, numbering in the millions, within a few years time, that was not predicated on the extermination of the aforementioned group. I mentioned above that I'd have sought a different example, but for the life of me, I cannot come up with one. Please, I really want to know. If you cannot provide me with another example, I will assume that you just don't like the Nazi reference, period, which is certainly your perogative. The factual accuracies contained within that reference can therfore simply be ignored because you find it horribly distasteful.

Posted by Physics Geek at May 17, 2006 08:08 PM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

The internment of the Japanese-American population of the West Coast jumps to mind. That did, I believe, involve millions of people. Still not a rhetorically very effective example to use, since most people frown on this internment and consider it a massive violation of civil rights. You don't want to compare a proposed policy that you favor to a historical event that your audience doesn't if you can help it.

Another example might be the exodus of many, many people from Eastern Europe after most of it was conquered by the Soviet Union. Again, this is a rhetorically uncomfortable comparison, but it seems more apropros in that the end result - people leaving, rather than being killed or held prisoner - is closer to what Vox wants to happen with illegal immigrants than to the example he did use.

Posted by: jaed at May 17, 2006 09:57 PM

I didn't mention the early 20th century Eastern Europeans because I wasn't really certain how comparable it was. Of course, you could make the same argument against Vox's comparison, too. I'm just a little disturbed that most people arguing against this sort of comparison aren't actually admitting that in the light of cold, hard logic, the numbers stack up. Is it an ugly comparison? I've said that it's not one I'd have chosen, so you can draw your own conclusions. But it seems that many people are ignoring the factual accuracies contained within. Logically, it's hard to argue that his point isn't valid, although I'll agree with Rob at Say Anything that it's not a comparison that's likely to win people over, due the visceral reaction people will likely have.

Posted by: physics geek at May 18, 2006 11:37 AM

Vox rox.

Posted by: jimmyb at May 25, 2006 09:22 AM

Turn off the magnet that draws them here: jobs. Enforce laws against hiring illegals and stop social welfare benefits. They will all self-deport within 30-days.

Posted by: randy at June 1, 2006 05:09 PM