How the Left Uses Group Identity to Undermine Self Government: The Case of Mexico’s American Diaspora

Here is Mike Gonzalez writing at the Heritage Foundation’s “The Insider” about something conservatives fail to communicate to enough people about Mexico’s American diaspora. First up is a note from the editor of “The Insider”:

Surveying the political scene of 2016, we see some Americans taking offense at the phrase “All Lives Matter,” we see some students demanding that university presidents apologize for being white, we see a presidential candidate questioning whether a judge with a Mexican-sounding name can be impartial, and we see others finding it incomprehensible that political conservatives who oppose gay marriage could possibly be sincere in expressing condolences about shootings at a gay nightclub.

Dividing Americans into different identity groups doesn’t seem to be helping our discourse. Where did people learn to see themselves as members of a group first and as Americans second? When did politics become a zero-sum game of whose grievance rules?

Mike Gonzalez sheds some light on these questions with this look at how the Mexican government has worked to mobilize Mexican-Americans for its own political ends. Gonzalez finds that transnationalism—the belief that borders shouldn’t matter—has been the handmaiden of the ethnic-identity movement. If you think those two ideas are in tension, then you don’t understand the Church of the Left, which holds that victimhood is sainthood and the only victims are members of historically suppressed or marginalized groups. National borders matter or they don’t depending on how they affect those groups.

The drive to put Americans into groups and dispense their rights and privileges based on membership in those groups not only undermines our sense of who we are; it erodes the principles by which we govern ourselves, not least of which is the principle that we should govern ourselves. —Editor

Here is Mike Gonzalez’s opening:

THE PHENOMENAL GROWTH of the Mexican-American population presents a number of challenges for policymakers. In 2014, more than 35 million people of Mexican origin were living in the United States, including 11.7 million who were born in Mexico, accounting for 27.6 percent of all immigrants living in the United States. All told, the share of the total population made up of immigrants is 13.3 percent, approaching levels not seen since the turn of the last century.

But immigration has changed dramatically since the huddled masses of Europe landed in New York in the 19th and early-20th centuries, and in ways that should worry those concerned about preserving the American project for future generations. Whereas in previous migrations newcomers were encouraged by authorities to adopt American mores and habits, for more recent waves, assimilation is no longer the official goal. The transnational multicultural movement has succeeded at replacing established norms of citizenship, social cohesion, and national interests with new doctrines that are recasting, not preserving, the American experiment.

Read more: The Insider

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