Now, how's that old saying go?

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2007

C liches - you gotta love 'em. Those overworked, ill-used servants of the English language, tired and excessively worn as they are, remain always at our beck and call. Like the lowly scullery maids of Victorian Britain, they "come out of the shadows" to "do the jobs (Americans) won't do."

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You can see where this is going.

The recent congressional illegal alien amnesty scheme, which was shot down in flames by massive grassroots opposition, was preceded by a veritable propaganda barrage. This was designed to make one feel downright unpatriotic if the invasion by foreign nationals was resisted. After all, aren't we "a nation of immigrants"? Average Americans who wanted their borders secured and aliens deported suddenly metamorphosed into "racists" and "xenophobes." Like Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., says, "We're going to tell the bigots to shut up."

Gee, I honestly didn't know I hate everybody. I thought I just wanted my country back from tens of millions of lawbreakers.

My June column, "The great USA giveaway" prompted one critic to call my presentation of solid facts "hate-promoting innuendo" and "scary." Well, driving full-speed toward a "bridge out" area is scary, too, but I'd want someone to warn me about it before I took the final plunge. Have you been to Anchorage lately? How many illegal aliens are represented within the dozens of languages spoken there?

Secretly, though, I sometimes wonder if I might be considered an "undocumented worker" or a "guest" columnist because, as a Haines resident, I haven't actually "earned" Juneau citizenship. But then, where would the Empire deport me - to the competition?

Then there's that poster child of all political clichés: "It's for the children." This is such a one-size-fits-all slogan that its placement possibilities send the average liberal (Democrat or Republican) into a dizzying political ecstasy. Are the kids failing in school? Why, just toss some more taxpayer money onto the public education bonfire. The brighter the flames, the more we're doing for them, right? Forget about teaching outdated stuff such as phonics, politically incorrect (un-revised) history and penmanship.

Chuck the boring civics classes. Who cares what it means to be an American anymore? Remember the immortal words of senator-philosopher Graham: "An American is an idea. No one owns being an American." That leaves out the bulk of the people I know. But I reckon that's what comes of our being part of "the global village."

"For the children" goes a long way for the members of the anti-self-defense league, who quaver at the thought of having to physically protect themselves and their families. The cliché offers a shelter of righteous indignation and allows them to demonize the opposition. Those who cherish their right to keep and bear arms and resist "common-sense gun control" also transform into wild-eyed "right-wing extremists" or "gun nuts." After all, "this is not the Wild West", and why in the world would anybody be opposed to "reasonable restrictions" anyway?

Look, in the real world thugs don't obey laws nor give a hoot about societal improvement plans. Violent individuals are deterred by only one thing - an armed and determined people who refuse to be victims.

Since its nationwide citizen disarmament policy was implemented, England has elevated itself to the dubious distinction of becoming the most violent Western nation. When Australia passed its own draconian gun ban in the 1990s, assaults, rapes and robberies skyrocketed. Crime is still off the charts today. The District of Columbia's own 30-year-old gun ban prompted the same gleeful response from the criminal element.

Hmmm. Take guns out of the hands of decent folk, and violent crime goes through the roof. Go figure.

But remember, now: "It's for the children."

There was a time, not too long ago, when the rational discussion of issues critical to our country was healthy and commonplace. Debate founded on fact and delivered with incisive reasoning was honored, and clichés were recognized as the empty rhetoric of those who didn't have a leg to stand on. Oh, I miss those old days, but I suppose that's just so much water under the bridge.

• Kevin Reeves is a freelance writer living in Haines.

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