The case for a populist conservatism

Breitbart’s new columnist, Scott Morefield, explains:

For their own survival, it’s time for conservatives to become populists.

By making immigration his central campaign issue early on, Donald Trump did just that, speaking to something that hits home for many if not most Americans. We wonder why our betters insist on bringing in two immigrants for every job created when American wages have been stagnant for decades. We ask why it’s so imperative that masses of unassimilable and unscreened Muslims be brought to our shores from regions which we’ve helped destabilize in the first place. Why must our border with Mexico be a sieve that allows anyone and everyone to enter, while Americans who marry foreigners and try to get them a legal permanent resident card face so much red tape?

The burden illegal immigration from the Third World imposes on American society is a steep one, yet one that only ordinary Americans unable to afford high fences and Gulfstream jets have to pay. We know that 25 percent of Federal prisons are filled with illegal aliens, and we know about high-profile cases like the tragic murder of Kate Steinle (often thanks to Donald Trump), but actual figures for illegal alien crime are hard to find because, as a 2015 story laments, “the government agencies that crunch crime numbers are utterly unable — or unwilling — to pinpoint for the public how many illegal immigrants are arrested within U.S. borders each year.”

According to the story, which examined data from several unaffiliated sources to come up with the numbers the government doesn’t want to give, the nation’s approximately 11.7 million illegal immigrants are responsible for 12 percent of all murder sentences, 20 percent of all kidnapping sentences, 16 percent of all drug trafficking sentences, and 13.6 percent of ALL sentenced offenders in the U.S.

Additionally, according to the Heritage Foundation, American taxpayers are on the hook to the tune of almost $20,000 for every low-skilled immigrant household, which pays roughly $10,000 in taxes while using $30,000 in government services. In fact, 57 percent of all immigrant household with children use at least one welfare program.

22 million Americans are currently looking for full-time work while at least 8 million full-time jobs are held by illegal immigrants. But but but… our elites tell us we must bring in more, and in ever increasing numbers, yet ordinary Americans wonder why … and side with Donald Trump.

It’s a good column, but it is not a sufficient one, because the primary problem is not the burden that illegal immigration imposes; that is the secondary problem. The primary problem it is the burden that legal immigration imposes on Americans.

The article’s focus on illegal immigration always signifies a conservative who still shies away from addressing the problem directly. But it really doesn’t matter if an immigrant comes illegally or not, the problem is that he is in the USA, and not in his native land.

Conservatives cannot successfully address populist concerns while they insist on focusing on side issues rather than the main problems.