The Thousand Mile Journey

By: Scott Morefield

ying beyond the new Republican Congress’s long agenda—repealing Obamacare, tax reform, rebuilding our depleted military—is a daunting reality: Donald Trump could be the last Republican ever elected to national office.

Do anti-Trump conservatives realize how narrow and improbable was the GOP’s 2016 victory? Many early Trump supporters denounced his flip-flops, gaffes, and ego, but supported him in the belief that his message to America’s displaced workers could crack the Democrats’ “blue wall,” giving Republicans a realistic chance for an Electoral College victory.

A “safer” Ted Cruz, unburdened by a #NeverCruz movement, might have won a popular majority by winning upwards of 70% of the vote in red states like Utah and Georgia, and majorities in Ohio, North Carolina and possibly even Florida. But only a once-in-a-generation candidate like Donald Trump could have carried states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, ones Hillary Clinton took for granted.

The shocking victory left Democrats stunned and despondent. But not for long. The “permanent Democratic majority” continues to threaten the conservative cause, and the survival of America in its current form. Preventing its emergence requires decisive action in three areas.

End Voter Fraud

Hysterical conspiracy theorists think the Russians hacked electronic voting machines, but real voter fraud is the kind that inspired Donald Trump’s tweets about the “3 million” non-citizens who voted in the 2016 election. The question isn’t whether voter fraud takes place, but where and to what extent.

Citizenship verification is an entirely reasonable first-line defense against voter fraud, but the Left is completely opposed. States that pass proof-of-citizenship requirements find their efforts struck down in the courts. As long as we have a system that allows voter registration without documentation, we are inviting non-citizens to participate in our elections. They won’t vote for conservatives.

Trump’s talk about investigating and ending voter fraud worries the Left. Apparently, a significant percentage of their constituency believes obtaining an actual, verifiable form of identification is too burdensome. Rather than risk “suppressing” all those votes, Democrats would rather let anybody vote who wants to, then turn around and insist that nobody voted illegally. In response, Republicans need a direct assault on voter fraud, beginning with “proof of citizenship” laws in each Republican-controlled state, followed by the appointment of judges who will uphold them.

Curb Immigration

At approximately 57 million strong, Hispanics are the Unites States’ largest, fastest growing minority group, comprising almost 18% of the U.S. population and over 9% of registered voters. If current immigration and birthrate patterns hold, by 2060 they are projected to be at 119 million and 28.6% of the overall population.

The Pew Hispanic Center identifies 64% of Hispanic voters as Democrats, and only 24% as Republicans. Trump received slightly more than Mitt Romney’s 27% of Hispanic votes, but the Republican high point was George W. Bush’s 40% in 2004, meaning the GOP declined by 11 percentage points between 2004 and 2016.

Currently, 54.5% of the nation’s Hispanics live in three states: California, Florida, and Texas. Trump won a slender majority of votes in Texas, 52%, compared to Romney’s 57% in 2012. Before the election, the New York Times noted, “Mrs. Clinton’s support among Hispanic voters would normally be enough to carry Florida…but Mr. Trump’s support among working-class voters could tip it in his favor.” In spite of its growing Hispanic population, Trump managed to win the state by 113,000 votes, 1.2% of the total.

Other immigrant groups vote Democratic in even more overwhelming proportions. Failure to address this problem will lead to state after state turning from red to purple to blue. Securing our borders is a crucial step. Immigrants must be here for the right reasons, and our cost-benefit assessment of each prospective migrant necessitates border security and rigorous screening.

End Birthright Citizenship

The United States and Canada are the only developed nations that allow the children of illegal immigrants to be born as full-fledged citizens. In 2010, 4.5 million children were born to unauthorized parents in the U.S. Every year, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates that almost 200,000 children are born to “to foreign women admitted as visitors, that is, tourists, students, guest workers, and other non-immigrant categories.” The Pew Hispanic center estimates that 8% of all U.S. births come from one illegal alien parent.

While the Immigration and Nationality Act currently defines the legal parameters of birthright citizenship, it could be repealed if not for the 14th Amendment, which was ratified to guarantee black Americans’ citizenship after the Civil War. The Claremont Institute’s John Eastman has argued that the 14th Amendment was never intended it to be applied as it is today.

Representative Steve King’s Birthright Citizenship Bill, requiring at least one of a child’s parents to be a citizen or legal permanent resident before automatic citizenship is conferred, would go a long way towards restoring a workable, constitutional relationship between immigration and citizenship. 

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