You Mean, Not All Foreigners Are The Same?

Is it wicked for foreigners to influence American elections, or isn't it?

It's a standard contention on the Right that leaders of the Left are hypocrites of the most nauseating sort.  Nancy Pelosi pretends to represent the little guy, though she was elected by a city with an extreme homeless crisis while at the same time being worth tens of millions.  Al Gore is squired to global warming conferences by a fleet of gas-guzzling SUVs and private jets.  And so on.

To be fair, leaders on the Right aren't much better at practicing what they claim to preach.  Generally, though, we assume the foot-soldiers on both sides largely believe and practice in what they fight for - otherwise they wouldn't fight for it, right?

Maybe the most enjoyable aspect to the Era of Trump is just how many bizarre truths have been revealed by his antics and the extreme responses to them.

When the Left Hates Foreign Influence...

For at least a century, the Left has been noted for an internationalist, "global-citizen", why-can't-we-all-just-get-along view  As far back as the 1930s, leftist media hacks covered over Stalin's atrocities because the Marxist principles of Communism just sounded so awesome.  At the height of the Cold War, the Left opposed American strength with the fatalistic slogan "Better Red than dead."  Of course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously offered a hand of friendship and a "reset" button to post-Communist Russia, though she couldn't even get that right.

So you'd think the Democrats would at least welcome friendly overtures to the Russians from the other side of the aisle.  You'd be wrong!  For the first time in modern history, all of a sudden it's Democrats screaming that relationships with Russians are impeachment-worthy treason.

There is, of course, neither evidence nor any sane reason to believe that Donald Trump attempted to collude with Russians in order to steal the presidency, or that it would have made much actual difference if he had.  All Americans can agree, though, that intentionally conspiring with foreigners to alter the course of an American election is a Bad Thing, and not the way we want the game to be played.

Similarly, it's ludicrous to suppose that Russian shenanigans had a material effect on the election.  It's been reported that foreigners bought at most a million dollars' worth of ads on Facebook.  That sounds like a lot, but the Hillary side alone spent over a billion dollars.  A measly million accomplished nothing; if it had, that would make the Russians the greatest political campaign managers in all of human history - and in a system as alien from their native one as it's possible to get, no less!

Nevertheless, although it made absolutely no difference in the real world, we can all agree that we do not want even attempts at foreign interference in our elections.  So aside from the self-serving elites, ordinary folks on both sides can be pleased that Facebook is establishing new rules to make sure they, at least in theory, aren't taken advantage of that way:

According to today’s announcement, Facebook will now begin to verify the identity and the residential mailing address of advertisers who want to run political ads. Those advertisers will also have to disclose who’s paying for the ads as part of this authorization process.

This verification process is currently only open in the U.S. and will require Page admins and ad account admins to submit their government-issued ID to Facebook, along with their residential mailing address.

The government ID can either be a U.S. passport or U.S. driver’s license, a FAQ explains. Facebook will also ask for the last four digits of admins’ Social Security Number.

Cue the cheers from all sides!

...And When They Don't!

Poor Facebook just can't win.  Quoth the left, in horror and dismay:

This new requirement would not only squash the First Amendment rights of non-US citizen grassroots activists and undermine our democracy, but it would also open up ad purchasers to identity theft and other breaches of privacy... The ranks of marketers, advertisers and, yes, immigrant activists are full of both documented and undocumented residents alike. Naturally, some find their livelihood through ad buying. Singling out non-US citizens fundamentally undermines free speech and democracy.

It is crucial that DREAMers and other Latinx organizers continue to have full access to Facebook's capabilities to get their messaging out to the public. [emphasis added]

So let's sum up: When Russians attempt to influence our politics from the left, through organisations like the Communist Party USA and Students for a Democratic Society, that's just fine.  When Russians supposedly (and ineffectually) try to do the same from the right, that's treason and an international crime.

Yet when illegal alien foreigners who have physically invaded our actual country contrary to our laws (which the Russians never did in any great numbers) attempt to directly affect our politics - that's a First Amendment right!

Regardless of what leftist judges say, the Constitution and its rights were never intended to apply to those who are not citizens, much less those whose very presence here is a slap in the face of our laws

In his infamous book Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky advised his acolytes to "make your enemy live up to his own rules."  Donald Trump has proven the master of using this technique against the left, and they're woefully unprepared for it - even apart from Mr. Trump's efforts, the #MeToo campaign has taken down far more Democrats than conservatives.  Apparently politicians who preach feminism are all too happy to cop a feel when they think they're off camera; by #MeToo-ing them, they're simply being forced to live up to the women's-lib gospel they've preached for decades.  This is apparently more of a challenge than most Democrat elites can handle.

The deafening accusations of the evils of foreign interference presents conservatives with a golden opportunity to hammer rank-and-file lefties the same way.  So you think it's horrible, wicked, evil, and wrong for Russians to interfere in our elections?  Then it's just as horrible, wicked, evil, and wrong for Mexicans and Central Americans to do the same, with a thousand times more people involved - right?

It's not?  Why not, exactly?

It doesn't even matter what the answer is, or if there's an answer at all - they'll look equally dishonest and corrupt either way.  All we have to do is keep the pressure on and do our best to keep the argument - in both directions - at the loudest possible volume.

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Immigration.
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