I don't always agree with Pat Buchanan. I think that too often Buchanan is an alarmist who stirs right-wing rhetoric to an inflammatory point. At the same time, I admire his passion and his intellect. By any definition, he's a bright man and we should listen when he speaks. We may not always agree but, by golly, we should darned well listen.
Buchanan has a new book on the shelves this week that addresses his fears concerning illegal immigration into this country. If Buchanan is correct, every American should read the book and react with utter fear and panic. If that sounds like drama, so be it.
Here's what Buchanan says. He says that statistics will prove that by 2050, 100 million Mexicans will be concentrated in the Southwestern United States. Just imagine that number for a moment.
He says that the Mexican government is using a campaign to use America as a dumping ground for its poor and unemployed, both to relieve social pressure there and to effect a cultural change. And he says we're not doing one thing about it.
Buchanan proposes an Eisenhower-type deportation program that begins with all illegal aliens convicted of felonies and every gang member not a U.S. citizen. He then proposes a 10-year moratorium on all legal immigration to the level favored by President Kennedy - 150,000 to 250,000 annually.
And last but not least, he proposes a $10 billion, 2,000-mile, double-line fence between the United States and Mexico.
OK, so maybe Buchanan is overreacting. Or maybe not.
All I know is this - and this much I know in my heart - without a substantial change, illegal immigration will soon be the greatest problem facing this nation. And if you simply look at the statistics, our nation cannot ever pay for this flood of low-income, unskilled, uneducated people. We simply can't. The federal government cannot tax us enough, hire enough cops, bilingual educators, etc., to handle this exploding population.
President George W. Bush has had my vote twice now. I believed him capable of taking that cowboy mentality and stopping the Mexican government from their flawed policy of immigration. I was wrong and Bush would not get my vote again - even if he could.
We must elect someone - and I care less of their party affiliation - who will not give lip service to this problem but instead will demand change. If that takes armed troops at the border, then so be it. If that takes an end to all trade with Mexico, then so be it. If that means not allowing one Mexican transport truck across our border, then so be it.
Buchanan may not be right. But we can't afford to dismiss his ideas.