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06 November 2018

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FND

Thank you Mr. Sale for the enlightened perspective. I agree with all you say.

Its not quite the same as present immigration though. First, they were almost all legal immigrants. Second, at least in the case of the North European immigrants, they were actually more educated than existing Americans.

turcopolier

FND

There was no immigration law or border controls until the 1870s in America. As for the education issue, many of my English ancestors who settled New England in the 17th century were Cambridge University graduates. pl

William R. Cumming

Thanks Richard for this excellent post!

Oddly I believe the immigration issue now resolved de facto and de jure.

The key factor was repeal of the 1882 Oriental Exclusion Act in 1964 [I believe this is accurate]!

Asian demographics will be the greatest single factor impacting the USA this Century IMO, not Mexico or Central America.

And perhaps MENA!

Like the Native Americans lawyering up post-WWII the Asians seeking domicle in the USA have learned to lAWYER UP. Hispanics have not done so.

BabelFish

Part of my ancestry touches the KKK. The stories my paternal grandparents passed on to me regarding cross burning on their lawns gave me a strong negative bias regarding any anti-immigration movements, rhetoric or .

That being said, I believe we need "immigration with excellence". You can give all the tax breaks you want in a place like the 'Twin Tiers' of New York. That will not produce workers in a region that has been depopulated by demographic shifts (the economic groups spoke of a decline of 1 million). In another northeastern location, I was part of an effort to build a factory that would not have existed if not for being able to recruit refugees from Bosnia, Somalia, etc.

Can people move back to the northeast? Not with the wage structure we have for working class people.

An uncontrolled border, overloading border states ability to provide basic human services and assimilation is just plain insanity. Demonizing the people making those illegal crossings is not helpful either. If Mr. Trump is as much as a business person as he says he is (I have serious doubts about that), he should recognize the 'win/win' nature of tackling these issues on a sane basis. But, of course, that doesn't appeal to our outrage society, does it?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan_in_Maine

turcopolier

Babelfish

Is this in the paternal line? Since we are cousins I know your mother's line well and don't recall that. pl

LeaNder

Richard, it feels to me lately, I can't help, the politics of resentment may well be on the rise over here too. And, sadly enough, I doubt they will go away. Not only concerning emigrants or refugees by the way. A CDU minister, who successfully used it for his reelection thankfully has faded into history. But yes, its a tale that must be as old as the world, almost. ;)

****
if you allow?

"The whole cast of American thinking at this period was deeply affected experience of rural minds having to confront urban life with the latter’s crowding, crime, poverty, corruption, impersonality, and ethnic chaos. "

I noticed this too more recently. Often my mind is ahead of my fingers.

"was deeply affected 'by the' experience of" ???

*****

If you allow one further note, I understand that you possibly hesitate considering your longer train of thought, but can we be sure all Protestant Americans were "true believers"? Didn't Kennedy's father make his money too in the prohibition? Besides, I doubt that not all three religions were involved in the trade one way or the other? Since obviously the law increased both demand and the money that could be made. But the Jewish gangsters were more prominent then Kennedy's father? No Protestants involved?:

"The Prohibition mania was made law and stood as law for the next 15 years, while the chief beneficiaries of it were not Protestants, but criminal or Jewish gangsters. "


****

But I didn't know, that the Catholics were against prohibition. Love it though!!!

Would fit into the context of my favorite Carnival. Interesting tradition. They were Protestants in Basel, and thus were forbidden to celebrate Carnival. That's why it starts at four in the morning with the "Morgenstreich/early morning strike", when historically they could be sure the bishop was soundly asleep. ;)

BabelFish

Pat, yes. This was from Pepere Chevalier and his brothers.

turcopolier

Babelfish

Having spent some time drinking with the Chevaliers I am not altogether surprised. pl

no one

Richard, Thank you for what I read as a comprehensive and honest expression of why Trump gets under your skin. Of course, there is nothing to argue with you about because you're simply callin' 'em as you sees 'em. Fair enough.

And I actually don't disagree with what you see - well, mostly not. You have some valid points. Where we differ is that I agree with Trump that WASP values are superior.

I've come full circle on that point, but that is what I believe. In my experience, people that are successful (perhaps excepting those who gained success in the bizarreness of Hollywood and similar environments) tend to develop/adopt WASPish values, if they didn't already innately exhibit them, even if they started out as humble, even swarthy, immigrants.

IMO, where Trump resonates is not so much in a rejection of darker skinned people or a desire to hold them down in favor of WASP attainment and control, but in a rejection of an increasingly large segment of our society, usually represented as dark skinned, that isn't even trying to attain or assimilate, that is obviously morally corrupt and that, rather than working hard and exercising discipline, demands hand outs.

My mother's maiden name was "Ball". She was a direct descendant of the line that produced George Washington (half of him anyway = Mary Ball Washington). Direct ancestors had fought in the Revolution. She was Blue Blood in every sense. She graduated from Juliard and married a Dupont exponent at age 23. But she had a wild hair and wanted to be a jazz singer. The marriage didn't last more than a couple of years. My father was the son of Armenian immigrants. He fought (literally as a boxer) to get into the University of Michigan. He graduated and then he volunteered to fight more as a PFC in the USMC in WW2. He then went to law school on the GI bill and became a very tough trial lawyer in Detroit. He met my mother when she was splitting performances with a young Barbara Streisand at the Caucus Club in Detroit. Somehow the swarthy bachelor of 40 years of age seduced her into marriage. Two years later I was born. I grew up in a pretty fancy town called Grosse Pointe. I attended private schools with Dows, Gambles, Fords and so on. My mother was in her element. My father was not. I saw the pain and anger that the rejection by the WASPs caused him. As I take after my mother in my blue eyes, fairer skin and brown hair I was accepted as well (being very good at sports also helped). Yet, I could not forgive these people for their snobbery. It seemed so un-earned. There was so much that I perceived as entitlement. As my parents' marriage began to disintegrate my hatred of the WASP grew. I took up boxing, traveling into Detroit proper to train and fight amongst the blacks. My father drove me at first. When I got my license, I drove myself. I vowed to leave Grosse Pointe and all it symbolized behind as soon as possible. And I did. Taking almost nothing with me and burning all bridges. From there I had many adventures. Associated with many rough types, Mexicans, Americans, Bikers, etc. did some relatively rough and tough things both by way of work and adventure. Eventually I earned a masters degree and worked my way to a comfortable rung on the corporate ladder.

So I know what it is that you don't like about Trump. I've lived it. At the same time, everything I've done has me ultimately concluding that it is WASP values that keep this country from decaying into third world status.


BabelFish

Pat, I may resemble that comment!

BabelFish

And, in an unrelated event, I just happened to be listening to Tommy Makem's 'The Liar' when I read your comment! Truly a love song to tall tales and storytelling.

Pepere Chevalier was quite the story teller and his son Conrad wasn't too far behind.

Fred

Richard,

“…. the age-old promise that immigrants were to be granted an authentic American identity just as our forefathers did, thanks to their hard work, decency and steady application.” The Western frontier closed was closed in 1890s. Ellis Island closed a long time ago too; however, there are still plenty of immigrants who arrive in the US with just such a willingness for “hard work, decency and steady application”. There are also millions of native born Americans who are un- or under-employed. Many Americans think there is no longer a need for an ongoing influx immigrants regardless of their education, skill or willingness to work. Asking that question – why do we need more immigration - offends many. Why should it not, however, be a campaign issue?

“Note: Evans founded the Klu Klux Klan” As recently as a few weeks ago Nathan Bedford Forrest was still getting assigned that honor. There’s quite a bit about that in the Memphis press, if not the NY Times.

The Beaver

BabelFish

Pépère Chevalier, you mean GrandPa Chevalier : From Québec or from France?

Just asking and curious because there is a Chevalier in hubby's family (great grandmother from the Franche Comté)

turcopolier

Babelfish
I think I was a newly minted lt. when your dad took me to some dive in South Sanford where your kin gathered regularly for boilermakers. Quite a crew. pl

BabelFish

I have good memories of you in our kitchen, both as a VMI student and as a Lt. I remember helping you put back window stickers on your VW.

Yes, they taught me to drink boilermakers as well. I thought it was fitting, given their work at the Yard. My mom was not happy at all about that.

BabelFish

Beaver,

Pepere Chevalier was born in New Brunswick, eh? Never did understand why he wasn't born in Quebec. His bride was born in Rochester, New Hampshire but grew up in Qubec. Her maiden name was Cote.

The genealogy my cousins have done shows the first Cotes coming to the St. Lawrence valley about 1640. Our branch of the Chevaliers arrived in Quebec around 1740. Not quite sure where they came from other than it was near Paris.

elkern

R.Sale -

The weak link in your analysis is the assumption that Trump is sincere about immigration (or anything), rather than just tapping into an easy hot-botton issue. Is there any evidence of his sincerity on this? Has he displayed any long-term commitment to this - or any other issue, besides his own fortune & fame?

I don't have any real evidence that he is faking it; just a prejudice against puffy millionaires, who usually turn out to have hired illegal aliens becuase of their "work ethic" ( = willingness to work for low wages).

jerseycityjoan

I would like to see some evidence that Donald Trump's beliefs are tied to his Protestant background.

Trump was a product of the borough of Queens, New York, which as far as I know has zero ties to the rich WASPs of Manhattan (themselves a very faded force in New York in term of intellectual or moral influence). According to Wikipedia:

"Trump's mother was a Scottish immigrant, ... and Trump's paternal grandparents were German immigrants."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

While it may be that Trump's current statements about immigrants and immigration are similar to those who hold the views and beliefs you mention, I do not see why we can or should assume that Donald Trump is like them in all respects and agrees with them in every way.

If we look at his actions, it seems to me that what Donald Trump really loves is rich people, money, publicity and status. He's always been new money and has always sided with new money, as far as I know. To me he is the antithesis of class and WASP culture.

Isn't the real point being made that those who have anything negative to say against immigration have to be nasty, prejudiced, immoral and inferior beings?


no one

Richard, In part 1 (above) I explain how and why I am sympathetic to your analysis. Now I will explain where, IMO, you are just plain wrong and why Trump makes sense to many.

The immigrants that came to this country circa 1880 - 1920 were looking for better life. There was opportunity and they seized it. Moreover, they wanted to be good Americans. The Italians, even the gangsters, tried to dress respectably and live in the good neighborhoods. My father and my Uncle described to me how they would go to high end department stores with my grandparents so they could see what wealthy Americans preferred; what they purchased, how they dressed, how they behaved. They wanted to emulate these traits. I've heard this from other successful immigrant families of the era. This is important.

There aren't so many opportunities these days. Maybe to some extent as a result (or maybe not) a lot of immigrants aren't seeking to assimilate the norms of the culture. It isn't that the WASPs won't let them, they just don't care to even try.

I worked for the BLM for a few years and patrolled some of the same ground that Tyler does. I lived in the same communities. While I met many Mexicans that were hard people of good character, there was also a significant proportion of the population that was not. The latter were true third worlders with third world values through and through. There really was (and I understand that it's gotten worse) an attitude that the Southwest and California naturally belong to Mexico and we [Mexican immigrants] are going to take it back by overwhelming numbers. These people have no desire to integrate into Anglo society. They harbor animosity toward the Pinches Gringos, Chingadas Gueros, etc. It is fair to say that they are de facto foreign invaders and if you haven't lived in it (and been shot at by them) you're really talking out of a portion of your anatomy that was designed for something else. If you think that these people are going to build a functional - albeit a brown -society once they've taken over you are lost in a fantasy. Why isn't Mexico functional if these people are so great?

At the same there are Muslim immigrants, at least some of whom are extremely hostile to their host country. We can see what they are doing in the UK and it isn't anything anyone in their mind would want here.

Then there are more third worlders like Somalis.

Then there are our own home grown African Americans rampaging murderously in the streets of their enclaves every day.

How is it possible to ignore all of that? How is it possible to blame it all on the WASPs' lack of acceptance. For how long until credulity is stretched to the breaking point?

Trump is addressing those for that point has been reached.


mbrenner

There is something of the "red neck" in many more Americans than the small minority of pure breeds indicates. The many can include non-Protestants and even some Asians. This is not to "write them off" as incorrigible know-nothings. We all are composed of many elements. The sum of 310 million Americans feeling/thinking is surely more enlightened today than at any time in our history.(Gay marriage).

So what has brought forth the Trump-and-several-others phenomenon? I'd suggest three factors - in no particular order. First, having a black man in the White House. Second, the deep and spreading insecurities - economic, status, spiritual - of a growing percentage. Third, the extreme tolerance of the media and public persons to behavior - verbal and otherwise - that exhibits hate, anger, racism, and vulgarity of all sorts. Anything goes. This last enabling factor cannot fail to offer license to those who feel compelled (irresistible impulse) to let their nasty, "red neck" side show. That, in turn, affects the balance between the Id and the Super-ego in what we say and do.

The extremity of this evolving pattern is the extraordinary tolerance for the transgressions of aspirants to the White House - transgressions which a couple of generations again would have provoked across-the-board condemnation and the end of their political careers. Someone like Trump evokes "right-on!" responses because he provides cheap thrills to people who no longer can distinguish between the crude sentiments that emerge in a bull session around the dinette table after downing a few and a serious judgment of who is fit to be President of the United States. They short, they respond to politicos the way they respond to "professional" wrestling.

HankP

Richard -

Thank you for a very interesting essay, but I believe you're over thinking this. I grew up in the NYC area, and I've met many people like Trump. There's very little about history or religion that motivates him as far as I can see. What motivates Trump is Trump, it's simply egotism run amok. You can tell from his language, every one who opposes him is a "loser". He says he doesn't believe in political correctness, but not because he has a greater point to make. It's because it gets in the way of him saying whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He doesn't (and will never) explicitly state actual policies beyond bumper sticker length, because that may restrain him in the future. There is no future or past for Trump, just the now in which all appetites and desires must be satisfied.

He is, in short, an asshole. He's all the bad things about NYC distilled into a single person. The frightening thing is how appealing that is to so many people. To update the old metaphor, he's a man on a white Rolls-Royce.

robt willmann

I have not gotten the impression that Donald Trump has the values or attitudes of the Puritans, Yankee Protestants, or WASPs. It is said that he does not smoke or drink, but he has not openly promoted those positions. He has not seemed at all like the staid, reserved, White Shoe WASP establishment type of person. Instead, he shows boasting, vanity, name-dropping, name-calling, and New York City arrogance.

The first primaries are six months away. For those opposed to Trump, a man is known by the company he keeps. Since Trump said he thinks Carl Ichan or Henry Kravis would be good nominees for Secretary of the Treasury, digging can be done into the corporate takeovers done by Icahn and Kravis beginning in the 1980's: how much debt was loaded onto the corporations? what assets were stripped and sold and where did the money go? were the pension and retirement funds reduced or looted entirely? how many employees lost their jobs in the corporate takeovers, and how did that affect their medical and retirement benefits? what were the "fees" paid for the people "advising" on the corporate takeovers? and on and on. This goes back 25-35 years, a long time ago. It would take a lot of research into old court and bankruptcy records, depositions, newspaper and magazine articles, and labor union records. Some of the accountants, lawyers, and corporate officers may still be alive. Most people born after 1960 probably have little knowledge of the "junk bond era" of the 1980's and the Savings and Loan industry looting and scandals of the 1980's. Taxpayers may still be paying for the Savings and Loan debacle. That period of economic ripoffs was the beginning of the destruction of the prosperity that had been building in the U.S., and the start of the formation of the oligopoly and oligarchy that exists today.

Likewise, research into Trump's "deals", here and abroad, and going back in time, most likely will reveal unflattering behavior.

As HankP said above, Trump has so far only spoken in brief, bumper-sticker renditions of policy positions. Trump knows that the details are what matter, but he is avoiding them. It is time to press him for details, and if he does not deliver them, then ads can be crafted about Donald Trump, a carnival barker who makes the classic used car salesman look good.

In the Fox News debate of Thursday, 6 August 2015, the time each candidate got to talk was tabulated by Lauren Leatherby, a National Public Radio intern; Trump had the most, 10 minutes and 30 seconds, and Rand Paul had the least, 4 minutes and 51 seconds--

https://twitter.com/LaurenLeatherby/status/629489531146895361

mbrenner

The blunt truth about our leading politicians is that they are so mediocre. Impoverished minds and coarse personalities. Even our demagogues are appallingly bad as rabble-rousers. Trump is no threat to anything but addicted viewers of the "Texas Chainsaw Murders" who must confront the agony of decision over which entertainment to watch. America has never, in fact, been able to produce world-class demagogues. Now we can't produce even C+ politicians either. As a consequence, the two types are melding into each other.

Isn't it pointless to devote ourselves to a fine-tooth appraisal of the characters on stage last night (and yesterday afternoon) when the overriding issue is whether, and how, we will ever reverse the downward spiral in the caliber of people who aspire to rule us and the quality of the discourse they generate? America is failing whichever non-entity or clown is the last man who hasn't slipped on the banana peel.

William R. Cumming

37% of NYC residents foreign born!

William R. Cumming

Nicely put IMO!

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