My Point of View: DFL, GOP caucuses both taking place in A.L. Tuesday

Published 10:00 pm Monday, February 5, 2018

My Point of View, By Ebenezer Howe

A week ago President Trump gave his State of the Union speech. Of all I have listened to in the past, it was the closest to actually being about the state of the Union. As with all these speeches, the listener hears and interprets based on his ideology. The biggest divide is probably on immigration. This issue is possibly the one that got Donald Trump elected and one on which he has never changed. I claim to be on the liberty side of issues, but immigration is one where I differ with most of the libertarian-type folks. They feel we should have open borders, but I say that is impossible until the right of the state is first observed.

Ebenezer Howe

After the war for independence, there was the concern of foreign invasion from the West, and that was a big reason for the Louisiana Purchase. There was no real limit on the number of people coming into the United States at first since we needed people to populate the place. In 1798, in fear that people may become naturalized who still owed allegiance to a foreign power, the two-year residence requirement was raised to 14 years but was repealed in 1802. I feel the loyalty issue was over-blown since most people came for opportunities not available in their homeland, and we had the oceans between us and the old country. Assimilation occurred, although slowly, because it was as hard to return to the homeland as it had been to come to the United States. In 1921, the first limit regulating immigration was set by “quotas” based on nationality. My belief is that this was driven by the vast number of immigrants who were slow to assimilate. One of our local active Republicans tells a story of his grandfather’s parents first learning of the need to assimilate and learn English when his grandfather’s final report card from second grade said something along the lines of “Cannot speak English well enough — repeat second grade.”

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The four pillars of President Trump’s immigration reform package (DACA fix, fully secure the border, end visa lottery and end chain migration) are dead on and long overdue. Comprehensive immigration reform will require all four of these pillars or else it is not comprehensive. To become a United States citizen, you should add positively to the nation.

Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan does not say or imply at the expense of others. He says the United States looks out for our interests first, just as every other country should look out for their interests first. Then “win, win” deals and agreements are achieved and all live by the rules.

I received a quarterly newsletter from a libertarian-leaning organization this last week that had the lead article titled “The Challenge of Populism.” This was the first sentence in the article: “Populism’s threat to liberty is rising throughout the world, as its appeal to nationalism and xenophobia afflicts rich and poor countries alike.” After reading the article and trying to understand the definition of “populism,” I do not understand what they were driving at. The closest might be this from Wikipedia — Political parties and politicians often use the terms “populist” and “populism” as pejoratives against their opponents.

Some refer to Donald Trump and the folks who voted for him as populist. I do not see his implementation of “Make America Great Again” as nationalism. Nor do I see his four pillars of immigration reform as xenophobia — intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

Today is caucus day. If you don’t have a resolution to submit, the following is one to try.

We request all our state legislators to sponsor or co-sponsor legislation to give Freeborn County and Albert Lea a 10-year waiver on the hospital building moratorium.

This would allow immediate construction should a second provider decide to build in Albert Lea. Without the waiver, it could take a few years for approval.

The DFL caucus is at the Eagles Club.

The GOP caucus is at Southwest Middle School in Albert Lea. Both start at 7 p.m. The fun starts when you get there, so come early.

Alden resident Ebenezer Howe is chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the local party members.