Membership in the club

Columnist : Albert Paschall

It can’t be too hard to join a club that has 286 million members.  In fact it’s probably easier than joining the local chamber of commerce.  The club demands that you pay your dues and behave by the rules.  About 1 out of 10 members are employed to make the rules and dole out the dues that we all pay – to other members.  It’s not hard at all to join the club we call the United State of America.

Aside from living in the U.S. basically there are 5 requirements.  Rules of membership that many current members choose to ignore.  If today’s members had to pass the tests that immigrants to this country have to take to become citizens the dropout rate would be astronomical.

The first is the ability to read, write and speak English.  From 1890 to 1954 ancestral Europeans were incarcerated in cells in New York harbor trying to overcome this hurdle.  At least the ability to say their name in the common language was required.  Today there are actually bilingual election ballots.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration to join Club USA from another country one must have “a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government” and “attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution.”

These two conditions could solve a big problem in the management of the club.  About 2/3 of the people who work for it would flunk this test.  So many people in the nation’s capital would be unemployed they’d be forced to take the jobs that President Bush says Americans just don’t want to do.

The Supreme Court Justices who ruled that local governments can condemn private property in the name of economic development don’t understand the history and reasoning behind the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.   Senators McCain and Kennedy crafted an amnesty bill last month for illegal immigrants apparently without checking a copy of the Fourth Amendment.  Today it seems that every agency is part of the Department of Homeland Security creating a great shield for trampling any rights we thought we had.

The club also requires that all applicants have “good moral character.”  These days it’s just a wild guess that if all the current members have to pass this test the ranks of Club USA would be slimmed down fairly quickly.

The last rule could be the toughest.  To officially join America’s ranks one must have a ““favorable disposition toward the United States.”  There are only two groups of people entitled to have an unfavorable disposition towards this country:  Ancestral Native Americans who had their land stolen from them and ancestral descendants of African-American Slaves who were carted to this country in chains.  Other than those two extraordinarily shameful chapters in our history at some point every one of us had an ancestor who paid our dues to join Club USA.  Most came praying to be accepted.

There are actually 298 million people living in America today.  The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics claims that about 10 million of them are here illegally.  They use stolen social security numbers to become eligible for Medicaid, Medicare and send their children to public schools.  Senators Kennedy and McCain have pushed a bill through the Senate that would largely wave the rules and make them citizens.

There will be a lot of heartbreak, chaos and expense in this country if Kennedy/McCain becomes law.  One lady will cry big tears.  At 151 feet tall she’s quite capable of that.  She’ll cry for all those that passed under her legally seeking the American dream.  We could all weep someday when the sculptors change the last line at the base of her glorious skirt: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free even if they are criminals we’ll grant them amnesty.”

Albert Paschall
Senior Fellow
The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, Inc.