We are witnessing what may be the birth pangs of nascent democracy in the Middle East. Or, we may be witnessing something else entirely. A region which has long trailed the rest of the Western world in basic freedoms for its citizens is in the process of long-needed transition. What it will be and what form it will eventually take has yet to be established. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we won’t try to transpose our own understanding upon the scene that lies before us. Especially when we contemplate the unknown, we can fall so easily into dichotomies. When comparing two things simultaneously, it is easy to believe that everything must belong to one part or the other, or, failing that, nothing can belong simultaneously to both parts. Egypt is not Libya, nor is Tunisia exactly like Egypt.
Tag: American identity
Feb 22 2011
Dec 09 2010
Immigration reform is needed, but it would be foolhardy to suggest that the DREAM act satisfies the requirement. It would seem that we have entered a new era of protectionism. Perhaps we should revive the quota system while we are at it. Though exact numbers will not be regulated, immigrants allowed to attain formal citizenship will be sharply curtailed. Each subsequent revision of the original bill adds hurdles to what will be a lengthy, tedious process of measured steps to follow. The act makes it plain that the process towards citizenship will unnecessarily protracted. The only immigrants allowed the formal right to be called Americans will be high achievers. Granted, good old fashioned Americans can be lazy, unproductive, and not of high moral character, but not illegal and deportable aliens, as the wording of the bill itself reads.