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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
A Lady Wrote the Best Letter in the Editorials in Ages!!!
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_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: February 16th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: And see....

Quite frankly, I think I lost you a little earlier.

Insomuchas I am not a fan of flighty rhetoric, of course you have. ;)

Even when I am cheery (as I am today) that sort of thing prods my buttons. Because the answer to what does the statue of liberty have to do with someone's opinion of policies on illegal immigration? Absolutely nothing. Such conversational techniques always just strike me as slight of hand to hide ... actually I'm not sure even what they are hiding. Maybe that's what pushes my buttons. They seem like *diversions* from rational discussion.

But, they don't irritate me to the extreme that things like "how dare you stereotype my son by saying he has girlish hair when I went through all this trouble to dress him in boyish clothes" does, so I'll still keep cheerfully poking when things come up until you tell me to stop.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 16th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: And see....

Even if we bracket the fact that the United States was founded by the descendents of people who were guilty, to build on the letter writer's conceit, not only of breaking and entering, but of breaking, entering and also expelling the original inhabitants of the "house," I still think that the Statue of Liberty is relevant to the discussion of contemporary American opinions on illegal immigration. It has long stood for an openness to the "tired and poor" who leave their homelands in search of a better life, regardless of their origins. And it has also served to rally opposition to the anti-immigrant sentiment that has waxed and waned in the 120+ years since it first graced New York Harbor. Bearing this in mind, someone who believes in the political good of liberal immigration policy might well express dismay at the rhetoric deployed by individuals, such as the letter writer, who seem to have forgotten what made the United States the diverse nation that it is today. Obviously, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol, which can be interpreted in a variety of different ways. But it certainly has been interpreted historically and also in our present day context as a bulwark against the forces who would wall the United States in without fully grasping what they were walling out in the process.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: February 16th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: And see....

See, and what you've written above is where I think you make the letter-writer's point for them:

People seem to love to blur the line between being for the enforcement of policy and being "anti-immigration". Being for the enforcement of policy does not even mean being *for* the policy. Why is it so hard just to address that the illegality is the issue? Why throw all the "cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior" on top of it? The only answer I can see to that is that there *isn't* anything to say about the illegality issue and people always need to be saying something.

The question is not "liberal immigration policy" vs. "conservative immigration policy", the question is how do you enforce it. Even in your own most desired and imagined immigration policy, surely there would be the possibility of "illegal immigrant", no?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 16th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: And see....

No, I'm not making the letter writer's point for her. You are ready to critique my rhetoric but apparently unwilling to acknowledge that her point is immersed in a conceit that perpetuates a conflation of categories which, while long-standing and often not perceived as a conceit, conceals as much as it reveals. The speeches of Abraham Lincoln and lesser figures aside, the United States is not a house and its "legal" inhabitants do not constitute a family. My sole reason for invoking the Statue of Liberty, ironically, in the first place was that the letter writer wasn't simply asking questions about the enforcement of policy in a neutral fashion, but using her conceit -- ably, I might add -- to sway opinion in her favor. Surely you see that?
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