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View Diary: Immigration "Experts" Tied To White-Supremacist (66 comments)

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  •  Tanton appears to be too wacko right wing (6+ / 0-)

    even for the WSJ.  They call him a "borerline Republican."  Sounds mainstream Repug to me.  And he's being tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

    ...a sprawling, nonprofit funding conduit that has spawned three anti-immigration groups and underwrites several others....

    What's more, this interlocking network of supposedly independent organizations is almost entirely the handiwork of one man, a Michigan ophthalmologist named John H. Tanton.

    http://www.splcenter.org/...

    I'd say he's due for an appearance with Lou Dobbs.

    •  Tanton is actually from the left (0+ / 0-)

      specifically, the "doomer" wing that believes there is going to be an imminent collapse due to resource depletion and overpopulation.

      •  Southern Law Center says Tanton is with Scaife (10+ / 0-)

        Scaife is the wingnut "Funding father of the Right."

        And those groups and their vile philosophy are not lefties... Mexicans are called "savages" and blacks are referred to as a "retrograde species of humanity."

        In fact, the vast majority of American anti-immigration groups — more than a dozen in all — were either formed, led, or in other ways made possible through Tanton's efforts.

        The principal funding arm of the movement, U.S. Inc., is a Tanton creation, and millions of dollars in financing comes from just a few of his allies, far-right foundations like those controlled by the family of Richard Mellon Scaife.

        ...

        Finally, even as activists court increasing numbers of national politicians in the wake of Sept. 11, the Report's investigation reveals that they are moving in large numbers into the arms of hate groups like the Council of Conservative Citizens — a 15,000-member organization whose website recently described blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity."

        In fact, many anti-immigration groups have been growing harder- and harder-line since 1998, when they first began working together with open white supremacists. Today, many of their leading officials have joined racist organizations.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 08:42:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's the single issue thing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hawksana, Catte Nappe

          Here is a better article on Tanton:

          "Keeping America Empty: How one small-town conservationist launched today’s anti-immigration movement", from In These Times. http://www.inthesetimes.com/...

          He's from the "doomer" left.  Some of his allies are from the extreme right.  When somebody becomes obsessed with one single issue there is a good likelihood they can lose all perspective.  Thus, Tanton (who also supports Planned Parenthood), takes money from the Pioneer Fund and Richard Mellon Scaife and pals around with anyone who will ally with him on this issue, no matter how noxious.

          This is the single-issue problem at work again.

          The SPLC by the way is another textbook example of the same thing.

        •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bronte17
          There is a commonly believed fallacy that issues are the basis of political belief.

          Political belief comes from your moral values - and no racist can ever align with a leftist in moral values.

          As you clearly pointed out, Tanton is clearly tied to right wingers through the moral values he shares with them.

          •  In my observation, (0+ / 0-)

            "Moral values" are constructed after the fact to fit preexisting political beliefs, which in turn were adopted after the fact to fit some preexisting grudge.

            And what are so-called "moral values"?  Social constructs.  Nothing more.

            I'm always suspicious of anyone who claims some "moral value" basis for their politics.  That is generally a sign they are the sort of True Believer who will throw themselves fanatically into a cause, without regard to the consequences to themselves or anyone else.

            •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

              How is it that you know that moral values are constructed after the fact to fit preexisting political beliefs?

              And where do these political beliefs come from? Without a moral basis for making the decision, how does a person decide that capital punishment is good or bad? (for example)

            •  I'm disappointed (0+ / 0-)

              I was hoping that you had some argument to back up the unsupported claim that you make. This is a point that I would enjoy being persuaded on.

              •  If you want to continue it here I will (0+ / 0-)

                but I didn't because this is drifting way off the original topic and in a now 2-day old thread - as well as getting off the point I was trying to make, that the left has plenty of baggage on this area that we pretend doesn't exist at our own peril (broadly speaking, an anti-humanist wing of the left that prioritizes nature over people and/or idealizes a pre-technological society and disdains industrial progress; specifically in John Tanton's case, a "resources are limited and cannot be shared" view, which ultimately comes from Garrett Hardin and his Tragedy of the Commons essay).  This is relevant among other reasons because there seems to be a lot of "peak oil" belief all over Daily Kos right now, yet the main popularizers behind "peak oil" - Albert Bartlett, James Howard Kunstler, David Pimentel...every one of them, holds identical views on immigration to John Tanton, and identical views on resource scarcity to Garrett Hardin.

                Simply pretending John Tanton is a person of "the right" is a cop-out and a refusal to deal honestly with this problem.

                Re: capital punishment, I have seen nothing to indicate people don't usually arrive at their moral position on it to either (a) fit with what they had already decided their political beliefs were - as in "I'm a [liberal/conservative], so I guess I'm [against/for] capital punishment since as a [liberal/conservative] I'm supposed to be"; or (b) over a grudge, a vindictive nature, or a desire for "closure".  But this is a topic for a much longer discussion in another time and place.  I'm open to being convinced otherwise but I really don't see any evidence for "moral values" as anything other than subjective constructs that serve some other purpose, which is not to say they don't have value or fill a needed role in society.

                •  OK, this is really good (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  canyonrat

                  Simply pretending John Tanton is a person of "the right" is a cop-out and a refusal to deal honestly with this problem.

                  That's a layer above what I wanted to get at. We disagree on that point, because we don't agree on what it rests on. I will clarify what I mean.

                  Re: capital punishment, I have seen nothing to indicate people don't usually arrive at their moral position on it to either (a) fit with what they had already decided their political beliefs were - as in "I'm a [liberal/conservative], so I guess I'm [against/for] capital punishment since as a [liberal/conservative] I'm supposed to be"; or (b) over a grudge, a vindictive nature, or a desire for "closure"

                  That's what I'm interested in. I think a great deal about this so whenever I find someone who disagrees, I try to understand their position, and to find out why they don't agree with my position.

                  I guess I'd respond to what you said by asking if deciding that you're a conservative or deciding that you're for the death penalty is just the same thing.

                  For example, if you held the moral value that physical strength and discipline were the virtues that made a man into a MAN, wouldn't you then respond to the tough talk of a cowboy president and therefore identify with conservatives? That would mean that you felt that the moral values of physical strength and discipline were good before you identified with conservatives.

                  I'm having a little trouble understanding how a person would say to themselves "I think killing criminals is good, therefore I will adopt the moral position that punishment is very important on my list of virtues."

                  Isn't it more natural for a person to say "I think punishment of criminals is a proper thing to do, therefore I like capital punishment, and therefore I am a conservative?"

                  I eagerly await your comments...

                  I'm open to being convinced otherwise but I really don't see any evidence for "moral values" as anything other than subjective constructs that serve some other purpose, which is not to say they don't have value or fill a needed role in society.

                  I agree with that. Selfishness is a moral value. Generosity is also a moral value. Obviously I don't mean that the word moral means the same thing as good. What I mean is that a moral value can be used as a discriminator to judge good people or bad people.

                  To make this a little more succinct - I see moral values as being virtues or vices, and different people will have different opinions on whether a moral value is a virtue or a vice.

                  •  okay, I sorta see where this is going (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pdrap

                    This is similar to Lakoff's stern father/nurturing mother paradigm: "For example, if you held the moral value that physical strength and discipline were the virtues that made a man into a MAN, wouldn't you then respond to the tough talk of a cowboy president and therefore identify with conservatives? That would mean that you felt that the moral values of physical strength and discipline were good before you identified with conservatives."

                    I'm not entirely sure I see a definite causation here.  Some correlation but not causation.  Masculinism was undoubtedly part of Reagan's appeal and that of Dubya (but not his father). I also strongly suspect it is part of Jim Webb's appeal as well as some liberals of the past (such as Harry Truman, Scoop Jackson, several others).  This paradigm also tends to conflict with a class-based view of left and right, in that working class people are more likely to value physical strength and discipline, upper class people more likely to value intellectual pursuits, yet the left is supposed to be the natural politics of the working class and the right that of the upper class.  I used to hold to a class-based view of politics but it doesn't really work.  Too many people too consistently vote against what their class interests should be according to this view.  A class-based view also doesn't adequately explain such things as environmentalism, which is considered to be on the left yet has historically been an upper middle class movement with a lot of attitudes holding working class people  (and their culture, especially mining and timber communities) in contempt.  Yet masculinism doesn't entirely explain politics either.  There are local areas where the class-based explanation does work, because the areas are extremely working class and rural (with all that goes with it, including a rather masculine, "stern father" culture) yet they consistently vote strongly liberal: parts of West Virginia; northeastern Minnesota; rural timber counties in Oregon and Washington; the Butte, Montana region; and pretty much everything up and down the Mississippi River corridor.  Lakoff's paradigm doesn't work there at all.  Elsewhere, the class-based paradigm tends to break down.  There are areas, and issues, where both views break down completely.

                    Applying either of the above views of politics to John Tanton he would be right-wing: he is of the old school of environmentalism which is about an upper (or upper-middle) class protecting nature for themselves by keeping the poor working stiffs out, and his policy prescriptions on immigration are definitely of the hard-line "stern father" kind.  Yet there is something else going on here.  He is also, on economic issues, a critic of classical (or conservative/libertarian) economics and self-described progressive; pro-choice; his views on resource scarcity, overpopulation, and natural limits are those which have, since the 1960s, been associated with the environmental movement and the new left.

                    And for many, it is ones views on economic issues that ultimately are the deciding factor in whether they are liberal or conservative.  It is possible to be anti-abortion, or pro-death penalty and otherwise on the left, because of left views on economics.  (This is also why libertarians are generally considered far right, even as they hold liberal views on drugs, abortion, gay marriage, war, and all manner of other issues -- and why Stalinists are considered far left, even as they hold repressive and reactionary views on civil liberties and social tolerance, and value stern leadership).  And while left or right economic views may correlate to some degree with either social class or masculinism, I'm not convinced there's definite causation in either case.

                    The best I've been able to come up with is left and right are ultimately based on views on economic issues, whether one favors a regulated market economy, an active government, and a safety net, or whether one favors unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism; and the main causation of these views is life experience, not necessarily either social class nor moral values.

                    On capital punishment, I'm just not convinced many people come to their overall politics based on strong beliefs one way or the other on that issue - the reverse usually happens - now if the point is that somebody is a conservative because they value strength and discipline, which will naturally lead to being pro-capital punishment, as I pointed out above I see some correlation here but no causation, and plenty of exceptions.

                    •  Lots to think about there (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm reading you carefully, so don't be put off by my short answer.

                      When you say the following, it brings up a question:

                      "The best I've been able to come up with is left and right are ultimately based on views on economic issues, whether one favors a regulated market economy, an active government, and a safety net, or whether one favors unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism; and the main causation of these views is life experience, not necessarily either social class nor moral values."

                      So I am wondering what makes a person favor a regulated market economy or laissez-faire capitalism? You attribute this to life experience and not to moral values, but I am wondering why it is not moral values?

                      It seems that the choice can't be made without a moral distinction being existing first.

                      So since you say a moral value is not at play here, can you clarify why it is not?

    •  Presumably, the WSJ has its own axe to grind (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deben, m4gill4

      A decent guess would be that WSJ likes anything that keeps wages low, such as immigration both legal and otherwise, and therefore attacks anti-immigration groups.

      This is another illustration of the complete disarray of the current GOP. The Corporate Masters faction opposes the Racist Xenophobe faction on immigration, an issue of crucial importance to both factions.

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