Sunday, May 28, 2006

Opposing the 14th Amendment

I've never had a great deal of love for the Washington State Republican Party (WSRP). Whether it was the vitriol I witnessed former chair Chris Vance spew forth on several occassions or their treatment of moderates in their midst such as Sam Reed, I've just not been impressed. Somehow Republicans in the State of Washington have generally adopted far-right positions, which generally strikes me as counter-productive in a generally liberal state. Now, though, they've really gone over the edge.

It seems the Washington State Republican Party is officially opposing the United States Constitution. The first sentence of the 14th Amendment reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." The Constitution pretty clearly states that if you're born within the United States you're a citizen - that is a value we have long cherished and celebrated. So why has the WSRP staked out a position in defiance of this long-standing value?

I also want to clarify that opposing a provision in the Constitution isn't negative in and of itself; everything is up for debate and revision. That's a strength of our system. But amendments to the Constitution come at a very high threshold and indicate widely held values of the citizens of the time. So what has changed? It would be easy to point to xenophobia and nativism (two "values" of the United States that have continuously reemerged and been suppressed over time), but that fails to explain much. To be certain, immigration patterns have shifted from Western European nations to Eastern European, Southeast Asian, and Latin American nations. But what significance does that have? To understand the shift in cultural understanding we must turn to those most vocal in advocating the shift, and here I refer to tthe powerfully-influential conservative commentators. Rather than provide my own speculation , I'd like see some meaningful discussion on the subject in the comment section. [Of course, as virtually no one reads this, I'm not terribly optimistic this will go anywhere]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You need to update your blog!