Friday, 09 August 2019

The Meaning of “Invasion”

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Overnight, the use of the word “invasion” to describe the flood of millions coming into America illegally is deemed racist.


Anyone who remembers when “discrimination” wasn’t a trigger word and was even used to advertise a national product can likely relate to today’s mutilation of the word “invasion.” Others not old enough to recall the ad campaign for Herbert Tareyton cigarettes need to know that a properly employed word was driven away from use by misuse for political gain.

The now-defunct cigarette company boasted that “Herbert Tareyton is the cigarette for discriminating people.” But those were the days when people could be expected to discriminate about manners, morals, good behavior, etc. Use the word discrimination today and expect to be condemned for racism and endure silent or open castigation for an attitude you certainly don’t favor.

Currently, the popular substitute for discrimination is the word “toleration.” All are encouraged to tolerate a wide variety of attitudes and practices that invited justifiable reprehension only several decades ago. Today, speaking out against blatant deviations from the norms of yesteryear invites criticism, not of any deviant or detestable behavior, but of the nerve to condemn what only recently was widely condemnable.

Today’s political leaders and the mass media are telling us that labeling the illegal entry of millions into our country cannot be considered an “invasion.”

Overnight, any use of this good word during discussion of the flood of millions who have scoffed at our nation’s laws and illegally crossed into the United States makes one liable to being labeled a racist.

Over many recent years, I have travelled throughout the United States to warn fellow Americans at well-attended forums (plus occasional articles, media appearances, etc.) that our nation is being victimized by an invasion at our southern border. I frequently referred to Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution while pointing to the federal government’s deficiencies. The pertinent passage states:

The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence. [Emphasis added.]

Note that the Constitution assigns to the federal government the task of protecting the states from being invaded. The Founders of our nation didn’t limit this assignment to guaranteeing protection only from military invasion. In The Federalist, No. 43, James Madison commented on this passage when he explained that states could expect protection “not only against foreign hostility, but against ambitious or vindictive enterprises of its more powerful neighbors.”

During the past several decades, Latin American neighboring nations have cooperated in sending as many as 20 million of their citizens illegally into the United States. Most of these individuals have been Mexicans who were actually urged by their own government to take advantage of the inability of U.S. border guards to stem the human tide. But Guatemalans, Hondurans, and refugees from other nations have also penetrated our nation at the Mexican-U.S. border.

Were these human beings truly urged by the government of our southern neighbor nation to flee to the United States? Yes indeed. Pamphlets in the Spanish language printed and distributed by the Mexican government provided information about how and where to cross the border, where and what benefits could be obtained once inside the United States, even how to obtain legal advice if apprehended. So millions followed these guidelines even though many never saw any of the printed materials and gained knowledge of their contents via word-of-mouth. Word did spread rapidly among distraught Mexicans and other Central Americans, and the flood of illegal border jumpers swelled.

The U.S. Constitution, solemnly sworn to by all top national officials, has been regularly discounted. Numerous Democratic partisans at the federal level completely ignore the requirement given in Article IV, Section 4. Many claim compassion for the needy, and such an attitude has achieved widespread acceptance. Rare is the Democrat who points to approval of this outrage because the illegals can soon be expected to vote for Democratic candidates, even doing that illegally. Along with them are numerous do-nothing Republicans who don’t want to be tar-brushed as purveyors of cruelty. They too will refrain from using the word invasion.  

Refusing the bow to pressure, President Trump has called the ongoing flood of illegal immigrants an “invasion.” He’s correct. But much of our nation’s mass media has expanded the meaning of this useful term to include racism. The message is clear. Mention “invasion” and, even if you are citing the U.S. Constitution’s use of the word, or the clear meaning it has always conveyed, you or even the president of the United States can expect to be labeled a “racist.”

There is a great need for more Americans to shake themselves into a realization that the country they inhabit is under attack, a campaign that includes not only the huge numbers who come here illegally but also politicians who encourage the border jumping and purveyors of fake news. Added to the many weapons they employ, we see their deceptive redefinitions of words. Inferring that the use of the word “invasion” connotes racism is a lie. Be on guard for this latest departure from truth.  

Summing up, it is duty of the federal government to protect the nation from invasion. All Americans should realize that Democrat leaders want the invasion, knowing that the new arrivals will overwhelmingly support them in future elections. Let those who want to come here do so legally. And, by all means, reject the addition of some odious meaning to a once well-understood word.


John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society.

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