[This book review was published in the Winter 2015 issue of The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, pp. 472-486.]

 

Book Review

 

Adios, America!  The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole

Ann Coulter

Regnery Publishing, 2015

 

          Ann Coulter is a master at evoking a sprightly image, such as when she says “the fact that we have to be incessantly told how wonderful diversity is only proves that it’s not.  It’s like listening to a waiter try to palm off the fish ‘special’ on you before it goes bad.”  Because she is so outspoken and defies the academic convention of euphemism and circumlocution, it is easy to suppose she’s not a serious scholar.  Her sprightliness, however, didn’t deter Judge Richard Posner from naming her “one of the top 100 Public Intellectuals” in the United States.

          When a subject of vital importance is married to serious scholarship, the result is a book worth taking very seriously, indeed.  As to the subject here, it addresses the rapidly occurring substitution of Third World peoples in place of the historically European population of the United States.  If “demography is destiny,” the substitution defines the future of the United States, altering profoundly its culture and essence.  As to the scholarship, Coulter’s exhaustive care sets a standard for all serious students to emulate.  She consults a variety of sources, but it is especially interesting to this reviewer how contemporary she is in her use of the internet goldmine.  Several of her endnotes tell of her NEXIS searches, such as when she looks up beheadings in Mexico and the Arizona desert (often minimized or denied), and finds dozens of documents that would otherwise remain disconnected.

          Because Adios, America! covers so much ground, we will compartmentalize the discussion for purposes of this review:

 

The amount and types of immigration.  For several years, it has been commonplace in the American media to speak of “11 million undocumented immigrants.”[1]  Coulter thinks it strange that the reported total hasn’t changed for a decade, despite the continuing flood.  She gives her reasons for thinking the real number is 30 million, which seems far more likely.  The Pew Research Center, she says, has concluded from census data that the United States has thus far “taken in more than one-quarter of Mexico’s entire population.”

          There is little or no transparency about the immigration.  “The government won’t tell us” how many Somalian refugees there are, so there is some guesswork in estimating that no less than 100,000 have been settled in Minnesota.  It may surprise many people that thousands of the Hmong are coming in as refugees even so long as 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War.  The total so far is estimated at 273,000.  Citing the Pew Research Center again, Coulter tells of an anticipated American population of 438 million by 2050 – “of whom 100 million will be immigrants and their children.”[2]

          Although the United States does not have what can strictly speaking be called an “open door” policy, Coulter makes it clear that the current system leaks like a sieve.  Adios, America! details the many sources of leakage.  One, of course, is that large numbers of people enter the country legally as guests of one kind or another – and then simply overstay their visas and melt into the population.  We know there are many legal immigrants, but what we may not know is that two-thirds of those entering lawfully do so under the “family reunification” policy.  Coulter describes the extent to which this is taken: “We’re bringing in grandparents, second cousins, and brothers-in-law… who then bring in their grandparents, second cousins, and brothers-in-law until we have entire tribes of people….”  She observes what a sham much of it is: “If they’re not, in the strict sense, related, they’ll lie.”  Further: “It’s a felony to engage in a sham marriage with an immigrant, but no one ever gets caught.”  Since Coulter favors a merit-based policy for U.S. legal immigration, she complains when “being related to a recent immigrant from Pakistan trumps being a surgeon from Denmark.”

          Efforts have been made to ridicule the term “anchor babies” as politically incorrect.  As is characteristic of her, however, Coulter doesn’t shy away from it, and explains that it refers to an illegally present mother’s having a baby in the United States, with the baby then automatically becoming a U.S. citizen by birth.  This citizen-by-virtue-of-birth then serves as an “anchor” to bring in the entire family under the family reunification policy.  We have seen Coulter’s condemnation of that policy, and she says, moreover, that the right of “birthright citizenship” is “a phony constitutional principle” invented by U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in a footnote to a 1982 decision.

          Yet another element in the leaky sieve, she says, is the granting of amnesties.  “Everyone knows that one amnesty begets more illegal aliens, which begets another amnesty.”  The idea behind the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty was that it was to be “one of a kind.”  “Never again.”  Coulter points out that “there have been a half dozen more amnesties since then.”  The pressure for repetition leads her to oppose all amnesties.

          In recent years, it has become a conventional part of the “human-rights” emphasis within what is called the “international community” to hold that refugees have a moral claim to asylum outside their native countries.  Coulter says this leads to one of “the biggest scams in immigration law.”  She is perhaps guilty of hyperbole when she says that “one hundred percent of refugee and asylum claims are either obvious frauds or frauds that haven’t been proved yet.”  She points to activists who counsel immigrants how to lie, and speaks of “document mills [that] produce phony passports, school records, and medical reports.”  A reader is likely to reflect on two more aspects of this: that the world contains an ocean of distressed people, with a palpably unending supply of those who are desperate to emigrate to the United States or Europe; and, secondly, that an adequate “vetting” of those who seek asylum would require an enormous “on the ground” intelligence system that no country, even the United States, cannot possibly have.[3]

 

Impact on American life, culture, economy.  Coulter does not become so enmeshed in the myriad details of the immigration that she forgets its most important consequence – the “elephant in the room,” so to speak.   This is the existential question, referred to above, of whether the United States is to become occupied by tens of millions who replace its historically European population.  This is the question Lawrence Auster raised in his classic essay The Path to National Suicide (1990).[4]  He asked, "What is the impact of immigration on the whole society – on America as a civilization?"  Speaking of "the erosion – and ultimately the submergence – of every defining aspect of American civilization," he quoted a Latino author as celebrating the fact that "we're changing the language, the food, the music, the way of being. We're changing you into a Latin country."  Auster pointed out that the United States was  experiencing a dramatic series of theretofore unheard of developments, which included “a 25-foot-high statue of the Aztec god of human sacrifice… in a public square in the Hispanic-majority city of San Jose, California.” 

          This existential question deserves serious reflection.  It raises not so much issues of fact as it does of loyalties.  Those who are alienated against the United States as it has been (and this includes many people within a couple of generations of Americans who have been taught in school that America’s past is unworthy) welcome the sea-change.  There are a great many others who are indifferent to it, accepting whatever comes along.  And there are others who feel a deep patriotism and accordingly are alarmed by what Coulter and others such as Auster are describing.

          Coulter points to a variety of ways American life is being transformed.  One is the growing polarization of wealth and income, to which the immigration is one of several important contributing factors.   She notes “our current immigration law’s preference for destitute people from backward cultures,” and sees a future in which “America will be Brazil, with a well-pampered, itty-bitty upper class, amid an ocean of poor people.”   She sees how Americans are being moved from ways of life that heretofore have been taken for granted, as when a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a school ban against students’ wearing American flag T-shirts because the shirts might offend  Mexican immigrants.  She sees a cheapening of American citizenship, which once was highly prized.  We are told how current American citizenship has been extended so far that it includes a Somali warlord, the foreign minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s, the president of Lithuania, the commander of Estonia’s army, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. in 2003, and even “a slew of Islamic terrorists.”  Coulter continues, showing other ways alien cultures are shaping life in the United States.  In Minnesota, “mosques have popped up all over the state;” “the Catholic University of St. Thomas has installed Islamic prayer rooms and footbaths;” and the mayor of Minneapolis has worn a hijab when meeting with Somalis.  Significantly, American society is becoming multi-lingual: “by 2010, 60 million people primarily spoke a language other than English.”

          We know, of course, that the economic impact has many facets.  Coulter observes how extensively the wealthy use cheap immigrant household help, and she would have done well to mention several additional aspects.  Millions of Americans have immigrants do their lawn care; when on trips, hear motel maids speaking to each other in Spanish; hire roofing companies whose workers jabber back and forth in a foreign tongue; eat meat from packing plants operated largely on immigrant labor – and so on indefinitely.  Cheap foreign labor comes in, also, in the form of imports from all over the world, most obviously the Third World.  Consumers enjoy the low prices for both goods and services, but these come at the expense of a hollowing-out of the American industrial economy and the jobs that used to go with it.  Inflation is held down by the low prices despite enormous injections of money by the Federal Reserve, greatly affecting monetary policy.  The alternative of cheap labor holds back the introduction of automation in agriculture and elsewhere. 

Although it is argued that “the immigrants do jobs Americans don’t want to do,” Coulter points out how ironic it is to say that no Americans want to drive a taxicab.  She notes especially the impact on black Americans, whose labor is largely displaced by immigrants working on such things as highway crews and building construction.   But the impact is not just on physical work.  We are told the “importation of cheap tech workers has been going on for decades,” with large numbers of H-1B visas going to Indians and Chinese.  The result is that computer programmers’ pay is lowered, while “32 percent of American graduates in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) can’t get jobs and the rest haven’t seen their salaries rise for more than a decade.”

 

Ideological factors:  An enormous incubus of ideological conformity dictates opinion in the United States.  This led this reviewer to introduce the Dr. Seuss-like word “PeeWOCs” in a recent article.[5]  He said “there has long been a significant division within American thinking.  There are the “People Whose Opinions Count,” who number in the millions, and a much larger number whose opinions almost never prevail.  The first group, for whom we will coin the fanciful term ‘PeeWOCs,’ are led by academia, the media, the entertainment industry, the legal profession and the major corporations (among others).  To these elements are to be added the millions of ‘college educated’ Americans who find it both virtuous and wise to adhere to whatever at the moment is ‘politically correct.’”   

          Coulter sees the same phenomenon when she writes that “every single elite group in America is aligned against the public – the media, ethnic activists, big campaign donors, Wall Street, multimillionaire farmers, and liberal ‘churches.’”  This, she says, relates closely to the subject of Adios, America!: “Their game plan is: Never allow an honest debate on immigration.”

          One way the “political correctness” appears is in the banning of any unfavorable word, substituting a euphemism.  Most prominently, it is insisted that aliens who are in the country illegally be called “undocumented immigrants,” not “illegal immigrants.”  Coulter adds, “You’re not allowed to use the words ‘amnesty,’ ‘alien,’ ‘illegal,’ ‘Third World,’ or ‘primitive culture.’  They’re halfway to banning the word ‘Mexican.’”  Amnesty is called “comprehensive immigration reform.”  Immigrants who go fight for the Islamic State are identified in the media as “homegrown Americans” or “American suicide bombers.”

          So many words and ideas are taboo that sometimes the demands of “political correctness” conflict with each other.  Speaking of the culturally sensitive condonation of the Hmong’s killing of dogs in ritual sacrifice, Coulter observes that “even animal rights activists abandon their concern for helpless creatures out of political correctness toward immigrants.”  When a lesbian was gang-raped in Richmond, California, “not one single news outlet mentioned that the lesbian’s assailants were Mexican.”  She writes of “the bought-off environmentalists” who “turn a blind eye as 25 million people tramp through delicate ecosystems, set fire to national parks, kill livestock, dump tons of diapers and Pepsi bottles in the desert, and deface Native American sites.”

          Coulter minces no words in describing the mainstream media’s propaganda campaign of lies, misleading representations, omissions, and brainwashing.  Adios, America! cites far too many examples to include here.  She says that “although we’ve been authoritatively informed that a majority of Americans support a ‘pathway to citizenship,’… according to a quick Nexis search, that is a lie” – and points to how skewed the choices are that are given to poll respondents.  Noting that “Hispanics are half as likely to enlist in the military as either whites or blacks,” she says “the media not only neglect to highlight this particular underrepresentation, they lie about it.”  The omissions, she says, are egregious: after one amnesty bill was blocked in the U.S. House of Representatives, “the media learned their lesson: Henceforth, they will not inform us when Congress is considering another amnesty bill.”  She speaks of a “blockade on negative information about immigrants,” and  cites many examples.

          The ideological incubus insists on a number of truisms that Coulter considers shibboleths.  One of these is that it is “racist” to want assimilation.  Another is that “we are a nation of immigrants,” a generalization that she says glosses over the fact that the early settlers were British and Dutch (followed later, of course, by Europeans of many other sorts, and by the importation of slaves from Africa).  Third World immigration is almost entirely a phenomenon since the 1965 Immigration Act.  Coulter takes issue with the “hegemonic propaganda campaign about all cultures being equal,” looking around the world and seeing that “they aren’t.”  The mantra that “diversity is strength” draws her fire.  “Never in recorded history has diversity been anything but a disaster.”  Coulter bitingly observes that “the strange thing is, it’s not even diverse.  In New York Times-speak, ‘diversity’ simply means ‘non-white.’”   

          She brings out several aspects of the American Left’s use of immigration.  With an eye to the demographic swamping, she says “immigration is the advance wave of left-wing, Third World colonization of America.”  In keeping with what this reviewer has described as a centuries-long “alienation of the intellectual,” Coulter accurately describes “today’s radicals” as “hating America.”  [It’s not just today’s.  The same could be said of the luminaries of the “Red Decade” in the 1930s and the counter-cultural revolutionaries of the 1960s and ’70s, just to cite recent examples.]  Under the tutelage of America’s leftward PeeWOCs, “immigrants… are counseled in resentment.”  It’s as though “we have to treat immigrants as if they’re black people and we’re making up for the legacy of slavery.”  What started out as a civil rights movement on behalf of blacks has taken on new dimensions: it now champions millions “who never experienced oppression in the United States.”  A concomitant of the resentment is the “sense of entitlement” that is so central to the Left’s message about a “victim culture.”

          Students of American life, now and in the future, will find Adios, America! in effect a detailed case-study of a single issue that illustrates the much broader predicament in which Americans find themselves.  The overlay of conformist opinion, ever-changing under the impetus of those who most actively move the margins of accepted truisms,[6] extends not just to immigration but to a vast array of other issues.  Oddly, Coulter says that “only in the case of immigration is the public systematically lied to from every major news outlet” (our emphasis).  By denying the broader predicament, she would seem to nullify a major point about the significance of her book.  We don’t know why she is willing to say that systematic fabrication exists only on immigration.  The author of ten bestsellers on contemporary issues, she is too knowledgeable not to know better.

 

Characteristics of the immigrant population.  When in 2015 a U.S. presidential candidate said the influx was bringing in rapists and criminals of many sorts, he was careful to explain that, although entering the country illegally was itself a crime, he did not assert that all of those entering were committing those other sorts of crimes.  The qualification is often dropped by those who seek to discredit his point by making it appear a blanket condemnation. 

          Coulter devotes so much attention to the crimes and other abuses that we will leave it to readers to see for themselves what an extensive (and eye-opening) compendium it is.  Rather than generalizing as we now must, she tells the details of specific cases.  The sorts of things include: Somali gangs and their promotion of prostitution; rapes, including gang-rapes and child rape; murders, including mass killings; terrorist acts; drug smuggling; beheadings, both in Mexico and in the United States (especially in the Arizona desert); hit-and-run violations; the setting of Western wildfires to distract border patrol agents; park destruction and the rendering of national parks too dangerous for Americans – and, of course, others.

          Those who have lived in Mexico, as this reviewer did when he was a child, know how profoundly it is a “Third World country.”  Its civilization is on a very different level than the United States’.  Coulter quotes pop star Gloria Trevi, known as “the Mexican Madonna,” as telling a New York Times reporter “that sex with a child is acceptable in Mexico.”  The accuracy of Trevi’s statement is evidenced by the fact that “in thirty-one of thirty-two states in Mexico, the age of consent for sex is twelve.”  It has been a good many years since this reviewer lived in Guadalajara, so things may have changed, but he has distinct memories of stepping in human feces while in the open-toed shoes his mother had him wear, and of men pulling up to trees to urinate.  Anyone traveling along a Mexican highway is bound to see the abundant litter along the side – discarded tires and trash of all kinds.  Coulter says “the Mexican cultural trait of littering is well known to everyone, except American journalists.”  The problem is that the 30 million immigrants don’t leave the trait in Mexico.  This results in such things as 30,000 pounds of trash being left in one valley “after a long weekend.”

          Coulter tells us that 71 percent of illegal immigrants are on government assistance, as are 52 percent of the immigrants in the United States lawfully.  Educationally, “the vast majority of illegal aliens – about 75 percent – have only a high school diploma or less.”  Nevertheless, “seventy-three percent of legal Mexican immigrants send money back to their native land and 83 percent of illegal immigrants do.” 

 

Why the demographic invasion is allowed.  Some years ago, the late Susan Huck wrote a book Why Do We Americans Submit to This?[7] that dealt with several issues where what she called “our liberal ruling class” determined policy that ran roughshod over the opinions and interests of the silent majority.  The book’s title raises a question that is important to our present subject of immigration. 

          In answer to Huck’s question, the hegemony of the PeeWOCs (composed in part by an activist judiciary) is perhaps the controlling reason.  Coulter suggests several reinforcing factors.  One she mentions frequently is that the rich benefit considerably, not just by receiving the services of low-cost domestic help, but by employing in their businesses cheap labor whose wages are supplemented by substantial government benefits.  “Their cheap labor wouldn’t be so cheap if not for all the goodies provided by the U.S. taxpayer.” Business lobbyists and wealthy donors constitute a powerful political force supporting this.  Politicians from both parties, she says, rush to please these patrons.  Another, she says, is that the Democratic Party cultivates the bloc-voting of the ethnic minorities.  An example she cites: “A year before the 1996 presidential election, the Clinton White House worked feverishly to naturalize 1 million immigrants in time for Clinton’s reelection.”[8]  It is important to note that the vote-getting strategies of the Democratic Party coincide with the American Left’s change of direction after World War II.  This involved moving from championing the “proletariat” (the Left’s traditional orientation) to seeking alliances of the alienated intellectual subculture with all disaffected or unassimilated groups.  This is implemented by the role of ethnic activists, a substantial angry Latino literature, and a very extensive pro-immigration structure consisting of a number of large and well-funded groups. 

          Contributing to all this is the self-denying psychology of the American majority itself.  Historians looking back on our time may find it strange that Americans do wonders for other peoples and then, with head bowed in apology, feel that that the United States “owes them.”  Coulter asks “what did we do to the Somalis?,” and answers that “the only American intervention there was purely humanitarian” (sending in troops to keep warlords from preventing food aid from getting to the people), leading to “the brutalized corpses of American troops” being “dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.” “In other words,” she concludes, “the Somalis owe us.”  Nevertheless, by reverse psychology the United States has felt itself obligated to take in many thousands of Somalis.  Coulter doesn’t mention it, but this psychology unmistakably has roots in the religious history of the American people, not just in the “Social Gospel” but far more broadly in the centuries-old “sentimental do-goodism” (for want of a better term) that has had both some very good features and arguably some very quixotic ones.

          A sea-change that has occurred in American life is noticeable to this reviewer, and no doubt plays a role.  Especially among the PeeWOCs, although not necessarily among the silent majority, there has been a deep-seated internationalization of viewpoint.  The “patriotism” that was so important to earlier generations receives little attention relative to what it has in the past, and some people are even embarrassed by it.  We read all the time of couples who are adopting children from Africa or China even though there are a great many babies needing adoption in the United States.  A women’s sorority in the city this reviewer lives in has paid the way through college for a delightful young woman from West Africa, not pausing to think that there are many equally delightful American students from low-income families who could use the help.  

 

What Coulter thinks should be done.  To illustrate the point she makes that primacy must be given to closing the border, she uses two analogies: “When the bathtub is overflowing, the very first thing you do is: Turn Off the Water.”  The second is along the same lines, referring to the story of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, who kept mopping the floor even as more water came rushing in.

          She’s not altogether consistent about what is to be done next.  At one point, she says: “First, lock the gate; then figure out what to do with those already here.”   But later she says she’s to be counted among those who would “deport 11 million illegals” (for which she apparently lost sight of the fact that she thinks the 11 million figure is a fraud and that a more realistic estimate would be 30 million).  She speaks favorably of President Eisenhower’s deportation, under “Operation Wetback,” of the illegal immigrants who were in the United States during his administration.[9]

          As to legal immigration, in place of the present policy that draws largely from the Third World and is heavily driven by “family reunification,” Coulter favors a system based on merit and/or national needs: “Wouldn’t any sane immigration policy be based on the principle that we want to bring in only immigrants who will benefit the people already here?”

          Her thinking is premised on an assessment that differs sharply from the global meliorism favored by both neoconservative and neoliberal American foreign policy (and by a great many Americans who share the sentiment behind global meliorism).    The thought behind the meliorism is that not a sparrow falls that should not be the concern of well-meaning people acting either through government or through churches or international charities.  Coulter flies in the face of this when she writes “we can’t solve everyone’s problems.”  Seeing the danger and presumption involved in intervening throughout the world, she would serve the world by preserving the United States, to which she obviously feels a deep patriotic attachment.

 

An admonition is in order before we conclude.  It is that Adios, America! contains much more than we have been able to cover here.   It is highly recommended both for a first reading and as a later resource.

 

Dwight D. Murphey              

 

 



[1]   She quotes an article in the New York Times in 2006 that said there were 11.5 million at that time.  The media usually rounds this down to 11 million.

[2]   This is almost certainly a reference to recently arrived immigrants, those who have poured into the United States since the Immigration Act of 1965.

[3]   A Washington Post article on Sept. 21, 2015, reports that “in the current fiscal year, it cost $1.1 billion to bring 70,000 refugees to the United States, put them through an orientation program…, and have them dispersed throughout the country… One of the reasons it is so expensive is that every refugee must undergo extensive background checks….”    It is hard to imagine that these checks amount to anything more than dumb show, designed to create an appearance of prudence where in fact there can be little dependable information about masses of individuals from countries in which the United States has no intimate presence.

[4]   Lawrence Auster, The Path to National Suicide, American Immigration Control Foundation, 1990.

[5]   See Dwight D. Murphey, “March of the PeeWOCs: ‘Queer Theory,’ Its Origins and Implications,” in the Fall 2015 issue of this journal, pp. 289-301.  It is available free of charge on www.dwightmurphey-collectedwritings.info as A116 in the Articles category.

[6]   Regular readers of this journal will recognize that this on-going transformation of the American vocabulary to favor leftist objectives was discussed at length in the article referred to in Footnote 5 here.  It is part of “capturing the culture” as advocated by the Frankfurt School acolytes.

[7]   Dr. Susan Huck, Why Do We Americans Submit to This? (McLean, VA: Newcomb Publishers, Inc., 1997).

[8]   Coulter adds, about this 1996 naturalization, that “criminal background checks were jettisoned for 200,000 applicants, so that citizenship was granted to at least 70,000 people with FBI criminal records and 10,000 with felony records.”

[9]   A passage in a 2006 article by this reviewer may surprise readers today: “It was the Left itself that campaigned against the ‘bracero’ guest-worker program, highlighting its ‘exploitation.’  When illegal immigration began to overwhelm the labor pool, it was Cesar Chavez who in 1969… led a march to the Mexican border to protest illegal immigration.”  Chavez later shifted from being a labor activist to becoming a racial champion, for which he is revered today among Latinos.  See Dwight D. Murphey, “If Past is Prologue: Americans’ Future ‘Guilt’ About Today’s Use of Low-Pay Immigrant Labor,” in the Fall 2006 issue of this journal, pp. 339-365.  It is Article 92 on his collected writings web site.