America's Challenges

Why weren't you born here?
  • Transcript


Question: What are the greatest challenges the U.S. faces?


Grover Norquist: I think there’s always the danger that we could engage in unnecessary wars; that we could; I mean at the beginning of the [George W.] Bush administration, there were some people demanding a war with China. That’s vaguely insane, and would have been destructive of human liberty in addition to human life. So you need to make careful that nationalism doesn’t bleed over into wars that are not completely a national defense; that are beyond defensive. So war is always a danger. A dangerous nationalism is a danger. I think the hostility that some evoke towards immigration is a similar danger. We are a nation of immigrants.

We’re not a nation of people whose parents came here before we did, and therefore we win and you lose. Ha-ha! I’m sorry. And you’re an American and he can’t be because what? Because you’re virtuous? Because you did what? Well my great, great grandfather __________ to be born here.

There’s an old Lincoln story about asking an Irish American “Patty, how come you weren’t born here?” And he says, “I wanted to, but my mother wouldn’t let me.” You know for crying out loud, we need to be very recognizing of the power and the importance of immigration in the United States and avoid some of the anti-immigrant . . . some of the stupid economics. Organized labor’s opposition to more people; the Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club opposition to people in general; and frankly some of the racist opposition of people who are the wrong color.


Recorded on: September 12, 2007