Ezra Klein of Vox interviews Bernie Sanders. Meh. Nothing particularly newsworthy there. But in the process of this softball interview, the question of immigration comes up. Read the exchange:
You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …
Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.
Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …
But it would make …
Excuse me …
It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?
It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?
I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.
OK, you can quit laughing now. Klein caught flat footed and gasping. Sanders echoes exactly what the right has been saying while at the same time trying to put the blame on … the right.
Yeah, no sale Bernie, but the rest? Right on. Nailed it. Oh, and about that $15 minimum wage … yeah, you just killed it.
In reality Bernie likens businesses who want cheap labor with the “right wing”. Hardly true but for many on the left, business = “right wing”.
However, to categorically call “open borders” a “right-wing” idea is simply absurd. It certainly isn’t the right in this country pushing for amnesty and open-borders (well, except for some establishment GOP types). It isn’t the right-wing that has established sanctuary cities. And it definitely isn’t a right-wing federal administration refusing to enforce immigration laws.
But you all knew that.
So what is Bernie telling us with all this nation-state talk? That maybe, its really a form of “national socialism” he prefers?
Oh, wait …