Thousands of illegal immigrants and their children marched in Las Vegas and elsewhere earlier this month in celebration of May Day, which the Soviets turned into the day of international communist solidarity.
In Los Angeles, numerous demonstrators cursed and threw bottles at the cops -- which is odd considering authorities persist in showing a fantastic forbearance in the face of these recurring opportunities to round them all up and put them on one-way buses to Hermosillo.
You couldn't make this stuff up.
(Some will say the kids, at least, are automatically U.S. citizens. Go read the 14th Amendment. Depends on whether they and their illegal alien mothers were "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States at the time of the birth, in the same way former slaves were.)
The marchers said they were demanding "immigration law reform." But that's just another politically correct lie. Why would anyone want "reform" of a law they've shown no intention of obeying? What they really want is "belly-up immigration surrender" -- free instant citizenship rights to all government welfare benefits for anyone who can get here.
Why is it dangerous that we can't discuss these things frankly in the open, without a lot of crippling euphemisms that disguise what this is really all about? Because it forces this debate underground, where things can fester unseen till we're ambushed by the Dark Side, as happened on 9/11, in the case of the long-ignored resurgence of murderous fanatical Islam.
I don't think this wave of discontent is racist, really (though a future demagogue might twist it in that direction). I don't think most Americans hate people with foreign accents, or people with Mexican names or brown skin. In fact, Americans are a generous people, always willing to lend a hand to someone who really wants to join us -- legally.
What Americans are fed up with are people who come here and do not seem to want to assimilate. People who send much of their earnings "home" to another country. People who meantime are turning entire neighborhoods of our cities into Little Tijuanas, where half the store signs seem to advertise "llanteras usadas." People who expect their kids to be taught in Spanish and don't seem to know or care that this renders our overcrowded free welfare schools even more dysfunctional. People who decline to either buy auto insurance or set enough aside to cover their liabilities. People who use our expensive hospital emergency rooms as their cold-and-sniffle clinics.
The real complaint here is that those "old Americans" who still try to "follow the rules" find themselves increasingly squeezed and taxed, fingerprinted and regulated and licensed and strip-searched, while the illegals seem to get a "bye" on all this stuff.
Does that seem right when college-educated, English-speaking, would-be immigrants spend years on waiting lists, trying to get here from Asia and Africa and Eastern Europe?
Remove your filters and read your real ocean of e-mail for a couple of days. Count the flag-waving messages that start out, "Why do I have to push 'one' if I want to speak English?"
Blocked from expressing their outrage anywhere in the mainstream media, there are a lot of Americans out there fuming at streets full of marching illegal aliens waving foreign flags and demanding more tax-funded "benefits." These frustrated citizens have no voice, so these tensions find no expression, like a pressure cooker with the little jiggler tied down.
Our politicians assume they can end this debate with the question, "Who else would do the jobs Americans don't want to do?" But did you notice how many bona fide U.S. citizens lined up to apply for those "jobs Americans won't do" after Immigration and Customs Enforcement rounded up the illegals at those six Swift meat-packing plants in December?
Suppose we were to see a real economic downturn in this nation. Imagine lots of American males ages 45 to 65 -- all mortgaged to the hilt, none with adequate savings -- lose their jobs. When they apply for lower-paying jobs, they're told there are no openings -- illegal aliens got there first.
Watch these guys having to sell their homes in a deflated market, taking half what they paid (or the same price they paid in devalued dollars that now buy only a pint of gasoline apiece, which is the same thing). Imagine the people who buy those underpriced houses are people with foreign accents flashing wads of cash.
Now let a demagogue take to the airwaves and invite those disgruntled, unemployed Americans to go downtown the next time the illegals stage a march with their Mexican flags and beat the hell out of them. Let's say a thousand people show up with ax handles, overwhelming a police force that protects these lawbreakers instead of arresting them -- as they'd arrest you or me if we went down there and lit up a joint, or even if we showed up wearing perfectly legal pistols on our hips.
Then let's say that radio demagogue decides to run for office -- and voter turnout suddenly doubles, the polling places swamped with his followers, shouting, "We're fed up and we're not going to take it anymore!"
It happened in Germany 70 years ago.
The reason those things don't happen in America is that we've been free to air our differences in public, in plain English -- nobody booed into silence for demanding that the criminals be rounded up -- and to express our will at the polls.
But which politician do I vote for if I want to see the immigration laws energetically enforced -- today -- or the expensive and dysfunctional welfare state promptly and actively disbanded? (Go ahead, tell me about Ron Paul and Wayne Allyn Root, God bless 'em. I was a Libertarian activist for years. All we need to do is paint a few more yard signs -- right?)
Open and frank discussion of these issues might inoculate us against some clever orator who wants to use this issue to get himself and his lieutenants outfitted for shiny black boots and a really nice hat.
Instead, the forces of political correctness will simply get out the picket signs, stomp their feet and bleat that such discussions hurt their feelings. And in response -- mindful of the fates of Howard Stern and Don Imus -- most who hope for long careers will choose the path of discretion, just lay low and not say nothin'.
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the books "Send in the Waco Killers," "The Ballad of Carl Drega," and the novel "The Black Arrow." See www.LibertyBookShop.us.