Are people serious about this? Have they looked at a map? America is more or less a continent-wide rectangle with two long borders and two long coasts. We are proud to boast that our border with Canada is the longest peaceful border in the world. Our long, unguarded borders are the result of -- and the symbol of -- all that is best about capitalism. Free countries do not live in hostility or fear, but in peace and free trade. As Bastiat said, when trade does not cross borders, then soldiers do.
This Fortress America mentality is something new and something bad. I believe it is the psychological result of America’s inability to wage proper war against totalitarian Islam. Specifically, this mentality is the result of creating the Department of Homeland Security. As Robert Tracinski wrote in 2002,
The War on Terrorism is over. It ended when President Bush pushed to the top of his agenda the creation of a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. This is the climax of a trend that has been building for the past month: the only action the U.S. government is now taking in response to terrorism is purely defensive.There was no creation of a Department of Homeland Security in WWII. Instead, America waged war -- real, serious, all out war -- against our fascist enemies and destroyed them within four years. We understood then that the only defense is offense; that American security could be achieved only by destroying the enemy.
When he created the Department of Homeland Security, President Bush’s action told the American people and the world that we would not wage a war to destroy the enemy, but would go on defense. The American people got the message that we would just have to learn to live with terrorism as the Israelis do. The enemy is out there, plotting to destroy us, aided and abetted by Iran and Saudi Arabia, and our government has thrown up it hands and said, “Sorry! We will not destroy the enemy, so you’d better prepare for future attacks at home.”
Since the day I heard about the Department of Homeland Security the name has struck me as un-American. "Homeland" sounds European. It sounds collectivist, statist and mystical, like the words "fatherland" or "motherland." Furthermore, it sounds imperialist; only a nation that constantly gets entangled in foreign wars needs a separate concept for defending itself at home. There is nothing in America's individualist past like it. Maybe this is what William Graham Sumner meant when he said in 1899 that America was defeated by Spain.
Bush’s neoconservative policy is suicidal negligence of the President’s duty to protect and defend the Constitution. I do believe, although this is speculation about the future, that one day Bush and the neoconservatives will be held by historians as treasonous in their failure to defend America.
Our government is saying to us, in effect, you can no longer live entirely without fear of being killed by a foreign enemy. Now we must look to the state for colored alerts to tell us the likelihood of our being incinerated. As our government fails to strike fear in the hearts of its enemy, it settles for keeping its own citizens in a permanent state of fear. Such are the fruits of America's altruist foreign policy.
This is a radical new way of living for Americans. The psychological effects of living in fear are still unknown, as is how this new mentality will affect the American character in the long run.
I would guess that the intensity of the emotion about illegal immigrants and the fight to “secure our borders” is in part the result of our new defensive mentality. It is yet another ominous development, but a problem that could be solved if we would just get serious about waging the war and winning the war.
Curtis LeMay, where are you? America needs you.