A project of the Center for Community Change

No Hate in the Debate

Last week we posted about the harsh and unworkable immigration plan that Fred Thompson unveiled last week. His pollster had a thing or two to say about the public reaction:

Immigration is big; it’s the driving issue,” McLaughlin said. “The mainstream media ran down our immigration plan last week, saying it was unrealistic and too tough. Our voters love it. We’ve gotten nothing but positive response.”

Clearly Thompson’s pollster has an interest in spinning this the best way possible, but I think there is truth in his words on several points:

1) Immigration is big in Iowa. In a state with still mildly low levels of immigration in comparison with other states, voters in this state are receiving their information from elected officials and mainstream media…

2) We often heat the same thing: anti-immigrants voice their opinions, those that disagree may voice it to friends, but rarely speak out to campaigns or elected officials – it’s time we change that threat…

3) The fact that Thompsons immigration plan could receive positive support anywhere in the US means that our electoral debates are painfully skewed in the direction of divisive, unworkable policies that have no bearing in the reality of our lived experience in small towns across the country.

It’s time for us to pushback and say “no hate in the debate” scapegoating immigrants can’t be the center of the 2008 elections– we as a country need a hard look at education, the war, heatlhcare, along with workable immigration plans. We can move the electoral debate, if we start speaking out and taking action to tell candidates what we are really thinking.

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