Fred Thompson on immigration:
Twelve million illegal immigrants later, we are now living in a nation that is beset by people who are suicidal maniacs and want to kill countless innocent men, women and children around the world. We're sitting here now with essentially open borders.
Beset by suicidal maniacs. Kind of sounds like America under the Bush administration. Or maybe Iraq under the Maliki administration.
Seriously, what kind of mind produces a declaration like that? Clearly, a mind not living any kind of recognizable reality. "Beset" is a word that means attacked on all sides, hemmed in, assailed, surrounded. Almost six years ago, the United States was attacked by suicidal terrorists, some of whom had overstayed their visas. It was a horrific event--but does that really suggest to any rational person that in 2007 we are beset by suicidal maniacs?
Consider Thompson's own 12 million illegal immigrant figure. There were 19 September 11 terrorists. Let's be generous and suppose that the handful of people like the folks in Lackawana, Columbus, and elsewhere are indeed suicidal maniacs, and that all of them are in the country illegally. Let's suppose we've either been attacked by or have stopped attacks by 50 such people. 50 out of 12 million: that means that 0.0004% of illegal immigrants are Thompson's suicidal maniacs. To do this math is to expose the hateful absurdity of Thompson's claim. Not even Tommy Tancredo is so unhinged.
The statement comes from the mind of a man unafraid to demagogue the immigration issue, to play upon crypto-racist fears of immigrant hoards swarming over our "essentially open borders" and marauding lawless throughout the land. Its hysterical tone, its militaristic imagery, its nativist rhetoric, its utter disregard of the facts and its deployment of the worst kind of stereotypes say much about the actor who uttered it.