One of the things which have always gotten up my nose is the way that Conservatives will call undocumented immigrants “illegal immigrants”. It is a little bit of framing that just rubs me the wrong way. The problem is it is hard to dispute. Being and working in the United States without a visa or a green card is illegal. There is no getting around that. The thing is it is a really low level crime. It is not even a felony. Still it is a crime so if you want to be pejorative about it, you can call people in that situation illegal immigrants.
Well the time to turn the tables on these folks may very well be at hand. Today is the day that your census information is supposed to be filled out and returned (or at least have it postmarked) by. There has been a rather insane and self-defeating push from the Conservatives urging that any of their true believers either not fill out the census or give strange information.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is reporting today that Kirk Lyons, an Neo-Confederate lawyer, is urging people in the South to check the “other” box and write in “Southern Confederate American”. From the SPLC’s website:
Lyons insisted that “Confederate Southern American” is an appropriate designation because the South seceded to form an independent nation for four years during the Civil War — or, as he puts it, the “War of Northern Aggression.” “If there can be Cajun Americans, if there can be Serbian Americans, there can be Confederate Southern Americans,” Lyons said. Proclaiming their national origin as Confederate Southern Americans would send the message that they “will not sit in the back of the bus anymore.” He added that the Confederate community constitutes “the largest single minority group in the United States today.”
While this might seem like silly season stuff, the fact is Lyon and Rep. Bachmann and anyone else who encourages not filling out the census or providing invalid information is urging the commission of a crime. Yes, it is a minor crime, but it is punishable by fines ranging from $100 to $1000 and up to a year in jail.
The census is important for the nation. The Framers of the Constitution thought it so important to know how many people where in their nation that they included it in the founding document. It allows for the correct number of Representatives by State, it provides guidelines for understanding the needs and composition of the nation. Without knowing how many people live where in the nation, the ability of the Federal Government to be effective is compromised.
Making the Federal government less effective is no big deal for conservatives. They, as a rule, already believe that it is impossible for it to be effective in any case, so what does it matter if there information needed is withheld? There could even be an aspect of civil disobedience here. They are making a protest just the same as nuns who smear blood on the hatches of nuclear missile silos. The fact that it is self defeating, by means of getting less Representatives in their conservative parts of the nation, and less assistance from the Federal government for this state budgets does not mean it is not a protest.
The thing is, it is also against the law. Since this is the case, it is time to coin a new meme that I hope everyone reading this will help me push. These folks have become their own recognizable group – Illegal Conservatives.
It is not just the census that defines the Illegal Conservatives. There are many time when they seem prone to breaking the law. Illegal Conservatives are the same folks who sign up with groups like Oath Keepers, promising not to obey certain legal orders. They are the ones who only buy guns at gun shows in order to circumvent the background check laws.
We have seen the high level Illegal Conservatives all through the Bush Administration. They are out there arguing that even though we have settled law on torture, the president can order any damned act he likes in his role as Commander and Chief. They are even Representatives and Senators who argue that people arrested on U.S. soil as accused terrorists should not be given Miranda rights or tried in U.S. Federal Courts.
It is time that we start to treat these folks as they treat undocumented workers, with a name that points out the criminality of their actions for all to see. Say it with me on more time, these folks are Illegal Conservatives. Be weary of them, they will wreck your nation if you give them the chance.
The floor is yours.