New Book: Melting Pot or Civil War

Posted by Jack

This is a subject that we’ve covered many times on Post Scripts and the book Melting Pot or Civil War could have been written by Tina and myself. But, we lack the credibility that Reiham Salam has, because we’re white and he’s the first born of an immigrant family and a man of color. Whatever Tina and I say, no matter how logical, liberals cup their hands over their ears and run away yelling “I can’t hear you!” So, here’s this book that says what the crazy left has refused hear for decades and the author does it in a way that has the lefties floundering in apoplectic shock, because they have no retort.

For too long, liberals have suggested that only cruel, racist, or nativist bigots would want to restrict immigration. Anyone motivated by compassion and egalitarianism would choose more open borders—or so the argument goes. Now Reihan Salam, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, turns this argument on its head.

In this deeply researched but also deeply personal book, Salam shows why uncontrolled immigration is bad for almost all Americans, including those who, like his family, belong to immigrant communities. Our current system has intensified the isolation of our native poor, and it risks ghettoizing the children of poor immigrants. It ignores the challenges posed by the declining demand for less-skilled labor, even as it exacerbates ethnic inequality and deepens our political divides.

If we continue on our current course—in which immigration policy chiefly serves wealthy insiders who profit from cheap labor and the well-being of the immigrants who already live among us is a mere afterthought—the rise of a new ethnic underclass is inevitable. Even more than now, class politics will be ethnic politics, and national unity will be impossible.

Salam offers a solution. Rejecting both cosmopolitan extremism and white identity politics, he argues that limiting total immigration and favoring skilled immigrants will combat rising inequality, balance diversity with assimilation, and foster a new nationalism that puts the interests of all Americans—native-born and foreign-born—first.

Praise for Melting Pot or Civil War?
“The choice between ‘melting pot or civil war’ may seem a stark one. But in this clear-sighted and courageous book, Salam persuasively argues that without a radical reform of the U.S. immigration system, our already polarized society might very well come apart at the seams.” —Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution

“Tackling a complex and emotional subject with thoughtfulness and charity, Salam has issued a clarion call to everyone who cares about the American nation and every person who calls it home. Melting Pot or Civil War answers the question of how we can have an immigration policy that is beneficial, humane, and fair to everyone—from ninth-generation Americans to new immigrants.” —J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy

“Should we lock people out of the middle class, or should we lock people out of the country? That is what is really being asked when we debate whether American immigration policy should be open or closed. Thankfully, Reihan Salam reveals this dichotomy to be a false choice. We can live in a middle class country that welcomes newcomers—if we can live with middle-of-the-road limits rather than absolutist extremes.” —Peter Thiel, author of Zero to One

“No matter where you stand on the issue of immigration, Salam’s book does something marvelously dangerous: it threatens to change your mind.” —Kristen Soltis Anderson, author of The Selfie Vote and cofounder of Echelon Insights

“For far too long, advocates of open immigration have dismissed their critics without even bothering to answer them. Reihan Salam should make that impossible. He offers a smart, informed, humane, and powerful case for an immigration policy that better serves all Americans. This is essential reading for understanding our country and its future.”
—Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs and author of The Fractured Republic

“Reihan Salam has written the most honest and insightful treatment of immigration you will find right now. I do not agree with everything he says in this book, but I highly recommend it.” —Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University and author of The Complacent Class

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17 Responses to New Book: Melting Pot or Civil War

  1. Pie Guevara says:

    I am on page 5 and if I see “bulllet biters” one more time I am going to throw the thing out the window.

  2. Pie Guevara says:

    Page 7 “Bullet-biters” again, almost out the window.

    Page 11 “We should admit immigrants only if we are fully committed to their integration and assimilation. Our number one priority should be ensuring that new arrivals and their loved ones can flourish as part of the American mainstream, not turning a blind eye as millions languish in poverty-stricken ghettos.”

    So, according to the author, we natural citizens owe immigrants a living. It is not enough just to let them in and give them refuge from the hell hole they may have come from, we owe it to them to make a life for them. Does anyone besides me see the irony in this? Life is a struggle, but if you are an immigrant you should be given special status. Special treatment. Frankly, so far I am not impressed.

    • Tina says:

      Pie, I have not read the book but if what you suggest is his true position, I agree completely.

      However, his point is easy to accommodate when our country controls who comes by setting the conditions and enforcing them and by teaching America values and ideals.

      In the past (may be true now but not enforced) those who came had to have a sponsor to assist the in seeking employment and assimilating into our society. Arrivals were supported in learning the language since we did not provide signage and translators. Americans also supported border control. We had the Bracero program. K-12 educators also taught the benefits of our Constitution instead of preference for a world order.

      Policy demonstrated that we were “fully committed to their integration and assimilation.”

      We can improve on those conditions, of course, and should. Employers need a better way to ensure legal hiring. Ag employers who need seasonal workers need a Bracera program that works. Criminal activity at the border requires strong border control and in some areas border agents need the support of the Wall.

      Radical Democrats have blown many sensible policies out of the water. They aren’t interested in immigrants or the American people. They are only interested in exploiting immigrants for power and they do it by exploiting uninformed people on an emotional level to gain support for open borders.

      • Pie Guevara says:

        On a different track, the author’s point may be admit only those who will contribute to our society and then track them and make sure they do. Also an absurd idea in my estimation.

  3. Pie Guevara says:

    Page 16: The melting pot of old was whites-only, and most white Americans embraced racial segregation and the broader subjection of African Americans and other disadvantaged minorities to an inferior status.


    • Pie Guevara says:

      Addendum: Had the author stated The melting pot of old was whites-only, and most white Democrats I would have found that more credible.

    • Libby says:

      Alas … not. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was a real thing, Pie.

      But he’s wrong about the “whites only” thing … well, nearly. Perhaps it was their whiteness that saved the Irish from exclusionary legislation?

      The unhappy fact is that yours and Tina’s and Jack’s anti-immigrant position is nothing, at all, new. It’s only the “poor white” version of the chief tenet of of the GOP: “I’ve got mine, and the rest of you can rot.”

      • Cherokee Jack says:

        We can debate immigration policies of the past, but a government’s only excuse to exist is to see to the well-being of those being governed. A government has no right to allow outsiders in without first making damned sure they will be an asset to the governed.
        Altruism toward outsiders is not, and should not be a government function without explicit approval of the governed. Libby has every right to be altruistic toward anyone she chooses, but she doesn’t have the right to be altruistic for me.

        • Pie Guevara says:

          Lippy is not being altruistic, she is signaling her phony altruism and ostensible moral superiority. This is what the left does habitually and they think the rest of us are so stupid we don’t get it.

      • Pie Guevara says:

        It is 2018, Lippy. Ever read about Irish need not apply? My point is that despite racism and other -isms, the United States has always been a melting pot of sorts and to say it was for whites only is completely and utterly asinine.

        When I took a god-awful, bull**** left-wing, pinheaded, diversity jargon riddled course “The Psychology of Racism” the “melting pot” was portrayed as a myth. It is not. That is a phony and fallacious semantic argument. Black Americans, Chinese Americans, Latin Americans, Arab Americans, Japanese Americans, ad infinitum have all contributed to our culture and members of these various ethnic groups have a both a personal sense and a group sense of being American. To deny that is, in itself, inherently racist. You are a closet racist, Lippy, and so is the author.

        Of course, I don not expect you to understand what I am saying here, because you are a rabid, bigoted, left-wing moron from hell, Lippy.

        You are also a low-life, scum, pos for asserting that Jack, Tina and I are anti-immigrant. I am not and I am certain Jack and Tina are not.

        1) I am anti-ILLEGAL immigrant, PERIOD.
        2) I am for a secure, regulated border.
        3) I am for putting US citizens to work and solving employment problems here with a preference for putting citizens to work first, not illegal immigrants.
        4) As such, I am for legal, controlled, reasonable, limited immigration, but I am not anti-immigrant.

        Lippy, there is not enough vile words in 17 languages to describe what an evil and despicable person you are for continuously bearing false witness and lying about people you politically disagree with. Please feel free to drop dead at your earliest possible convenience.

        By the way, it has been estimated that 98% of all ILLEGAL immigrants are never deported. That is completely insane. If we have no border, we have no country, which is, evidently, what YOU and your fellow Democrats want, Lippy. You and your fellow left-wing subversives seek to flood the the US employment market with cheap labor and votes for Democrats and Democrat hand outs. This is a low and disgraceful political policy and maneuver typical of your ilk. It is as low as the corporations who encourage you to provide them with cheap illegal and legal immigrant and labor.

      • Peggy says:

        My god Libby, based on your racist beliefs even Cesar Chavez was a racist.


        “The fact is that just as Americans along the southern border today want it sealed to protect their private property or the safety of their families, Cesar Chavez wanted desperately to protect his union from illegal border crossings by Mexican “strikebreakers.” At core, Chavez was demanding — like property owners along the border today — that the sovereignty of the United States be respected. Those who remember Chavez recall him vividly as a committed Chicano activist who neither minced words nor shied away from acting on his beliefs. And in doing so, he put himself firmly on record against illegal immigration.

        Here is Chavez himself on video from a September 25, 1972 interview with KQED in San Francisco, explaining just why he opposes illegal immigration — along the way using the terms “wetbacks” and “illegals.” (Both terms are considered offensive today, the latter being banned from usage by the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, and others.) Says Chavez in the interview: “As long as we have a poor country bordering California its going to be very difficult to win strikes as strikes are won normally by other unions with the employer.”

  4. RHT447 says:

    For those here who don’t (or won’t) get it.
    (Long read, with a few strong words, but well worth it)

  5. J. Soden says:

    Don’t miss today’s version of “Animal House” starring Departacus as Dean Wormer, Swinestein as the court recorder, Kamala Harris as the Horse, and WhiteNoise as Bluto.
    Now playing at the Theatre in DC.

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