Gallup found in its most recent poll that Republican voters believe immigration is the “most important problem” facing America right now.
And it is. Absolutely. If the line under Bill Clinton was “it’s the economy, stupid,” certainly the tag for today’s political leaders should be “it’s the border, stupid.”
Simply put, cede the borders and cede America. It’s not rocket science. And yet, little changes. Why not?
On immigration, politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, have stopped working for the people. They’ve become their own class, their own society, their own bubble-dwellers, and we the people are secondary considerations, at best — petty nuisances to their personal agendas, at worst.
Just look at these numbers. Forty-one percent of Republicans just told Gallup that immigration is the top priority in America right now. That’s a pretty significant score. And it’s not just Republicans who have a problem with immigration. Those of all political walks told Gallup their biggest concern was “the government” in general; that was followed by immigration, in second place.
But we kind of knew that, right?
Only an ostrich with its head in the sand could deny awareness of the border fights that have been waging for years in politics.
Where the shock factor comes, where the shock factor should come, is that Republicans know this, Democrats are aware of this, elected leaders of all political ideologies know this — yet borders remain a battle.
Aren’t the politicians supposed to work for us?
Where’s all that humble service to the people?
Look at Gallup on immigration through the years: Between March 1 and March 10 of this year, 36 percent of Americans told pollsters they worry about illegal immigration a “great deal”; 18 percent, a “fair amount”; 24 percent “only a little”; and 21 percent, “not at all.”
Between March 1 and March 8 of 2018, the percentages of respondents who worried about illegal immigration a “great deal” and “fair amount” were 34 and 24, respectively. Twenty-one percent answered “only a little”; 20 percent, “not at all.”
Between March 1 and March 5 of 2017 — 37 percent said “a great deal,” 22 percent, a “fair amount.”
In 2016, illegal immigration was a major concern for — again — 37 percent. In 2015, it was 39 percent; in 2011, it was 42 percent; in 2007, it was 45 percent; in 2004, it was 37 percent.
The list goes on.
Decades of voter concerns, decades of political fights, decades of political battles over the border.
Decades of same-same.
Truly, America doesn’t have a border problem so much as a political class problem. Pols in this country routinely, habitually, horribly think nothing of promising the world while campaigning and delivering zilch from office.
For a country built on and of, by and for the people form of governance, where elected leaders are supposed to be accountable to those who elect — where politicians are actually the employees, and voters the employers — we’re living a sad system.
An attitude adjustment is needed.
Politicians are not serving the people as they should. Their hearts are not humble, their designs are not noble. Their compasses are cracked and dysfunctional.
They’re prideful, partisan and self-interested above all.
This quote, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, speaks volumes: “There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”
The politician who knows this, who understands it and who lives a life that recognizes its underlying principle is the politician who has the solution to America’s border problems.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.