The politics of backfiring |

The politics of backfiring

I am going to expose myself today.After 330 contiguous Tuesdays of choosing my words carefully, not stepping on toes needlessly, telling the truth as I see it, and only offending those who deserve to be offended in my oft-humbled opinion, today’s words are a prediction for what happened yesterday.A Sunday night deadline for a Tuesday publication makes it rather difficult to write about anything occurring on a Monday, but in this particular case I am willing to take a shot.As some of you were aware, but many were not, yesterday was “A Day Without Immigrants” day, also affectionately referred to as “Nothing Gringo on May 1.” Here’s the exciting part about me exposing myself: Did you notice anything? Anything at all?Besides yelling at your TV during certain news segments (“If all of ’em protesting in that there parking lot are e-legal then why don’t the gov’t just surround ’em with a big ol’ fence and then send ’em all back to wherever?!”), did you observe your personal economy taking a nosedive during the day?Me neither. Talk about two steps forward and three steps back.The one day boycott-of-all-things-American was as productive as the one-day gasoline boycotts that appear in my in-box every few days, and as philosophically meaningful as singing a Spanish version of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” complete with “new and improved” lyrics demanding respect from Americans.They may be well-organized, to a point, but to think these are the proper methods with which to obtain amnesty and citizenship is like Lindholm and Ginn joining forces to oppose development or French anarchists burning cars for job security.And while we’re at it, is “gringo” a term of endearment or is it the equivalent to certain words that I refuse to lower myself by repeating here?I’ll tell you exactly what I plan on buying yesterday: As much, or as little, as I want. Two tanks of gas, groceries, a toy for the dog, perhaps even a piece of art as a Mother’s Day surprise for my wife. Not because I am afraid “their” totals might actually amount to anything, but simply because it is my personal choice to do so. These sheep have actually been deluded by their mis-leaders shouting false promises by attempting a half-hearted shot at economic extortion to prove their mighty-might. I’ll bet more than a few pesos that Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Krispy Kreme and Wal-Mart all have relatively normal sales totals yesterday (provided Wal-Marts could open, of course).And please, let’s not forget that this issue has nothing whatsoever to do with legal immigrants in our country (which we all are, to one degree or another), as they can protest and yell and scream to their hearts content. It is the illegals who must, in order to stay true to their “cause,” refuse all tax-funded welfare assistance, all food stamps, free medical care, free education, etc., for the previous 24 hours.However, if you truly believe such a farce occurred yesterday, then stop reading now and go back to watching your Michael Moore videos.Think about it, though, if it did. The economies of scale would come into full view, allowing American citizens to see for the first time in decades, albeit briefly, how efficiently their tax dollars can be dispersed without the extra burdens of those who do not pay taxes (the real ones, not just sales tax) in the first place.Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea, after all.But seriously, I know people who now want a total boycott of all businesses that have bilingual advertising or are known to use illegal workers. They say if a retail shop has both EXIT and SALIDA on its doors, then they will no longer shop there. Or if a product has both English and Spanish on the package, they will refuse to make the purchase. This is, of course, just as silly and just as wrong.How about a “Day Without the French?” where we all refuse to eat fries or drink good wine? That certainly worked wonders a few years ago. Or “A Day Without Smug White Folk” where we all walk around with our eyes closed. Or perhaps Hamas promoting “A Day Without Jews” or a man in a dress from the Vatican proclaiming “A Day Without the Da Vinci Code.” Yeah, that’ll teach the world to sing.If it were called “A Day Without Illegal Immigrants,” then maybe we could all grasp the reality of the proposal. How about a week, a month, a year or, what the hell, why not in perpetuity? That would be fine with me.All day long yesterday, protesters will drink American water, eat American food, drive American cars on American roads, condemn American politicians and American workers, and just generally enjoy the you-know-what out of America’s 1st Amendment and the rest of her freedoms.Of course, I could be dead wrong, and yesterday might have been the biggest drain on the American economy since Enron execs said to California, “Hey, want some cheap energy?”But I seriously doubt it today. Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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