A Reality Check; Campaign Ad by Tancredo Tells the Truth

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 16, 2007 | Go to article overview

A Reality Check; Campaign Ad by Tancredo Tells the Truth


Byline: Diana West, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Somehow, it isn't fair that with illegal immigration now a defining issue of American politics, the one politician more than any other who has taught Americans to re-imagine their land as a nation with controllable borders is trailing in the Republican presidential polls. I refer, of course, to Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, whose congressional career has been guided by a once-seemingly impossible goal: to convince Americans that we had an illegal immigration problem. This was something many Americans - from the business community, with its addiction to cheap labor, to the great middle class, with its addiction to cheap child care and household help - all too readily denied.

If convincing people we had an illegal immigration crisis wasn't hard enough, he also had to persuade people there was a solution to this problem of porous borders that ten or twenty million mainly Spanish-speaking illegal aliens had crossed - and are still crossing. What are you gonna do, his detractors would say, build a fence?

Well, yes. That was one idea. And while that fence has yet to be built, it has been voted into law and signed by the president (despite his open-border self). In the course of the debate, Mr. Tancredo has helped many Americans once again think of the United States as a sovereign nation, not a honey pot - a worthy testament to a congressional career that he will be bringing to an end by not seeking re-election.

But what about Mr. Tancredo's presidential campaign? This week, he debuted a new television commercial challenging voters, as well as his fellow candidates, to link the illegal-alien issue to the national security threat of jihadist terrorism. And despite this being the age of jihadist terrorism, Mr. Tancredo's television spot is a first. It highlights the fact that our borders are open to more than just cheap labor by depicting the ease with which a terrorist enters a shopping mall - like other terrorists entered the London Underground, the Spanish trains and a school in Russia - to deposit a backpack bomb that explodes at the end of the commercial. The message is refreshingly direct: "Tancredo. Before it's too late."

Yes, there is something surreal about the commercial, but not because of the content. What is surreal is the hysteria that has greeted it. After 9/11, 3/11, 7/7, Amman, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bali, Beslan, Davao, Hadera, Haifa, Jakarta, Jerusalem, Nairobi, New Delhi, Sharm al-Sheikh, Tel Aviv, Tunisia and more, what dolt doesn't wonder if and when jihadist cowards will attack our own trains, markets, hotels and restaurants? …

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