If we learn from our experience, we are considered intelligent. If we learn from our experience and other people’s as well, we are considered highly intelligent. If we learn from neither, we are considered stupid. The term is cruel when applied to those who lack cognitive capacity, but perfectly appropriate to describe those who have that capacity but don’t bother to use it. And that is how I will use the term in this essay.
President Biden continues to be stupid in his approach to immigration. I base this assertion not only on the current crisis at the southern border and its impact on the rest of the country, but more importantly on events that began in Europe for years, even decades, before Donald Trump took office. Douglas Murray detailed those events in his 2017 book, The Strange Death of Europe, which describes how that continent is “in the process of committing suicide because of the “mass movement of [non-Europeans] into Europe,” even as Europe has “lost faith in its beliefs, traditions and legitimacy.”
The flow of immigrants began in the 1960s and spread thereafter to include, over the decades, England, Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. The migrants left their homelands to escape unsatisfactory or unsafe environments, to seek greater opportunities, or both. The receiving countries accepted the migrants largely because their own declining birth rates made it necessary to import workers. But they were also motivated to magnanimity by their guilt over World War II, in particular the role some played in the Holocaust, as well as by their history of slavery, colonialism, and racism.
Murray notes that Europeans had difficulty recognizing the dangers of the increasing immigration because of the combined effect of 19thcentury German biblical criticism and Darwinism, which caused the continent to lose both “its foundational story” and its historic values. The more people abandoned their religious heritage, the less important the concepts of religious belief, nation, history, and culture became to them, and the less they appreciated the deep meaning those same concepts held for the largest group of immigrants, Muslims. Many Europeans, including political leaders, foolishly expected that the migrants could be counted on to integrate—that is, to give up their own vibrant belief system and embrace European unbelief in its place.
Muslim immigrants continued to have more children than their European neighbors, thus causing their numbers to grow as others shrank. And not only did most Muslim immigrants reject western beliefs; they succeeded in converting a number of young Europeans to Islam. Murray explains this phenomenon by noting that “most branches of European Christianity have lost the confidence to proselytize or even believe in their own message” but instead have embraced “a form of left-wing politics, diversity action and social welfare projects,” which are perfectly compatible with the opening of borders.
Many Muslim immigrants continued to follow Sharia law, including dictates that opposed their hosts’ legal systems, thus creating serious difficulties for the criminal justice system. The immigrants also maintained many of the social customs and attitudes, notably toward sexual behavior, that they had embraced in their countries of origin. This fact explains why throughout the 2000s, sex attacks on European women became almost pandemic, notably in 2014 in Germany and Norway.
From the beginning of the European immigration phenomenon, and throughout each subsequent wave, both experts and average citizens warned of its dangers. As early as 1968, polls showed 75 % of Brits were concerned that governmental regulation of immigration was inadequate. Subsequent polls showed that majorities of citizens in the Netherlands, France, England, and Germany repeatedly believed Muslim immigration was not beneficial to their countries, that the immigrants’ values were often incompatible with their own, and that many immigrants supported terror, fanaticism, and radicalism. The governments refused to pay attention to the polls.
The criticisms of government policies became more vocal in each subsequent decade. In 1973, Jean Raspail wrote a novel about of the danger of Muslim immigration. In 1997, Pim Fortuyn warned of the ongoing “Islamisation,” as did Oriana Fallaci in 1999 and Hirsi Ali in 2006. In 2011 Nicolas Sarkozy condemned multiculturalism for uplifting other cultures and downgrading that of the host country, and for expecting host countries to be tolerant of immigrants’ intolerance. In 2016, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban offered this forceful assessment:
“At last, the peoples of Europe . . . have understood that the principles of life that Europe has been built on are in mortal danger. Europe is the community of Christian, free, and independent nations; equality of men and women; fair competition and solidarity; pride and humility; justice and mercy. . . Mass immigration is a slow stream of water persistently eroding the shores. It is masquerading as a humanitarian cause, but its true nature is the occupation of territory . . . [Some of those people] have come here with the intention of changing our country in their own image . . . with violence and against our will . . . .
The response to every one of these warnings was the same—to dismiss the message and denounce the messenger!
Government officials in the various country refused to accept the common sense truth that immigrants do not leave their beliefs behind when they cross the border but carry them across and, in many cases, cherish them all the more for being in a strange land. Nor did the officials grasp the danger of rejecting their own heritage. As Douglas Murray points out: “Just as a nation could not thrive if it forbade any criticism of its past, so no nation can survive if it suppresses everything that is positive about its past. [Moreover,] “if the culture that shaped Western Europe has no part in its future, then there are other cultures and traditions that will surely step in to take its place.”
The mistakes in immigration policy made in Europe over the past half-century are deeply chiseled in history and have been present for everyone on the planet to see and learn from. To his great credit, Donald Trump saw them, understood their message, and took them to heart even before he took office. His timely, bold, and impressively effective immigration policy testifies to that fact.
In contrast to President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden held government positions for the entire time the European immigration problem was unfolding. Its message was there for him to see, over and over and over again. Having earned a baccalaureate degree and a law degree, he was surely capable of learning from both Europe’s failure and Trump’s success. Yet he did neither. Worse, he chose to undo the success and emulate the failure. And that, dear readers, constitutes STUPIDITY writ large.
Copyright © 2021 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved