Ghosts of Christmas-Past

Ghosts of Christmas-Past A Modest Proposal

By Gulliva Swifty


Kudos to the United States Congress for killing the Dream Act. This misguided piece of legislation aimed to give a path to citizenship to young adults who entered this country illegally as minors. In other words, they were brought into the country by criminals—people who cold-bloodedly ignored our immigration laws in the pathetic hope of finding a better life for their children, a hope that, largely, cannot be realized in so many of the disgustingly poor and corrupt countries of the world. As Congress so wisely recognizes, this kind of criminal behavior cannot be sanctioned.

Obviously, the family values that we, Americans, cherish and so fiercely uphold, cannot be extended to families of all the countries of the world. After all, what are we—our brothers’ keepers? We do our best to be the policemen of the world. Just because we are the greatest country in the world doesn’t mean we can do everything for everybody. I mean, get real.

Anyway, we must continue to cling to our most cherished myth—that we are a country of self-made men (sic). Our national psyche, if not our capitalist-welfare system, is built upon this tremendously entertaining and lucrative belief. From classic westerns to post-modern action cinema, you can clearly see that we are a nation of self-made men (sic), people who need help from nobody—and if we did, we would never admit it much less ask for it! From our wise movie-making industry, we can learn that Americans pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. We’re not a bunch of collectivist-socialist barn-raisers, after all. If you want a barn, show some initiative. Hire a contractor to find low-paid illegal immigrants to build it, for Christ’s sake.

In addition, we must not abandon our notion that we are a law-abiding people, in a law-abiding nation, where the rule-of-law, upholding our law-and-orderliness, prevails. Everywhere you look you can see Law and Order; the reruns are on tv seven nights a week. Anyone with two eyes in their head and a flat screen tv and remote control can clearly see that the system works. No good Americans, especially those in Congress, ever break the law. No. That is not possible. Instead, we must go to great expense and lengths to circumvent the law! (Hence the need for ever-new crops of college graduates, especially those lining up to join the legions of lawyers that make all this possible!) And, in the words of that irrelevant old European language, we say Vive la difference!

But I digress.

The Dream Act, now forever dead (we hope), would have not only reinvigorated, but also celebrated another, extremely dangerous, American myth—that we cherish our immigrant heritage (you know: “Give us your poor, your weak, your wretched of the Earth” and all that crap). We live in a wonderful time of rising polarization among all the peoples of this Earth. How wise of Congress to understand that we must crush the desires of illegal young people from other countries who, as children, were brought here at great risk to themselves and their families, have grown up here, wish to become citizens, and, to show the sincerity of their aspirations, propose to complete their college education or join our military in exchange for a path to citizenship. What outrageous self-interest, disguised as altruism!

With the death of the Dream Act, Congress sends a clear message to illegal young people today, who are offering to get college degrees or do public service in our military. Surely, they should be discouraged. However, we feel this blow does not go far enough. What about our own young people who fail to get college degrees or volunteer to serve in the military? What are they doing to contribute to our exceptionalism? Nothing! Therefore, I propose that we strip them of citizenship! This will send a clear message that we are serious about increasing the number of college graduates and modernizing the military.

Certainly, anybody with half a brain can see right away the downside of such a measure. It will likely result in a large population of illegalized non-citizens, right inside our own country. As we know from our efforts to deport criminals from Guantanamo Bay, few countries are interested in taking our undesirables. Now, we could just put them into small boats and shove them out into the Atlantic or Pacific. Cuba did this with great success in 1980. (We could point them in the direction of Cuba!) But I feel we must take stronger measures to show our commitment to this policy.

So I suggest the following: this newly disenfranchised sector of the population could be drugged (most of them are likely drug addicts anyway). Let me be clear: I am not endorsing the use of illegal drugs. (Heaven forfend!) I am proposing using completely legal pharmaceutical products. I am quite sure the pharmaceutical industry would comply. We could certainly sweeten the deal by offering some tax rebates or federal subsidies in exchange for giving them preferential treatment in the bidding process for this profitable enterprise. The details can be quickly and easily worked out. Once the target population is rounded up and drugged, I believe we could also easily strike a deal with one of any possible number of airline providers (possibly our own military, in a pinch) to transport the offenders by air to the middle of the ocean where they could simply be dumped into the sea. Argentina did this with great success in the years 1976-1983, in effect “disappearing” an entire generation of young intellectuals, college students (times change!), union organizers, etc., effectively leaving no trace.

Last, but not least, this plan has the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. All those fish-lovers who carry on about the loss of aquatic species will see the benefit of providing high-protein organic fodder to keep our seas alive. Let’s go green! It’s a win-win situation.

Congress did right to kill the Dream Act, but I feel that august body did not go far enough. So it is in the spirit of this holiday season that I would like to offer the following modest proposal. Not only should we refuse citizenship to illegal young people who aspire to higher education or service in our nation’s military; we should also strip citizenship from young legal people who fail to attain a higher education or volunteer for military service.

During this Christmas season, when we remember those funny, impractical, words, “Peace on Earth, Good Will towards Men (sic),” it is of the utmost importance that we adhere to our American values. We must offer up this prayer of Thanksgiving: “Thank you, God, for making us the greatest nation that has ever existed, or ever will exist, in this or any other time, or world, or place in the universe, or any other alternate-reality-show that we have not, as yet, discovered/exploited, so help us God, Amen.”