Will Immigration be a “Red Pill” for Democrats? – The Lowdown on Liberty


All over the country this week, and even abroad, news surrounding the cruelty of our country’s immigration enforcement has caused a dramatic uproar from many on the political left. The news cycle consisted of non-stop coverage of detention facilities, as stories about inhumane conditions with photos of families being torn apart were run by mainstream outlets every day. It spread so quickly in fact, that it prompted a response and executive order from President Trump. And with Trump attempting to acquiesce to the democrat’s outcry for change, we see that they still find the solutions put forth lacking any real substance. Which begs the question for democrats, is it time to look somewhere else entirely for a solution? And leaves most of us wondering, will immigration be a “red pill” for Democrats?

The term “red pill” comes from a scene in the movie “The Matrix,” where a mysterious, seemingly all-knowing character, Morpheus, gives the protagonist, Neo, a choice between a red or blue pill; essentially choosing between learning the truth of his existence or remaining in the dark, respectively. Often referred to now as being “woke,” it is a popular euphemism in online forums for being politically enlightened to how things really work.

Now, for us in the liberty community, democrats being “woke” to how government works could be promising news. While it’s no secret that republicans love their government too, although pretending to hate it; it’s no comparison to democrats, however, when we observe their view of government. For years, we’ve predicted and preached about the transgressions that inevitably result from these government programs, and it’s been democrats who have been most reluctant to hear what we have to say. But what if they came to the realization that these programs fail all on their own?

The political divide in this country and subsequent polarization between viewpoints has made teaching others about unfamiliar ideas more difficult than ever. With most encounters feeling more like you’re being force-fed, it makes the likelihood of anyone accepting a new argument dwindle drastically. If, however, people feel as though they’ve come to a conclusion on their own, they are much more likely to accept the implications of it, especially with people (like us) encouraging them along the way.

When it comes to the child immigration crisis, the saddest aspect will be its inevitable repetition, due in no small part to a lack of awareness if those most outraged don’t become “woke” to the fact that this is the logical endpoint for any government policy. No, it isn’t just because “those guys” are in office either. And I think that’s something democrats are starting to come around to in the age of Trump. For anyone looking to spread a message of peace and liberty, this is something we need to capitalize on.

If we can show democrats that massive, sweeping federal programs in immigration end up turning against their stated goals and railroading innocent people, we can certainly show them similar instances in different areas too. Ultimately leading more and more people to realize that the bottom-up approach from local, voluntary solutions works out significantly better than a top-down, national overhaul whenever there’s a perceived problem.

There are countless examples of failed government policies around us today. The War on Drugs has torn parents from their children over victimless crimes for more than 50 years, through both democrat and republican administrations; Social Security was sold as a way to ensure senior citizens wouldn’t have to live in poverty after retirement, yet it’s already well on its way to insolvency; and even progressives’ pride and joy, Obamacare, won Poltifact’sLie of the Year” when Obama told millions of Americans that if they liked their plan, they could keep it. With each new failure, innocent people are swept up into the mix, potentially having their lives ruined from prosecutions of victimless crimes or the burdensome costs these programs place on them.

So, for those looking at the events at the border in utter disgust, do you really want to put an end to this political maleficence? Then step one is to stop pushing for bigger government. While I hope this realization comes sooner rather than later, for the sake of the innocents involved, I won’t hold my breath waiting for these protesters’ newfound benevolence to transition into consistent principles, but rather I will encourage it every chance I get. Because we all could use a little more principle, a lot more compassion, and a little less party loyalty.

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Thomas J. Eckert

Thomas J. Eckert is the Managing Editor of Think Liberty and Copy Editor for Being Libertarian. With a passion for politics, he studies economics and history and writes in his spare time on political and economic current events. He is a self-described voluntarist.