What is the name of the politician who announced his presidential bid in 1979 with a call for an “open border project”?
It was Reagan, of course. And he delivered, creating the largest amnesty program for illegal immigrants in the history of this country.
As I always say, the difference between Reagan and Justin Trudeau is that Reagan let the insane out of asylums and Trudeau put them in government.
5 thoughts on “Open Border Project”
Not sure how knowledgeable you are on Reagan, but IMO he was one of our best presidents in history. He was HATED by the political Left and LOVED by the political Right (well, the base, the establishment GOP didn’t like him much), so getting an accurate historical take on him can be a little difficult because you run into books that claim he was the worst ever and then books that claim he was the greatest. IMO, he was overall great, but he was not at all perfect and made some mistakes. Otherwise, I’d say he and Trudeau aren’t even on the same planet. Trudeau is arrogant and self-righteous and much more a big-government leftist, IMO. Reagan was not. The Left will never forgive either he or Margaret Thatcher for poking a giant hole in the post-WWII left-wing cultural domination that big government and socialism were the way to go.
Reagan played a pivotal role in turning around the bad economy from the 1970s and ending the Cold War. Now the Left will say he just got lucky on the economy and on the Cold War, and the Right will say he was the main guy for fixing the economy and ending the Soviet Union. IMO, from what I have studied, he wasn’t solely responsible for the economy or ending the Soviet Union, but he did play a major role in both, and the Soviet Union might not have ended if not for Reagan. Regarding amnesty, well Reagan was tricked on the amnesty issue by the Democrats, as they promised they would then enforce the border after the amnesty but then never did. Reagan later said that was his greatest mistake.
Otherwise, a major point of Reagan’s platform was that government was not the solution to the problem but rather the problem itself. He recognized the excessive size of the government welfare state, the numbers of government agencies, and the amounts of regulations and taxes, and began working to scale them back. Thus, the top tax rate was lowered from 70% down to 28% (with hundreds of loopholes closed in the process) and regulations were scaled back. He also provided the Federal Reserve with the political cover needed to raise interest rates high enough for long enough to kill the inflation.
He was the first to really take a stand against the Soviet Union, which at the time many considered as dangerous saber-rattling and that he was going to get us into a war and all of that. He openly called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire,” which caused the New York Times to go apoplectic and he began a program of directly countering the Soviet Union by upping defense spending to rebuild the American military and being very pro-America and patriotic. He in a very famous speech at the Berlin Wall said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” which again was highly controversial at the time. He spoke out in support of the Solidarity resistance movement in Poland which the Soviets were seeking to oppress.
He pushed for the Soviets to withdraw their ballistic missiles from being targeted at Western Europe. NATO had started and Reagan was pushing forward with a plan to counter the Soviets on this by deploying intermediate-range nuclear forces in Europe to counter the Soviets (again fueling claims it would lead to war). Reagan offered the Soviets that if they withdrew their forces, he would stop the deployment. The Soviets ended up folding. He also started the Strategic Defense Initiative (missile defense program), mocked at the time by many and deridingly called “Star Wars,” but it has born fruit, having played a major role in the development of the Patriot Missile System, the Navy’s Aegis air defense system, and the Israeli Iron Dome system. It also terrified the Soviets, because they knew if anyone could do it, America could.
I haven’t read it, but I’ve read second-hand that Gorbachev states in his memoir that Reagan’s defense spending was one of the main things that helped break the Soviet Union.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I also believe it is a myth that Reagan let the insane out of the asylums. As governor of California, he signed legislation that made it where people could not be committed against their will unless/until they do something truly bad. So the state government asylums were emptied out to a good degree. Then as President, the Democrats, in control of both Houses in 1981, passed through a bill to basically put funding for mental health institutions back under control of the states. Reagan signed it, but otherwise, had no direct influence over the operation/closure of mental health institutions.
Emptying the asylums started well before Reagan. My parents used to work for a halfway house for people leaving the state hospital. Had to have been early 70s.
The US used forced psychiatry as torture and punishment just as much as the USSR did.
By the mid-1960s, enough people were turned off by State forced psychiatry to want to do something about it, and so this started to get rolling during the LBJ admin.
During the late 1970s and 1980s, it really took off with the idea of “care in the community”, which may have actually worked out had it not been some way to offload the problem without funding for a solution.
And so by 1988, you could expect to have to deal with crazy people on the street in any major US city.
Remnants of the forced psychiatry period of the US still exist in Florida.
The Florida Mental Health Act 1971, also known as the “Baker Act”, allows for both involuntary examination and involuntary commitment.
One clever trick used by rich Florida men back in the 1970s and 1980s was to get the “family doctor”, who was usually a golfing buddy, to issue an interim diagnosis of a mental condition so that the man could have access to the house uninterrupted for up to 72 hours.
That was usually long enough to clean it out thoroughly, along with every safety deposit box, and to start divorce proceedings.
Naturally, the divorce settlement would usually involve giving up the house as the major asset, since the man would already have done something about locking down easily moved assets.
Those easily moved assets would often find their way to a cargo plane for transport to the Leeward Islands or the ABC islands of the Netherlands.
Also, these men usually wouldn’t live in the house that was protected as their primary domicile, and so this was a coercive way to ensure that the settlement would be accepted. Lacking funds and support to do much else but hope for a monthly divorce settlement and the house as the major asset, plenty of these divorces proceeded outside of the courts.
Besides, there would always be another golfing buddy to sign off on the interim diagnosis if it would be needed a second or third time.
I’d like to say that the decline of forced psychiatry has something to do with a moral compass, that perhaps people didn’t like the Ezra Pound treatment, but it’s really not that at all.
It’s because without Federal money to support the mass implementation of forced psychiatry, the individual states lacked the funds to keep it in place, and so they gutted it as much as they could while still pretending that it exists.
In certain parts of Florida, telling someone that you were going to get them “sent to Arcadia” meant that you were going to get them “Baker Acted” into forced psychiatry at what was then one of only four mental hospitals in Florida.
Arcadia was like the infamous Raiford in North Florida, but operated as a mental institution.
So no, it wasn’t Reagan who emptied out the mental institutions, especially not in Florida.
I believe one of my older female relatives spent her later years in Chattahoochee. By all accounts, she reached menopause and completely lost her marbles. I had never heard of those other hospitals.
My parents worked for a time at… Sunland? They said most of the people they were transitioning out of state care would never be able to live independently. But they did have one lady, middle-aged, who… there was nothing at all wrong with her. She’d been locked up since age 18, because her rich parents didn’t like the guy she married. She was a war bride, he shipped out right after the wedding, and her family had her committed. She never heard from him again. My parents made a lot of phone calls and managed to track down her husband– he’d been killed in action overseas, so my parents helped her get the widows’ pension she was owed, and I think she was the only halfway-house patient they managed to get all the way to independence. But only because there wasn’t anything wrong with her to begin with. She’d basically spent 20+ years doing crossword puzzles, and had to be brought up to speed on paying bills and buying groceries and stuff, but she was mostly OK.