I normally skip the ads that play before online videos, but this one caught my attention. It was a clip of Bill Clinton giving a State of the Union address while he was president — and making an incredibly concise and eloquent case against illegal immigration. Based on the rhetoric, one would think one was listening to a speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
I knew that Bill Clinton was a relatively conservative Democrat as president — signing things like welfare reform and the Defense of Marriage Act — but I didn’t know he was a stalwart defender of the rule of law when it came to immigration.
What’s perhaps even more interesting about this video is that virtually every member of Congress — Republican and Democrat alike — responded with a standing ovation. So why did the Democratic Party shift so much on immigration?
Democrats have been going after immigrant votes for nearly 200 years — party activists were among the first people to greet newly-arrived European immigrants at the harbors during the immigration waves of the 1800s, and they were known to assist immigrants in voting illegally back in those days.
But I don’t think that history is the cause of the party’s recent shift. I suspect, rather, that Democrats’ increasing embrace of identity politics is the true culprit. As Tucker Carlson defined it last month, in the group thinking mind of the modern Left, everybody belongs to a different racial, economic, or sexual sub-group, and the point of political power is to win spoils for the correct sub-groups.
The Democratic Party threw away its populist position of the 1990s, exchanged it for tribalism, and branded anyone who disagrees a racist. It’s been an incredibly fast and saddening transformation.