Trump, Liberty and Pizza

These are my obligatory thoughts about this Trump fiasco;

These past twenty four hours have been an emotional roller coaster for me.

I am an illegal alien. I have been able to do accomplish some great things these past few years because I was granted deferred action, a temporary suspension of deportation, and work authorization by the Obama administration. This has allowed me to work with the Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation, the Property and Environment Research Center, among others. I have been able to meet several of my intellectual heroes. I went from having been stuck to Los Angeles to travelling through most of the United States (with the notable exception of the south). I have formed countless friendships that would have been unimaginable to me a few years prior. I am today one of a handful of illegal aliens who have gone to do their doctoral study. If you read through NoL’s archives you’ll quickly realize I’m not terribly bright and I have a long way to go intellectually, but I’ve done well for myself I think.

Prior to deferred action I was in a dark place mentally. I was about to finish my undergraduate studies, but had no work experience unless you counted under the table odd jobs. How could I have any experience? Up till then it had been illegal to employ me. Once I graduated I had no idea what I could do. Become a gardener? I had no future. It didn’t help me that the longest romantic relationship I had been in ended because my significant other couldn’t stand my (lack of) legal status anymore.  Deferred action gave me the chance to give my life meaning.

It is highly likely that, due to its discretionary nature, Trump will cancel deferred action once he enters the White House. I honestly don’t know what I will do. It is very likely that my life has reached a dead end. Upon hearing that Trump had won I spent several hours crying. I wept for all the things that I am likely to never have. I wept for the fact that I am unlikely to ever become a US citizen. I wept for the fact that I am unlikely to ever find a wife or have children. After crying though I decided that it was pointless to let myself be consumed by it any further.

I think it better to concentrate on counting my blessings.

I am not a US citizen, and I am likely to never become one. Truth be told though I don’t feel like a stranger in this country. I have friends, family, and work colleagues that have extended a helping hand to me in the worst of times. I am grateful beyond words for that. Thank you. I love you all for it.

I may never be recognized as a son of America and I cannot claim to be a blood descendant from American heroes like Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglas, or Milton Friedman. I am however an intellectual descendant of them. I am a son of liberty.

Mind you an American conception of liberty. I think that government, in so far as it exists, should exist to minimize social conflict by promoting disputes to be resolved through non-violence. I think that society should judge people by their actions, not incidents of birth. I think that the market is the best mechanism for peaceful coordination of production of goods, services, ideas, and love. I emphasize that word because love only matters when it is felt voluntarily. Forced love is not love.

The common interpretation of Trump’s victory is that his supporters were a collection of racists, bigots, and pigs. While I am sure there are genuine racists mixed among his supporters, I think such a view too simplistic because it fails to consider why this racism has fermented.

Racism, in its many forms, is an inherit condition of man. Due to evolution we human beings have a built-in system of distinguishing between in and out groups, between those who are ‘us’ and those who are alien. This trait was necessary to allow early hunter-gatherers to form bands and survive. I do not pretend to be exempt from this; I’ve told my share of racist jokes over the years and am more inclined to help others that share similarities to myself. Racism, to the extent we see currently, however is not due to natural conditions.

I think that today’s level of racism is due to us forcing fake love down people’s throats. There is nothing wrong with celebrating diversity. Pizza, one of mankind’s greatest achievements, is the ultimate symbol of diversity. It’s core ingredients could not have been combined until relatively recently. Pizza is born of the union of the old world (Europe, Africa and Asia) and the new world (the Americas). There is nothing wrong with praising pizza.

The problem is that when we try to force others to eat a specific type of pizza. If someone won’t eat pineapple with their pizza we consider them bigots and exclude them from our social group. We tell them they’re subhuman and banish them far away. Should we be surprised then if, upon being ostracized, they come to resent pineapple pizza? In the past they simply didn’t care for pineapple, but now they hate it because it reminds them of how they were rejected in the past for holding unpopular views.

In our pursuit of celebrating pizza we ended up forgetting the great thing about pizza – choice. Pizza comes in countless varieties from plain cheese to pepperoni or a mix of vegetables and meats. Pizza doesn’t even need to have tomato sauce or cheese to be a pizza. Pizza is the ultimate manifestation of choice. It is no wonder that we Americans, in our love for liberty, love pizza.

Diversity is great. However if someone doesn’t like to be around blacks, homosexuals, or Jews we are not advancing the cause by making them feel like awful people. They may come from a background where they only interacted with others like themselves. They may feel uncomfortable in diverse environments, but we should not presume it to be because of bigotry. It is better to give them the benefit of the doubt. If diversity is great it will win them over time – they will voluntarily come to love diversity.

If we force them to love something however we deny them the opportunity to fully understand why diversity matters. We also force them to be hypocrites that claim to love something they don’t care for. We set up the groundwork for someone to come along and offer them a chance to get back at those who dehumanized them if they vote for him.

It is easy to want to punch people and force them to agree with you. I know full well the temptation of violence. Again, in the past day my life has come to an end. It would be easy to fuel my emotions into anger. It wouldn’t solve things though.

If we want to live in a better world we need to break this cycle of hatred and concentrate on what brings us together, our love for pizza.

13 thoughts on “Trump, Liberty and Pizza

  1. A hard lesson to learn.A close family member of mine has repeatedly broken the law. He was arrested several times and now he is in a dark place in dealing with the system from the place he put himself into. He is a young man and will learn his lesson eventually. I wish you well and hope you find peace.

  2. “However if someone doesn’t like to be around blacks, homosexuals, or Jews we are not advancing the cause by making them feel like awful people.”

    This is why, regardless of any virtues, I will never be a libertarian.

    • I would prefer if people weren’t racist/sexist/etc and to the extent that it can be combated it should. I just don’t think its one of those cases where we are likely to succeed in the long term if we antagonize people.

    • That may be, but I think it is even more unlikely to succeed if we don’t. Bigotry must be confronted lest it become seen as acceptable. Hate speech is [within certain bounds] legal. I supported the ACLU in defending the right for neo-nazis to speak in Skokie Illinois. But I shouldn’t antagonize them? Fuck that. Their bigotry must be confronted.

    • I understand the value of making it clear that X views aren’t socially acceptable, but if we want to win them over we need to be on good enough terms where they’ll hear us out.

    • [This comment has been removed for being vulgar and anti-Semitic. Vulgarity is not tolerated here (unless it relates to Jacques), and anti-Semitism will not be tolerated. – bc]

  3. Since you have seen fit to reveal some personal details, would you mind filling in some more? When did you come here, at what age, and for what reason? What is “deferred action?”

    • I was brought here illegally from Mexico by my parents at the age of two back in 1994. My parents were economic migrants. “Deferred action” is a legal fiction created by the Obama administration to grant de facto amnesty to individuals such as myself who were brought as children.

      From a legal perspective we have applied for deportation but the Obama administration granted us “deferred action” as part of its discretionary power to decide what group of illegal aliens to prioritize for deportation. We need to prove we were brought here as children and are not involved in any criminal activity. The Obama administration then gives us legal presence and work permits since we are low priority and its resources are better spent deporting criminals. The problem with the program is that, since it is completely dependent on the executive’s discretion, Trump can end it when he comes into office and he now has access to all our personal information.

  4. [This comment was removed for being vulgar and crass. Please keep it civil (unless it relates to Jacques). – bc]

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