By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
When I last wrote about my opposition to Arizona's immigration law on civil liberties grounds I was vilified by some supporters.
One of them, a longtime proponent of a more secure border with Mexico, angrily lashed out at me - accusing me of not fully appreciating the problem of illegal immigration.
"Go down to Arizona and see for yourself before you talk about something you know nothing about," she told me.
Interestingly, a new Rasmussen poll places her in the majority and me in the minority. Fifty-nine percent of Americans support the implementation of an Arizona-style law in their states, Rasmussen says. Well, I'm here to tell you that I'm proud to be among the 32 percent who do not.
What I don't understand is why or how my critic presumes I support illegal immigration because I oppose measures that take away our civil liberties.
I also oppose laws and measures that take away our liberties in the name of counter-terrorism. Will she now then suggest that I am a proponent of terrorism?
This is all part of the either-or, us or them, mentality in our society.
It's like saying the people who oppose police stop and frisk tactics in high crime areas must support crime.
In Saudi Arabia, I am told, you can leave your wallet on a sidewalk and come back the next day to find it untouched. That's because the penalty for stealing is the loss of a hand. It's a punishment that works in stemming crime. But I wouldn't support implementing it in the United States.
What's crazy is that it's mainly people who describe themselves as conservatives who support the Arizona law. Used to be that conservatives were staunch defenders of the Constitution and the guarantees provided Americans therein. Apparently not any longer.