Hillary Clinton Is Right (and Wrong) About Immigration, Populism

Hillary Clinton is right, mostly.

In an interview with The Guardian last week, the former next president of the United States said that in order to stop right-wing populism, Europe “needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame.”

Clinton continued: “I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message — ‘We are not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support’ — because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.”

If she stopped there, I wouldn’t have added the qualifier “mostly.” But Clinton couldn’t help herself. She had to also argue that people who are discomfited by immigration are little more than mindless authoritarians with “a psychological as much as political yearning to be told what to do, and where to go, and how to live and have their press basically stifled and so be given one version of reality.”

For many on the left, this was simply an argument for concession. Eskinder Negash, the head of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, told The New York Times he was shocked by her comments. “If she’s simply saying you need to cut down on refugees coming to Europe to ask for asylum because they have a well-founded fear of persecution, just to appease some right-wing political leaders, it’s just not the right thing to do,” Negash said.

He’s right. Clinton’s remarks were too transparently political and self-serving. (They also appeared with Clinton’s impeccably poor timing, right as the United States was dealing with a serious refugee challenge at the southern border.)

By Jonah Goldberg for TOWNHALL
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