So by now, most people who keep an eye on politics have heard about Eric Cantor’s defeat by the Tea Party candidate Dave Brat. However, this is not a victory for liberty.
While the upset does, at least to some extent, give us the hope that a non-incumbent with far less funding, can win an election and oust someone who normally would have a sure win, the way in which Brat won is concerning.
Why did Dave Brat win?
Brat won by making the election about immigration reform. By convincing voters that Cantor, who already had low approval ratings, was supportive of immigration reform, he was able to take control of the election. Specifically at issue was the question of whether or not to give amnesty to those who are already here “illegally”.
What is very telling is the following quote by Brat: “Yet, Eric Cantor believes that we need to import more low-wage foreign workers at the expense of lower wages and fewer jobs for Virginia families”.
I am not equating opposition of so called illegal immigration to immigration overall, but the quote does mirror repeated opposition to immigration in our past. It also doesn’t make sense economically speaking. Lower cost of labor means lower price of goods, which in turn means lower cost of living for everyone. Also, at most, the employees that could be displaced would be unskilled labor, as most immigrants start out taking positions that need little more than basic skills.
Is that Bad?
Yes. Strict immigration policy is in opposition to everything the Tea Party pretends to be about. As has been mentioned in previous discussions, strict immigration violates limited government; it violates the idea that free markets can self regulate, and it violates the constitution.
Admittedly, it isn’t that surprising. While the Tea Party claims to be for truly limited government, the reality is that much of the Tea Party is in support of limited government when it suits their interests. It is not a true party, nor a true movement. It could be, if those in support of freedom took the reigns, but as it stands, it is a political movement full of showboating.
Dave Brat is a professor in economics, rather than a lifetime politician. So there is certainly the hope that he can listen to reason. However, that is not necessarily going to be the case. If not, then we will simply have to continue to support candidates who do support truly limited government while continuously opposing the policies of those who do not. The fight against big government is a perpetual one, and so this is the advice I will continue to give.