First an observation: Once you've decided that dismissing the Trump phenomenon as humorous is a non-starter, it really cuts down on the number of political cartoons you find interesting.
And now another:
Nobody is suggesting that we deport the children of landed immigrants, or of naturalized citizens. The term "anchor babies" and proposals surrounding it concern the children of undocumented noncitizens, aka, "illegal aliens."
I believe that the proposal to either ignore the 14th Amendment or repeal it is readily vulnerable to an honest and informed attack.
So stop making cartoons about the children of immigrants. They are silly and off-target and make you appear equally so.
Now, on with our show:
In today's Prickly City, Scott Stantis discusses one of the basics, which is the attention deficit disorder that underlies our political system.
Of course, a system based on long-term memory can be no more enlightening and even more deadly: I've said several times that my immersion in the problems of Northern Ireland in the 1980s gave me a lot of useful insights into the Middle East imbroglio, because both cases involve disputes, conflicts and loyalties that go back centuries.
It's one thing for Catholics in Ulster to remember with anger the days when Harlan & Wolfe shipyards refused to hire Catholics, and for Palestinians to be bitter over being kicked out of their houses in the 1940s.
But when you are basing your current political views on what Cromwell's soldiers did in the siege of Drogheda in 1649, or similarly venerable outrages among Sunni and Shia, it's time to take down the rearview mirror, though onlookers should also understand that it takes more than a luncheon, or a new rule against vendettas, to end the vendettas.
America, by contrast, is a land of immigrants, and, while our short attention span means we have always felt free to hate anyone who arrived a decade after we did, this heritage provides our nation with very little heritage at all.
So we invented some, including the Myth of the First Thanksgiving, which we built upon the fact that some (not all) of the natives here were welcoming and helpful and some (not all) of the first settlers were gracious and grateful for it.
It's not entirely false, but the mass quantities of cartoons with Indians complaining about Pilgrims not speaking the language, etc etc etc, should be seen, not as contrasting history with current events but as throwing a key bit of our national myth in the face of those who refuse to live up to it.
By the way, we created the myth as part of a public-relations gambit to encourge immigration, having not yet figured out that it's cheaper to build the sweatshops over there.
Anyway, as Graham Sale points out, bigots are stupid, or, at least, illogical, or, at least, if they can think, they don't bother to.
The real problem is that, whatever other job skills these whining losers may lack, they've a well-developed, sharply-honed talent for blame-casting.
Never mind, for instance, that, if you had studied more and gotten better grades, you wouldn't have been at the tail end of applicants to a college and you'd have been admitted despite their program for poor, highly-motivated minorities.
In America, every loser has a reason why it wasn't his fault.
We lost the game because the ref didn't see the other guy jump offside on the last minute field goal that went wide and we should have been given another try and never mind that if we had scored more when we had the chance earlier in the game we wouldn't have needed a last minute field goal and certainly never mind that the guy flinching isn't why our kicker missed.
The ref hates our team and was bribed.
And then there's this:
He focuses on the idea that the "well-regulated militia" was supposed to protect individual states from the central government, which is in keeping with the views of Patrick Henry, that passionate Anti-Federalist.
But, in his most-referenced speech on the topic, even that firebrand was only opposing federal control of the militia, not proposing that the militia be an untrained defacto ragtag mob.
Henry died in 1799, before the theory of the well-regulated militia was tested by reality and proved a dismal failure.
I wish he had lived to see the debacle that made James Madison regret his pro-militia/anti-standing-army stance, because I'd like to have heard what he had to say on the topic then.
But he didn't, and so perhaps his praise of militias should be relegated to those collections of humorously off-target quotes about how man will never fly, about how computers will never be part of the average person's experience and so forth.
I've hammered on the actual history before, and here's the best of that, but this is what it comes down to:
Both the Second and Third Amendments were reactions to the colonial experience under British rule, and the experience of occupation by Britain's standing army.
And, once the folly was revealed, they might both have been repealed, had other elements of the Constitution needed fixing to form a proper army.
But there was no such need, and the Founding Fathers being sane and rational men, assumed laws that no longer applied would be ignored.
That is, they assumed that the electorate was also sane and rational.
So much for the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.
It's laughable to imagine the commander of a modern military base demanding that local people house and feed his soldiers in their homes.
The other amendment is equally irrelevant and anachronistic, but not so laughable.