Don't Tread on Me (But Feel Free to Tread on My Neighbor)

In an irony as delicious as the giant-sized beverage for which it is named, the Arizona Tea Party, which believes it's fascist to make people get health insurance, nonetheless supports the new law that empowers government agents to demand citizenship papers from anyone that appears to be from another country. There's still no word on whether the "Don't Tread on Me" flag they wave at rallies will now carry the subtitle "but feel free to tread on my neighbor."

Bravo, Tea Party folks! It took the Democratic and Republican Parties generations to become unfocused muddles of contradictory ideas. You guys did it in less than a year. I suppose the next logical move would be to channel your anger at the Wall Street bailout by opposing financial regulatory reform.

How is it that Arizona (Arizona!) is cracking down on people who aren't from there? Have you ever been to Arizona? NOBODY is from there. While New Mexico traces its culture to the Navajo and the Apache, Arizona owes its roots to the Winnebago and the Carrier - the motor homes that brought "snowbirds" from Minnesota and the air conditioning that allowed them to experience life in the desert without ever leaving their homes.

Now the descendants of these pioneers are angry. Their ancestors didn't drive a house halfway across the country to share Hell on Earth with people adapted to the climate!

Of course, Arizonans aren't the only people concerned about immigration. I once had a conversation with a man, about my age, from my same hometown, who swore: "An illegal immigrant took my job." So I had to ask him, "Was that before or after a baby stole your candy?"

If you are privileged enough to have been born and raised in America, given twelve years of free public education, and still find yourself losing a resume contest to a guy who can't speak the language - I'm sorry, Goofus, but I have trouble blaming Pepe for that. In the extremely unlikely case that this is even true, I would think that losing a job to an illegal immigrant would be just the kick in the ass you need to get up off the backseat of a Dodge Daytona you call a couch and go find yourself some marketable skills.

But this discussion is never about bettering ourselves; it's all about blaming someone else. Earlier in the same conversation, he offered the opinion that the recession was caused by "Mexicans sneaking across our border." Now, I am not a financial expert, but until I see a Wall Street executive with a last name ending in "Z", I think Mexicans get a pass on the economy.

Of course, time will only tell how the new Arizona law will work out. I just hope, as the Arizona governor promised, that the law is applied evenly. I want to see this headline sometime this summer when the law kicks in: "Diamondbacks game lasts seven hours as umpires demand to see papers before Dominicans can bat."