This is the fifth installment of a project that is likely to extend over a two-year-period from January, 2010. It is the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022. Under the pseudonym Jonathan Westminster, it is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Re-United States. It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press. Herein you will find Chapter 4.
Chapter Four 2002: The Preserve America Amendment (30th)
The 30th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (2002):
Commencing on the day following ratification of this amendment, no person not at that time a citizen of the United States may in the future become a citizen unless at least one parent of that person is a citizen of the United States.
The 30th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was the third of a series of Amendments proposed by Right‑Wing Reaction to pass the Congress and be ratified by the states since the Republican Party had taken over the Congress following the 1994 election. The 28th, the Balanced Budget Amendment (with loopholes), had been ratified in 1999. The 29th, the Federal Congressional Terms Limits Amendment, was ratified in the year 2000.
The 27th Amendment, which prevented any Congressional pay raises from taking effect during the term of the Congress that adopted them, and had its origins back in the Federalist Period, had been ratified on May 7, 1992. Previous to its adoption, the Constitution had not been amended since 1971. But starting in 1999, the pace of amending quickened markedly, and that pace would not noticeably slacken over the next eight years. The then on‑coming flood of Right‑Wing Reaction‑sponsored Amendments would, in the first decade of the 21st century, alter the Constitution of the old U.S. almost beyond recognition.
The Ratification Process
The 30th was the first Amendment passed under the Presidency of the Last Republican, Carnathon Pine. It is noteworthy that while there had been some struggle over ratification of the 28th and 29th amendments, there was virtually none over ratification of the 30th. It took less than 13 months from the time the amendment was introduced in the 107th Congress during the first week of its first session in January, 2001, until it was ratified by the 38th state to do so, Iowa, on February 2, 2002. In fact, ten state legislatures had “ratified” the amendment (de jure indicating that they would ratify if it passed both Houses of Congress) even before the final language had been worked out and it was passed by an overwhelming vote in both Houses of Congress.
(This jumping the gun followed a practice initiated by the several states, for example New Jersey and Alabama, which had “ratified” the Balanced Budget Amendment [with loopholes] back in 1995, before the final vote in the Congress. Ironically, the Amendment did fail to pass the Senate that year, by one vote.)
Picking Up the Pace
Given the deliberate pace with which any proposals to change the Restored Constitution of our Re‑United States are considered in our own time, the reader might find most peculiar the rush with which the venerable document that had stood the old U.S. in such good stead for 200 years was altered to fit the prevailing political prejudices of the time. But given the political realities of the Transition Era, this “speed‑up” should come as no surprise. For just as “The 15% Solution” had provided the Right‑Wing Reactionaries with a hammerlock on control of the U.S. Congress, so it gave them the same level of control on the legislatures of most of the states.
By 2002 the Right‑Wing Reactionaries had achieved a two‑thirds majority in both houses of the legislatures of 40 states. (Needed for ratification of any Amendment under the old Constitution was the affirmation of 38 states.) Only in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska (the one state with a unicameral, non‑partisan legislature), New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin had the Right‑Wing onslaught failed to achieve complete legislative control. In all of the other states, the inter‑related, self‑reinforcing combination of steadily declining voter turnout and no effective, distinctive electoral opposition offering real alternatives to Right‑Wing Reaction had inexorably lead to its victory, as discussed in the previous chapter. This was the same combination of phenomenae that had accomplished the same end at the national level.
The Origins of the 30th Amendment
The expressed underlying purpose of the 30th Amendment was to end all immigration, legal or illegal, into the United States. This was clear from the several years run‑up to its Congressional introduction (fulfilling a campaign promise made by President Pine). There had been much agitation and controversy over the role immigrants, of both the legal and illegal variety, played in creating and perpetuating the problems faced by the old U.S. in the 1990s. The character of the public reasoning offered in support of a measure designed to shut the door to potential immigrants to the world’s leading nation of immigrants was well illustrated by the title given to the Amendment by its supporters: “The Preserve America Amendment.”
The campaign had been up and running for some time. For example, in the mid‑1990s an organization known as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) called for a “Moratorium on Immigration” (c. 1994). The ultra‑Right‑Wing Republican Patrick Buchanan picked up the proposal in announcing his Presidential candidacy in 1995 (Berke). (Presaging the development of the Killer Fence, Buchanan also proposed at that time considering “defending the border” with National Guard troops and building a wall along it (Wright). One question at time was would Buchanan view potential illegal immigrants in the same light as an invading Army, and give his National Guard border guardians orders to shoot to kill.)
In 1995, an English immigrant, one Peter Brimelow, published a book called Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster (New York: Random House). Despite his own immigrant status, reflecting well the Right‑Wing Reactionary propaganda on immigration of the time, he said (Lind):
“The United States faces the direct equivalent of being abandoned by the imperial umpire: the breaking of . . . the racial hegemony of white Americans. . . . The contradictions of a society as deeply divided as the United States must now inexorably become, as a result of the post‑1965 influx, will lead to conflict, repression, and perhaps, ultimately to a threat thought extinct in America politics for more than a hundred years: secession.”
(In this last thought, Brimelow eerily presaged the reverse secession of the New American Republics to come.)
In its proposal, FAIR did not distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. And unlike Buchanan, they did not reveal just how they proposed to halt either variety in practical terms. But that did not stop them from blaming virtually every national problem, from unemployment, through lack of affordable housing, to the crisis in the health care and educational systems, on immigration, and by implication on the immigrants themselves. FAIR then went on to call for that “halt.” However, by implication once again, they guaranteed that the nation’s problems would somehow be magically solved if immigration were somehow stopped.
The “Open‑Door” Tradition
In 1903, the poet Emma Lazarus penned the sonnet that included the famous phrase (The World Book):
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest‑tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
It was inscribed on the tablet that adorned the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.
In 1940, the liberal President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had addressed an organization known as the Daughters of the American Revolution. Xenophobic, isolationist, Right‑Wing and inherently “anti‑foreigner,” it consisted of descendants of families that had been in the old United States since at least the time of the American Revolution. Roosevelt, who could trace his American roots back to 17th century Dutch settlers in Nieuw Amsterdam, opened his address with the greeting: “Fellow immigrants.” A collision of the souls of Lazarus and Roosevelt spinning in their graves after observing the anti‑immigrant movement of the Transition Era would have been something to behold.
Initiative and Referendum and Prop. 187
By the mid‑1990s, the FAIR brand of agitation had lead, for example, to the passage of “Proposition 187” in the state of California in 1994, by the process of “Initiative and Referendum” (I&R). Some observers have noted the close parallel between the adoption of Proposition 187 in California in 1994 and the subsequent rapid rise of the anti‑immigrant movement nationally, and the adoption of the property tax‑limiting Proposition 13 in the same state in 1977 and the subsequent rise of the national “anti‑tax” movement. Both Propositions are now considered to have been major factors in the eventual rise of American Fascism (Terry and McGhee).
The Nature of Proposition 187
California’s Proposition 187 prohibited the provision to immigrants who had not legally entered the country and state of a wide range of social services, from health care to education. It was eventually declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. (It later reappeared in a somewhat different form, before a radically different Court, and achieved approval). The Republican governor of California at the time, one “Pete” Wilson, had hitherto been considered a so‑called “moderate” Republican. His use of this clearly Right‑Wing Reactionary issue to help him come from way behind to achieve a landslide victory in the 1994 California gubernatorial election campaign, gave the issue respectability and a certain cachet (Maharidge).
Wilson had not always held to the position he took in 1994. In 1986, as a United States Senator beholden to powerful California farm interests, Wilson had made sure that national immigration reform legislation of that year, aimed at illegal immigration as well, still made it possible for those interests to hire the illegal immigrant labor they needed to bring in their crops cheaply (Apple). But as Governor, he apparently realized that by opposing illegal immigration and making it a major issue, he could attract a large number of votes, whether or not the interests of his rich farmer backers were affected or not. (For more on this aspect of the issue, see the Dino Louis essay quoted at the end of this chapter.)
Indirection and Proposition 187
The choice of indirection employed by the framers of Prop. 187 to achieve the supposedly desired outcome, an end to illegal immigration, was an interesting one. The expressed theory behind the Proposition was, “cut off social services, and those people won’t come.” In nature, it was just like the standard Right‑Wing Reactionary justification for significantly reducing the provision of welfare benefits during the Transition Era: “cut out welfare for single mothers and the illegitimacy rate will go down.”
This kind of rationale connected a government social support program to an individual behavior. The linkage seemed utterly logical to the critic of both the support program and the behavior. But the same linkage rarely if ever made it into the mind of the program beneficiary/engager‑in‑the‑behavior. The proponents of the existence of the linkages in fact were never able to cite data‑based proof to support the validity of either the “social services‑are‑linked‑to‑immigration” or the “welfare‑is‑linked‑to‑illegitimacy” theories, but that didn’t stop them from using a position that sure sounded good in the political arena.
And in the political arena, it was likely that in reality the whole strategy of indirection was a highly cynical one on Wilson’s part. He was smart enough to know that most immigrants who came illegally to California were seeking work, not social services, even education for their children. Thus he was smart enough to probably know that the flow of illegals to the farms of his rich backers would not be dried up if Proposition 187 were implemented (and he may well have privately told them that as well). But, as noted, it sounded good, it reinforced other Right‑Wing Reactionary dogma, and it did win elections.
Following this position, indirection was at the core of the 30th Amendment. It didn’t ban immigration directly; it just said that no immigrant could ever become a citizen, thus permanently making immigrants to the old U.S. permanently “different.” Of course, immigrants had been made “different” before. For example, during the Transition Era, even legal immigrants had been made into a “different” category by the Right‑Wing Reactionaries of the 104th Congress. They proposed that legal immigrants, who had Social Security numbers, worked legally, and paid taxes (just as many illegal immigrants did, it happened), be denied access to welfare and other social services. These were all measures aimed at creating a “politics of difference.”
The “Politics of ‘Difference’ “
The politics of difference was standard Republican fare throughout the Transition Era. In his then‑famous speech to the Republican National Convention in 1992, the prominent Right‑Wing Reactionary Patrick Buchanan had said (1992):
“There is a religious war going on in this country. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America. And in that struggle . . . Clinton and Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side. . . . we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country.”
When another of the men‑in‑a‑perpetual‑rage of the time, Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President in 1995, baldly borrowing from Buchanan (without acknowledgment) he said (Page):
“Our job is not finished. We are one victory away from reversing the course of American history. We’re one victory away from getting our money back and our freedom back and our country back. And that victory is a victory over Bill Clinton in 1996.”
Just who were the “we” and the implied “them,” the nature of the “religious war,” just what is the “soul of America,” just what “culture” is being referred to, just what was meant by “freedom” and “country,” and just exactly how a victory over Bill (and Hillary) Clinton would accomplish the undefined aims, were all left unelucidated in such speeches. But presumably the followers of Buchanan and Gramm, who would later become the stalwarts for Jefferson Davis Hague, “knew” whom and what they meant.
A liberal newspaper columnist of the time, Anna Quindlen, described this strategy as the “cult of otherness.” She said (1994):
“Otherness posits that there are large groups of people with whom you have nothing in common, not even a discernible shared humanity. Not only are these groups profoundly different from you, they are also, covertly, somehow less: less worthy, less moral, less good.
“The sense of otherness is the single most pernicious force in American discourse. Its not‑like‑us ethos makes so much bigotry possible: racism, sexism, homophobia. . . .
“[Newton] Gingrich began milking the politics of exclusion long before the  election returns were in when he dismissed the President and Mrs. [Bill] Clinton as ‘counterculture.’ Meeting with a group of lobbyists, natch, he said he would seek to portray Clinton Democrats as the ‘enemy of normal people.’ In a speech several weeks ago, he described America as a ‘battleground’ between men of God, like him, and the ‘secular anti‑religious view of the left.'”
The politics of difference had been previously brought to its highest pitch by the German Nazis, who thoroughly demonized the Jews before they proceeded to exterminate all they could lay their hands on (Davidowicz). What was the function then of the politics of difference in the old U.S.? Over the next 15 years from 1995 it became increasingly and appallingly clear: to generate, reinforce, and morally justify xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and widespread bigotry and suspicion, all vital for paving the road to that full Fascist takeover that was eventually achieved in 2011.
But while as noted above immigrants had been differentiated before, the 30th Amendment way to do it was something new. This differentiation would be in the Constitution. It would aim to accomplish its ends by indirection, just as did Proposition 187 and the “anti‑illegitimacy” provisions of welfare “reform.” And its being in the Constitution very quickly lead to some consequences that even some of its most ardent supporters had not envisioned.
For example, except for those few who were children of citizens, since now no non‑citizen immigrants already living in the country had any future prospective Constitutional protections, it opened the floodgates for legislation enacting ever‑more punitive laws for dealing with illegal immigrants. It also lead to the enactment of laws establishing “special” (and most precarious) status for persons who had been legal immigrants before enactment of the Amendment, but who could now never become citizens, even if they had lived in the country for 30 years.
Even before passage of the 30th Amendment, anti‑immigrant agitation had lead to a variety of repressive measures. Back in 1995, Newton Gingrich, Speaker of the House or no, had called for “sealing” the Mexican‑U.S. border with guards to prevent illegal immigration (Newsday). The implementation of that policy had lead to the rapid expansion of the U.S. Border Patrol, even in a time of sharp cutbacks in Federal government spending in almost every arena. The ever‑increasing strengthening of the Patrol eventually made it into a self‑contained armed force, fully equipped with heavy weapons and its own air force and navy.
But this move too had unintended consequences. The costs of border guarding and imprisoning detainees mounted very quickly. And so the next step was building a wall all along the Mexican border, a move certain Right‑Wing Reactionaries of the Patrick Buchanan stripe had been calling for for years. The first short sections of a passive fence, equipped with infrared, electronic, and radio devices had gone up in 1994 (Nathan). By 1999, a 1500 mile fence was in place. But it was not absolutely impassable. The Killer Fence would come later (see Chapter 15).
And now, for a contemporary view of the situation during the 1994 election campaign, we turn to an essay written by Dino Louis less a month before Election Day of that year. Crafted in a pop style, and thus obviously intended for a popular audience, whether it was ever published is not known.
Pete Wilson’s Politics:
Illegal Immigration and Etc.
(by Dino Louis, 1994)
Illegal immigration and California politics. Pete Wilson is stoking and using anti‑illegal immigration fever to ride to re‑election (Maharidge). He was originally well behind Kathleen Brown, when he was being forced to run on his record and the state of the California economy. But now he is laying it on thick about how much illegal immigrants cost California, in education, health, welfare costs, and so one and so forth.
Well, those data are actually murky. There is simply no evidence that anyone comes here to get on welfare and get health care (both negatives), although they may come for the education. But they do pay taxes. Those with fake social security numbers even pay income taxes, through withholding. And employers love illegal immigrants: they are cheap labor and make no trouble. It’s notable that the 1986 law [Author’s Note: which put penalties on employers hiring illegal immigrants] has never been enforced and Pete Wilson is not screaming for its enforcement either.
Even Ben Wattenberg, certainly no liberal, citing facts published by the Urban Institute said that: most illegals don’t cross the Rio Grande but simply overstay tourist visas; only a third of total immigration is accounted for by illegals; creating as well as “taking” them, immigrants have no net effect on the number of jobs; while the number of foreign‑born people living here is at its highest level ever, the percentage of resident foreign‑born people is just slightly more than half of what it was a century ago; total tax receipts paid to all governments by immigrants outweigh the total amount spent by all governments on them; immigrants, legal and illegal, use less welfare per capita than native‑born Americans; foreign‑speaking present immigrants learn English at about the same rate as their predecessors.
But the Right wants us to forget the facts, or, preferably, never know them. In fact, the Right goes out of its way to suppress the facts. It is just so useful for them to exploit the illegals politically. Limbaugh was on the air a week ago complaining that any supporter of the new anti‑illegal immigrant Proposition is being labelled a racist.
Well, maybe they aren’t racists. But anti‑immigration fever has long history in California, usually with a racist basis: for example, against the Chinese and the Japanese, the latter prejudice of course leading to the imprisonment of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II for no other reason than that they were of Japanese descent. In 1882, reflecting widely‑held attitudes, California had enacted the Exclusion Act, aimed expressly at Chinese immigrants (originally brought in by white businessmen to provide cheap labor first for the gold mines and then for railway construction).
Facing an ever‑increasing influx of “Okies” during the Great Depression, anti‑immigrant fever in California was directed against other whites. But still, they were whites who were “different.” The whole campaign certainly feeds right into the Limbaugh view of the illegals and their supporters as people who want nothing but a hand‑out. That they just happen to be of Central American/Mexican Indian descent for the most part surely must be coincidental.
This anti‑immigrant message sounds very much like the one the little mustached man delivered 70 years ago. “Whatever’s wrong with our ‘country/state,’ it’s someone else’s fault. It’s those ‘Jews/ fur-riners,’ they’re the trouble.” Shakespeare once said something like, “the fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.” But people like Pete Wilson and Adolf Hitler don’t look at themselves. Wilson’s only been in politics in California and Washington since 1966. But it’s not his fault.
Watch this well. Despite his pledges to the contrary, Pete Wilson will likely be running for President in 1996. This is the kind of campaign we have to look forward to: a message that stresses questions and problems, rather than answers and solutions. Above all, it stresses the identification and labelling of an “enemy,” not us, never us, either explicitly or implicitly, someone to blame, an abstraction, and based on no data. And oh yes, just like he is doing in California, he’ll run the whole thing on television: no legitimate questions; no legitimate answers. All neat and tidy. All modern Republican politics.
A Parthenon Pomeroy Diary Entry, February 3, 2002
We did it, we did it. We’re finally going to keep the Spics out, and throw out the towel‑heads, and the slopes, and the slant‑eyes, and the West Indian cinder faces too. Wow! 15 years of hard work. We’re going to save our country, our freedom, our American way of life. I can’t believe it. But I’d better believe it. I do believe it. This is going to fix things up all right. Jobs for everyone. Tax cuts, more tax cuts. No more little messy forin (sic) kids in the schools, speaking giberish (sic). This is what we need to get America to where it ought to be, to what it can be, to what it always was and will be again. Good bye, coons! Thanks, God, and thanks Pat, too.
Apple. R.W., “Media‑Wise Governor Runs a Smooth Race in California, “New York Times, Oct. 24, 1994, p. 1.
Berke, R.L., “A New Quest By Buchanan for President,” The New York Times,
March 21, 1995.
Buchanan, P., “Republican National Convention: Remarks,” Washington, DC: Republican National Committee, August 17, 1992.
Davidowicz, L.S., The War Against the Jews: 1933‑45, New York: Holt, Rinehart,
and Winston, 1975, Part I.
FAIR: “Official Petition to Place a Moratorium on Immigration to the United States,” Washington, DC: c. Summer, 1994.
Lind, M., “American by Invitation,” The New Yorker, April 24, 1995, p. 107.
Maharidge, D., “California schemer,” Mother Jones, Nov./Dec., 1995, p. 52.
Nathan, D., “El Paso Under Blockade,” The Nation, Feb. 28, 1994, p. 268.
Newsday, Nation Briefs: “Gingrich: Seal Border,” Feb. 6, 1995.
Page, S., “His Stetson’s in the Ring,” Newsday, Feb. 25, 1995.
Quindlen, A., “The Politics of Meanness,” New York Times, Nov. 11, 1994.
Terry, S., and McGhee, B., California Leading, 1977‑1997, New Francisco, CA: The Press of the New California Historical Society, 2038.
The World Book Encyclopedia, “So‑Sz Volume 18,” Chicago, IL: World Book‑Childcraft International, Inc., 1981, p. 689.
Wright, R., “Who’s Really to Blame?” Time, Nov. 6, 1995, p. 33.
 Interestingly, “Initiative and Referendum” originally had been created by progressive forces in a number of western states of the old U.S. in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Citizens’ groups able to collect enough signatures on a petition could directly place before the electorate legislative proposals and in some states constitutional amendments, thereby by‑passing the legislative process.
I&R originally designed as a counter‑balance to the power of legislatures that at the time in many of those states were in the pockets of the railroad and/or mining industries. Ironically, just prior to and during the Transition Era, the process became a powerful tool of Right‑Wing Reaction. This happened even as both the national and state legislatures were once again once again coming to be in the pockets of Right‑Wing Reaction as well, through the process of special interest lobbying and campaign contribution.
Through the I&R process, to achieve ends it could not achieve in legislatures with significant liberal representation, Right‑Wing Reaction could manipulate the direct electoral process with simplistic appeals to raw emotion and utter self‑interest, supported by virtually unlimited budgets for political advertising.
In our own time, it is recognized that the true strength of traditional American democracy lies in its representative and necessarily deliberative nature, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers in general and James Madison in particular. In part for that reason, and in part because of the specific abuses the process allowed to be perpetrated during the Transition Era, as every informed reader of this book will know, I&R is not permitted to the states by our present Constitution.
 Author’s Note: Actually Louis was being kind; Wattenberg was a well‑known right‑of‑center columnist of the time; the Urban Institute was an African‑Amer-ican‑sponsored research and advocacy agency.
 Author’s Note: The Rio Grande then constituted a significant stretch of the border with Mexico.
 Author’s Note: The leading Transition Era Right‑Wing Reactionary radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, was Curley Oakwood’s role model.
 Author’s Note: “Okie” was the vernacular term applied to persons from the state of Oklahoma and its region fleeing the collapse of the farm economy there due to a combination of Great Depression‑related farm mortgage foreclosures and a drought of several‑years duration that had produced a condition called the “Dust Bowl.”
 Author’s Note: Wilson entered the race for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1995, generated little enthusiasm and less money, and promptly withdrew.
The original edition of “The 15% Solution” is available on Amazon.com and on BarnesandNoble.com. The 2004 print-on-demand re-issue from Xlibris is also available on Amazon.com and on BarnesandNoble.com. You will find a “Sub-Home Page” for the serialization at the lower right-hand corner of the Home Page for www.TPJmagazine.us. It contains such items as the Disclaimer, cast of characters, author’s bio., cover copy, and several (favorable) reviews, and will have a full archive of all the chapters as they are published over time. The serialization is also appearing on www.BuzzFlash.com, Dandelion Salad; The Greanville POST; and TheHarderStuff newsletter.
Jonathan Westminster and biography are based on a pseudonym.
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor of 30 books. In addition to being a Columnist for BuzzFlash, Dr. Jonas is also a Contributing Author for TPJmagazine; a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad; a Senior Columnist for The Greanville POST; a Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter; a Contributor to The Planetary Movement; and a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC.